BROOKFIELD, Ill., April 18, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee and Chicago Zoological Society management have agreed to meet again Thursday, April 21, in an effort to reach an agreement on a new contract for Brookfield Zoo employees.
The sides agreed to extend the current contract until midnight on April 21. Teamsters Local 727 represents nearly 300 zookeepers, groundskeepers, patrol officers and other workers at Brookfield Zoo.
"After five months of negotiations, we are finally seeing some movement from management, so we are hopeful that we can come to a fair agreement on the 21st," said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727.
During the negotiation meeting on April 18, the Local 727 Bargaining Committee once again reiterated that health insurance is the most important issue for the Brookfield Zoo workers and that any cuts to health care benefits are unacceptable. CZS management said it needed more time to confer with its complete management team, and the union agreed to return to the table on April 21.
In the event of a labor dispute at the zoo, the union has provisions in place to ensure the animals' safety and care is not compromised.
"Our members love their jobs and care deeply about the work they do and the animals they care for," Coli said. "They do not want to be forced to take a stand, but if CZS management continues to make unreasonable demands, they will have no choice."
Teamsters Local 727 represents nearly 10,000 hardworking men and women throughout the Greater Chicago area.