Aramark settled a new contract with USC custodians on Friday, prompting wage increases and reduced health insurance payments.

Staff will gradually receive a $2.35 increase over the next 45 months. This amount is slightly more than what they had originally demanded.

Their out-of-pocket health insurance contribution will decrease 1.5 percentage points over the next two years, and each employee will also receive $35 to buy new work shoes.

"I'm very happy for my family and more than anything because I feel that now I can speak out more. I can tell people that the fight is worth it," said Sanjuanita Reyes, an Aramark custodian who's worked at USC for 23 years.

The settlement follows an on-campus protest earlier in the week, where dozens of USC students joined hundreds of custodial staff members Tuesday to demand a fairer contract from Aramark. At the time, staff were being paid 50 cents over the minimum wage.

"More than anything I am very happy with the students who supported us so much," Reyes said.

USC has subcontracted Aramark's custodial services for over 20 years, and is not responsible for the company's wage decisions. The custodial staff wanted the administration to pressure Aramark to change their wage policies.

The march began at Tommy Trojan, continued down Trousdale Parkway and ended with a protest at USC Village. Staff members, who were eager for USC to put pressure on Aramark, shut down streets and handed out fliers to students in English and Spanish.

This was the second protest on campus by Service Employees International Union, which represents USC custodians.

Cesar Quiles-Borrero, the SEIU Internal Organizer, said that both the custodial workers and the SEIU are satisfied with the outcome.

The custodians began contract negotiation in February but were unable to come to an agreement with Aramark. Employees had their first protests on March 26th.