Terry Fitzmaurice grew up on the west side of Chicago where he started working at a young age. This strong work ethic was instilled from his father, who left school early to support his own mother and sister. He attended Foreman High School where he met his sweetheart, Lisa, and graduated in 1973. In November of 1975, they married and moved into an apartment in Elmwood Park. Terry worked for Jewel in the meat packing warehouse until he later decided to make a career move and join the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.
Terry was initiated into Painters’ District Council 14/Local Union 194 (Chicago) on November 5, 1978. He began his apprenticeship working with Ruffalo Painting while attending Washburne Trade School, where he graduated in 1981. He began working with the City of Chicago at O’Hare Airport in 1982. That same year, Lisa and Terry started their family with the birth of their daughter, Megan. As a painter with the city, he advanced to foreman for the painters at O’Hare Airport. In 1984, Terry and Lisa had their second daughter, Danielle.
He was very active in his local union after becoming a member. Through the years, he served as a conductor, trustee, vice president, and president of Local Union 194.
Terry’s dedication with the city and Local Union 194 led to his appointment as business representative for District Council 14 on September 29, 1989. While holding this position, he helped many members with different issues such as finding work, contractor disputes, wage collection or benefits due, and contract negotiation.
When Gerald Harms announced his retirement as business manager of the district council, he knew Terry was the right man to take over as the next leader. On January 1, 2005, Terry became the business manager/secretary-treasurer of District Council 14.
After becoming the BM/ST, he aggressively started making positive changes for our union. In his first year, he organized the first district council picnic, decreased the retirement age for painters and tapers, and started the member newsletter. By his second year, the first Safety Training Awards Recognition (STAR) program was launched. He steered our council in a new direction by helping all organizers, business representatives, and our apprenticeship school become more involved in the community through projects such as Rebuilding Together, volunteering at Misericordia, police stations, fire departments, and many other community projects.
Terry also served as trustee to the Chicago Building Trades, executive board member to the Chicago Federation of Labor, and trustee to the Chicago Painters and Decorators Welfare and Pension Fund.
The recession of 2008 was a challenging time for Terry and our union. To help the members out, Terry lowered the hours for eligibility for insurance, he also split the deferred savings into two checks for the year, worked with the contractors to freeze wages and keep the workers going, and negotiated new collective bargaining agreements to help put our members back to work. He also worked to pass the Coating Application Specialist (CAS) bill. This bill is a certification for industrial painters on public projects. The IUPAT has the most painters with certificates, which would create more work for our members. Even though we lost a great deal of workers in this recession, we managed to survive and begin rebuilding our membership. Through this recession, our pension and welfare emerged even stronger than before his tenure as BM/ST.
Everyone that knows Terry knows he has a big heart and gave 110% to his members and this union. Terry has always put our members first and never forgot where he came from. All his work is greatly appreciated and we will miss him for all he has done for us. We wish him a happy and healthy retirement to finally relax and enjoy his family and grandchildren.