‘Thank you’ to all who took the few minutes last week and yet again today to call Madame Prez’s office and tell her that you want a raise, fair health care premiums and a new contract!
There seems to be a misconception amongst us that all of us don’t have to take an active role in getting this contract finished. While it’s very true that 20+ months of contract negotiations is extremely long, we’re trying to get this done sooner than later. Show us the money first and we’ll settle the language later. But the bargaining team can’t continue to do this alone! WE NEED YOU!
The bargaining team has asked for your support throughout these many months by wearing green, wearing stickers, wearing your ‘free’ AFSCME t-shirt on select days, signing ‘Count Me In‘ cards, participating in a lunch time picket, wearing wrist bands and now a call-in day to President Preckwinkle. Thank you to the many who have done these things and continue to be involved!
But some of the support has been ‘lukewarm’. We’re not asking you to do anything that we wouldn’t do or haven’t done, but yet there are some of you who simply won’t participate. Why? When this contract finally does get settled, it is our intention that you will get a raise, (which you haven’t had in 2 years! ) fair health care premiums which won’t consume your raise, and contract language that will be beneficial to employment. But some can’t continue to bear the weight for all. The bargaining team and/or the Executive Board of the Local isn’t the Union. You Are The Union. You must be involved, or we fail.
We had hoped to achieve this without having to resort to drastic measures, but should the county hold firm on their current proposals, we will have to make a choice. Do we accept ‘nothing’ as a raise for 5 years as it goes directly into healthcare or do we do something about it? What’s your opinion? 1.5% for 2014. 1.5% for 2015. 2% for 2016. 2% for 2017. Nothing for 2012 and 2013. And health care premiums of 1.75% yearly. DO THE MATH!
Our Sisters & Brothers in Will County faced this decision last fall, and you know what they were brave enough to do! And yes, they eventually won as Will County amended their stand and agreed to a fair contract with the a fore mentioned raises and health care costs. Why? They got involved and took a stand. And stand tall in the cold of November they did! Are You going do this?
Other unions have shown support for Madame Prez’s pension reform plans, which will reduce benefits, change retirement age, and cost you more from your paycheck. None of these unions have settled their contracts yet, as we (AFSCME) have been in negotiations the longest. But this could change rapidly should any of them agree to take less and get much less in return. It has happened before, and then we got screwed.
Now, we’re not telling you that a strike is looming. Far from that at this point in time. We can’t get some of you to take an hour to join a picket line at your work site or a few seconds to make a phone call! How are we going to get you to go out on strike for however long it takes? This is a question that everyone must of of them self. What do I want for wages & health care costs and what am I going to do to get it? Remember, You Are The Union.
Contract negotiations resumed today. Apparently we didn’t make an impression on the county with our call in week/day. The county didn’t waiver from their stance on wages & health care, and once again lectured us on how important some kind of health care reform is very important to them. They didn’t even acknowledge that we disrupted their switchboard! Not good at all.
We can accept the county’s latest proposal at any time and be finished with this contract until 2017. Maybe the county will offer more money for wages next contract, or just suck it up plus more in healthcare in 2020? Or we can stand up and fight! If we back down now, the county will use this tactic in future negotiations knowing that we’ll cave in over time as all they have to do is stall.
So what’s it going to be? It’s in your hands. And this is only on a new contract. What are you going to do to make sure that Bruce Rauner doesn’t become our next governor? Should he buy his way into the governor’s mansion, collective bargaining as we know it could be severely diminished. Don’t think it can’t happen in Illinois? That’s what the Union Sisters & Brothers in Wisconsin and Michigan thought so too!
It’s time to step up.
Contract negotiations are currently in session. Call President Preckwinkle at (312) 603-6400 & Press 1 as directed for the presidents office. Tell the secretary that you’re an adult probation officer & contract negotiations are going on today, and she should get this contract done!
Management has informed the Local that they intend to release merit pay for all who qualified in the August 29th paychecks.
Merit pay was supposed to be paid out by July 1st, and the Local filed a grievance due to the terms of the contract being ignored.
Let your fingers do the dialing! Ring up Madame Prez and voice your disgust that you haven’t had a raise in over two years, and with what they’re offering now, you still won’t get a raise for another 3 years!
Pick up the phone and call. Then do it again and again. It’s the CHICAGO WAY!
After 20 months of negotiations for a new contract, County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is still demanding that we accept:
- NO PAY RAISE FOR TWO YEARS!
- Massive shifts in the cost of health insurance onto the backs of county employees.
- Pay raises only beginning on June 1 ,2014 even though the contract expired in 2012 – and ONLY EQUAL TO THE AMOUNT THE COUNTY INSISTS ON TAKING BACK OUT OF EMPLOYEES POCKETS THROUGH HEALTH CARE COSTS!
When you do the math it’s clear: President Preckwinkle wants you to go four years (2012-2016) with A BIG FAT 0%!
Your bargaining committee has been telling the county that these demands are a non-starter, but apparently President Preckwinkle is not getting the message! It’s time for her to hear the message directly, so it’s up to us to make sure she gets the message!
Call her office at (312) 603-6400 with this message:
- It’s not fair to balance budgets on our backs!
- It’s not fair to demand that we go 2 years without a raise!
- It’s not fair to demand massive cost shifting in health insurance while refusing to offer a fair wage increase!
We are scheduled to man the phones tomorrow, but you can call in everyday throughout the week to let President Preckwinkle know of your displeasure with contract negotiations dragging on and on.
It’s time for the county to treat employees fairly and with respect for the work we do. Pick up the phone and call today! Tomorrow! And throughout the week!
The Bargaining Committee of AFSCME Council 31
The County gave the bargaining team a big surprise during yesterday’s contract negotiation session. No, they didn’t offer big pay raises and huge health care costs. They put a 5th year contract extension on the table, and put a 2% raise to go along with it. This was quite inappropriate timing by the County as we are trying to wind down negotiations. This should have been brought to the table months ago, not now.
While that looks appealing to some, it is a big disappointment to all. Under the County’s current health care proposal, they are asking for a 1.75% across-the-board increase for all employees. (Annually) They now have a 7% offer on the table, which would be consumed by health care costs until 12-1-16 at which time employees would break even over the 5 year life of this contract.
That’s NO RAISE for 5 YEARS! The bargaining team was appalled by this proposal, as we expected the county to get serious about wages and attempt to finalize this contract before Madame Prez finalizes her 2015 budget.
So what do we do now? We get on the phone and tell Madame Prez to stop fooling around and get this contract done! That’s what we do! Beginning Monday, August 11 through Friday August 15, we are encouraging all county employees to call President Preckwinkle’s office unceasingly! Our scheduled day to call & voice our displeasure is Tuesday, August 12th. More information will be forthcoming.
If YOU want a fair contract with PAY RAISES and MANAGEABLE HEALTH CARE COSTS, make your calls next week! If you don’t care about getting a pay raise, especially since we haven’t had one now for TWO YEARS and don’t mind that future raise to be eaten up by increasing health care costs, then there’s nothing that we can do for you.
Rest those fingers up over the weekend! They’re going to get a workout next week! One ring-a-dingy! Two ring-a-dingy!
This video is presented by AFSCME Council 31. Click on the link to watch.
On Thursday, the bargaining team is meeting with the county once again to attempt to get closer to completing a contract before Madame Prez presents her 2015 budget to the County Board. We are asking you to wear your green AFSCME t-shirts is solidarity with the members of the bargaining committee!
Prior to our last bargaining session, President Dunaway addressed the members of the County Board at their regularly scheduled meeting in July. He encouraged them to authorize their representatives to reach a contract agreement with AFSCME sooner than later. Members of the bargaining team were present for the meeting also. Click on the link below to watch.
Madame Prez appeared on Chicago Tonight again, pressing her agenda for pension reform in the coming months. The bad thing is…. She doesn’t plan any changes to her bill which was never called for a vote. Click on the link below to watch the video.
If you paid any bills from Cook County while you were on layoff status, time is running out on getting reimbursed!
The Union & County agreed that they would cover health care expenses for a longer period of time, which the county has tried unsuccessfully to collect upon. The Union had filed a grievance on insurance premium payments for layoff officers and won previously, so you owed nothing.
If you paid any health insurance bills while on layoff, please bring a copy of the bill & check if possible, and submit them to President Jim Dunaway. This offer will not last much longer, as the county is trying to close their books on this matter and will not be accepting claims for much longer.
Rumors have been circulating around the department that the bid list is or will be frozen imminently. Neither Council 31 nor the Local have been informed of any pending action concerning the bid list.
Management must notify the Union in advance of any actions with the bidding process, which they have not to date, according to contractual agreement.