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admin on April 1st, 2015

After another bargaining session with the county, we are sad to announce that we still don’t have a contract.

With the Teamsters and SEIU having reached agreements with the county on new contracts, the county is expecting us to roll over and accept the obvious. We are not going to just roll over and take what they’ve offered.

Our negotiations have brokered the current agreements with the two previously named unions, and we use that term loosly, as we brought down the county’s health care plans from 18% to their current levels.

We are very upset that once again as we got close to an agreement, the county turned to someone else for less money and getting they’re way on health care. We meet again on April 23rd, and have no idea on what the county is going to do except steer us in the direction of their completed deals.

We are trying to salvage our negotiations, and get you the most in wages and a fair health care package. Getting less money and more in deductibles isn’t our idea of a good deal, no matter what the others think!

To all who attended the Town Hall meeting on March 19th, you know where we want to be at. You know it’s going to take effort from everybody-not just the bargaining team to get the contract we deserve! Stay tuned for further updates.


admin on April 1st, 2015

It is with sympathy that we acknoledge the passing of our sister, Eva Rezmer.

Eva passed away on March 24, 2015 after a three year battle with cancer. Eva joined the Adult Probation Dept. in 2001.

Services have been held. Please keep the Rezmer family in your thoughs and prayers.

admin on March 12th, 2015

The AFSCME Council 31 Town Hall meeting is now  scheduled.

Thursday, March 19th at 6pm.

Letter Carriers Hall

3850 South Wabash, Chicago.

Free Parking Available. This meeting is open to all full dues paying members only, no fair share members allowed.

Please contact Jim Dunaway before Tuesday, March 17th at (773) 674-7288 or at to confirm your attendance. Only members attending should reply.

admin on March 9th, 2015

Well, maybe not the actual day, but the scheduled event has been cancelled.

After meeting with the county on March 5th, and getting some movement towards reaching a settlement, Council 31 has decided to cancel the rally at the County Board Meeting on the 11th. The presidents from each Local met in executive session, and it was proposed to hold  a town hall meeting before the next bargaining session.

At this meeting, information will be shared with all who attend, and options will be discussed. Date, time and location for this meeting has not been finalized. We will keep you notified as this develops.

We appreciate your support for committing to attend yet another County Board meeting, and this may return again. As some of you know, the county has once again disrupted our contract bargaining marathon by reaching an agreement with another union for less money than we are proposing, and more in shared health care costs. The pay raise agreed to will be consumed by health care costs over the life of the contract, leaving you with no pay raise over five years.

We will continue to fight for a contract that has fair wages and health care costs, not breaking even or slightly behind in actual money in your pockets! Stay tuned for updates as they become available!

The Bargaining Team


admin on February 13th, 2015

It is with sadness that we inform you that our Sister Pearl Bush has died. Pearl was with our department for almost 14 years, most recently working in our Pretrial Division.

Visitation is today, Friday February 13th  from 5:30 to 9pm at  Leak & Sons Funeral Home,  7838 South Cottage Grove, Chicago.

Funeral is tomorrow, February 14th at Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church, 4100 South Martin Luther King Dr., Chicago.

Lying in state from 10 to 11am. Services to follow.

AFSCME Local 3486 wishes to convey our deepest sympathies to the Bush Family.

(From the Chicago Tribune…)

Cook County jail on lockdown because of staffing shortages

Cook County Jail was ordered into an indefinite lockdown because more than a third of its employees didn’t show up to work over the last 24 hours, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. (Monday)

Movement “aside from court and medical appointments” is being limited.

“Approximately 36 percent of jail staff did not report to work over the last 24 hours,” Sheriff Tom Dart said in a statement released Monday morning.

More  than 100 officers were ordered to work overtime to make up for the lack of staff, the statement said. They remained over from last night and this morning’s shifts.

It’s just another sign that Cook County Employees are supposed to report to work in any weather conditions, because we’re Cook County Employees! Apparently there’s no TV or radio in the jail as they would have seen that a blizzard was dumping 19 inches of snow throughout the county! Guess that we’re supposed to be like the post office motto: “Neither rain, nor snow, nor dark of night will keep us from our appointed rounds.”

By the way, mail wasn’t delivered in some areas yesterday either.

admin on February 3rd, 2015

From the pages of the Chicago Tribune…)

Don’t say we didn’t warn you….

Rauner says state must curb union powers, lower salaries

Gov. Bruce Rauner said Monday that Illinois must curb government union powers and reduce spending on state employees’ salaries and benefits, stepping up what labor leaders said is an attempt to “vilify” workers ahead of the Republican’s first major policy speech.

In a memo to legislators, Rauner pointed to rules for federal employees as the kind of “common-sense bipartisan reform” he’d like to see in Illinois, and asked lawmakers to review them in advance of his Wednesday State of the State speech. Those rules say employees may collectively bargain over work conditions such as hours and assignments, but not over wages, benefits and pensions. They also say workers can’t be forced to participate in a union and are prohibited from strikes or work slowdowns.

While he said he doesn’t plan to propose salary cuts for government employees, Rauner also repeated claims that state workers are paid more than their peers in the private sector and said lawmakers must “prevent any future imbalances and unfair practices.”

“These levels are unsustainable and unfair to working families, small businesses and other taxpayers in Illinois,” the multimillionaire private equity investor from Winnetka said. “They limit our ability to grow our economy and to fund much needed social services.”

The proposals are likely to face serious opposition in the Legislature, where labor unions have strong alliances with some Republicans as well as the Democrats who control both chambers.

A spokesman for the American Federation of State, County Municipal Employees Council 31, the state’s largest public-employee union, called Rauner’s actions “offensive.” AFSCME’s current contract expires June 30, and the union and Rauner’s administration are set to begin negotiations on a new one. (State contract.)

“It’s bizarre and outrageous for Bruce Rauner to suggest that public employees aren’t ‘working families,’” spokesman Anders Lindall said. “He’s wrong to vilify workers who serve the public, earn middle-class wages and have a right to a voice through their union.”

Some of the proposals Rauner outlined in his memo were similar to those he pushed during his campaign for office last year.

He noted that federal workers in the 1980s moved from a defined benefit retirement plan similar to Illinois’ public-employee pension system to one that combines Social Security and a 401(k)-style plan, in which workers are not promised a specific annuity amount. Rauner has said Illinois should take a similar approach.

And he repeated his argument that it’s a conflict of interest for labor unions to give campaign contributions to candidates, then negotiate contracts with the same officials they helped elect. He’s said that practice should be banned.

Rauner also said during the campaign, however, that collective bargaining was “fine” and could continue.

Supporters of organized labor say they fear Rauner is following in the footsteps of GOP governors in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana, where unions have been stripped of some of their influence.

Last month, Rauner also said he wants to give local governments the ability to create so-called “right to work zones,” where paying union dues would be voluntary. He said it would encourage businesses to create more jobs.

We were warned by our Brothers & Sisters in Wisconsin that this man would be nothing but trouble for any union worker, but yet some of us voted for this instead of keeping Governor Quinn in office. It is now imperative that we get large numbers at the County Board Meeting on February 10th, to put pressure on the Board & Madame Prez to get our contract finished NOW!

Make your plans to be there. You’ll need to use your own time (personal or vacation) and the Local will reimburse your parking.































admin on January 29th, 2015
Union Sisters and Brothers,
We made some progress in negotiations, small movement on wages and health insurance. We want to keep the momentum going, so we are taking our message to the County Commissioners at the February 10th County Board Meeting.
All AFSCME County Locals are urging their members to come to the County Board meeting on February 10th as a demonstration of solidarity for our contract.
You will have to take personal or vacation time to attend-no calling in sick. The Local will reimburse your parking – Yes, it’s that important! Please make arrangements to attend!
We want a strong showing so that our negotiations on February 17th will be even more productive! We will not get a good contract without your participation!
In Solidarity,
The AFSCME Local #3486 Bargaining Team
admin on January 29th, 2015

(From The Chicago Tribune…)

Rauner returns to anti-union rhetoric while blasting state business climate

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner reintroduced his anti-union rhetoric  as he pointedly assigned blame for what he said was an unfriendly state business climate on an alliance among Democrats who get strong labor support in elections and reward workers with costly benefits.

Blasting government worker unions and their leadership was a staple of Rauner’s primary campaign a year ago, but he largely put those comments on the back burner during the general election campaign last fall.

On Tuesday, the labor criticism resurfaced at a central Illinois community college in the backyard of a major Illinois labor leader and foreshadowed the grim analysis Rauner is expected to deliver in next week’s State of the State address. Sparking union criticism, Rauner also reinforced his resolve to lower costs tied to workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and “lawsuit abuse” because it “frosts me” that businesses are fleeing to states with more competitive business climates.

The rookie chief executive continued to steer clear of offering specific solutions, something lawmakers say they hope to see soon. Rauner did say Illinois could take a cue from other states that have broader sales taxes and stronger economies. The comment echoed a campaign position in which he opened the door to expanding the state sales tax to take advantage of Illinois’ growing service-oriented economy.

“We have a very narrow sales tax base,” Rauner said. “Economists will tell you the best way to grow an economy is to have broad-based taxes and low rates” rather than Illinois’ narrower base and high rate.

“That’s counterproductive to economic growth,” he added. Expanding the state sales tax to services has been long debated in Springfield but repeatedly has stalled out.

Pointing and clicking at charts displayed on a huge screen, Rauner stood on a stage like a professor as he returned to more aggressive union bashing and indicated he would get behind efforts to weaken union influence in the public sector.

“The states that are really growing don’t force the unionization into their economy,” Rauner said. “People can choose whether they join a union or not. I believe that’s the right thing. And I’m not advocating that Illinois become a right-to-work state,” long viewed as anathema by a Democrat-tilted General Assembly.

Rauner said he supports local voters “being able to decide for themselves” whether to have such things as “right-to-work zones.”

In Decatur, a town beset by high unemployment, the message could be met in some quarters with open arms. But Decatur also happens to be the home base of Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan, whose union backed Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s re-election.

“The Bruce Rauner that managed to mask his true feelings about working families for most of last year showed his true agenda today,” Carrigan said in a statement in which he vowed vigorous opposition.

At one point, Rauner flashed a chart that listed a series of unions, including representatives of teachers and blue-collar workers, as he lambasted a “conflict of interest” and “corrupt” alliance in which big labor campaign contributions support Democratic candidates including imprisoned predecessor Rod Blagojevich and unions, then reap better state benefits and higher wages on public works projects.

Rauner’s community college presentation came after he had coffee with House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat who will have an enormous say on the new governor’s agenda this spring and beyond.

“We’re going to continue to work with the governor in a professional and cooperative manner,” said Madigan spokesman Steve Brown, repeating what has quickly become a standard line.

And THIS is why you’re needed downtown on February 10th!


admin on January 21st, 2015

There has been a covert operation going on at 26th Street, as mysterious memos are appearing in employee mailboxes and being shoved under closed doors. The memo is attributed to APD Management, although it is not on department stationary. It also is attributed to Our Chief Probation Officer. It appears to threaten the existence of our Union, and declare the new dominance of our managers. We thought all of you should be able to see this memo in its exact form.












   This is the memo that continues to find its way onto the desks of our Local Officials, anonymously of course, attempting to threaten us from filing grievances and representing our fellow sisters and brothers. Let’s set the record straight…

   The Federal Labor Board recognized AFSCME Local 3486 in 1986, as the sole representative of Cook County Adult Probation Officers. (You can read about this under the ‘About Us’ tab on top.) We are authorized to represent any Adult Probation Officer for any possible situation where discipline may result. We continue to do this daily.

   Labor and Management are supposed to meet periodically to discuss and correct problems within the department.  Unfortunately. this has not been done under the new administration. As the Assistant Chief, Mr. Haywood did listen to the complaints of the Union, and offered solutions that would meet or correct the problems. Mr. Haywood, you know we are not the enemy. We are employees of the Adult Probation Department trying to insure that we do our jobs efficiently. We no longer exchange dialog and ways to meet both our objectives of making sure this department works to its best. Why is this?

   We, as the Union, are not trying to run this department. But we are trying to make sure that this department runs correctly within the contractual agreement and department policy and procedure. When this does not happen, it is in our right as the representative for our officers to file grievances. If the managers are not going to listen to evidence and dialog in any meeting, we will be forced to kick a grievance up to the next level. We don’t think that the Chief Judge’s representatives and/or an arbitrator will want to be settling matters that should have been taken care of at the supervisor and/or deputy chief levels.

   We are not the only union in the Adult Probation Department. The clerical staff is also AFSCME. The supervisors are FOP. If there is ever a labor strife within the department, no union member is supposed to cross a picket line. During our 1 day strike many years ago, supervisors were instructed to report to their work sites, as the officers and clerical manned the picket lines. Supervisors are now unionized, and should honor any labor dispute.

   Because of the continued distribution of this memo to recognized Union officials, we consider it to be a threat. We have notified the Chief Judge of this harassment, and will make it known once again to his representative at the bargaining table when we reconvene next week. AFSCME Council 31 has been notified also.

   It is our intention and obligation to ensure that all employees have Union representation if needed. To threaten retribution or firing from your job because you support the Union is ludicrous! Mr. Haywood, we know you didn’t pen this memo, but one of your managers did.  Cooler heads will prevail if we sit down and discuss our differences. You know it works. You’ve done it before. Give us a call. Not a note under the door. Or better yet, pen your own note to your employees.