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admin on April 11th, 2014

By now, you should have seen or at least heard about Madame Prez’s plan for all Cook County pensions. Using the mayor’s & the state plans, but tweaking it slightly, it calls for increased employee contributions, reduction of cost-of-living increases, raise the retirement age, freeze the COLA entirely  in 2016 and delay future retirement raises for two years after retirement.

This hasn’t been brought up in contract negotiations yet, but we have been updated on the various proposals going on for the State and City of Chicago. This plan mirrors what is already out there for discussions, but hasn’t been formally proposed.

Does this make you mad? It should. Many of us have worked for the County for 20+ years, and now they want to change the rules of the game for retirement?

You all have been given a Commitment Card to fill out & return to the Local, and we’re even offering a drawing for a $100 Target Gift Card for your information! Are you willing to fight for a contract? Or should we buckle under and accept the county’s demands because you don’t want to get involved?

The time is coming for a showdown. The County wants more money from your wallet for health care and now pension, and they’re going to give you less than 4% over the life of the contract. They are hell bent on making up for their past mistakes in the previous two contracts where they didn’t get an increase in employee contributions.

Do The Math! They want a 3x increase for health care across-the-board for doctor visits, ER, prescriptions, co-pays & specialist doctor visits. They want more in retirement contributions of at least 2%, according to sources. So how much is your raise going to be for 2014, 15 & 16? IT’S GONE PEOPLE! And then some more!

Fill out the card & return it before April 15th to be eligible for the $100 Target Gift Card Drawing. Wear your AFSCME Green on Wednesday, April 16th as we head back to the table to deliver our responses to the county’s demands to take more than we receive! Our course of action is in your hands. Are YOU onboard?

admin on April 9th, 2014

Why do managers in the Adult Probation Department keep saying this?  Do they believe that any of our members think that they do?  Why do they get so hostile when our members refer to our Local President?  Is it because he fights so hard for the membership? 

This Local has always been clear that management is not going to trample on the contractual rights of our members.  All members are entitled to union representation if the questioning by management could lead to discipline.  Management is required to notify the union of an investigatory meeting and the reason for the meeting. 

These are just a few of the contractual requirements that seem to be problematic for management.  They seem to prefer a selective adherence to the contract, following only those things that benefit management. 

If they truly want a new day in the Adult Probation Department, then it’s going to take more than pizza and dress down days.  It’s going to take a commitment by management to respect the contract and live by the golden rule, treat others as you would want to be treated.

Management would be wise to ‘Work With’ Jim, instead of ignoring him and what he brings to the job. Guess they like to tie things up in arbitration, and then PAY for their mistakes later. Literally.

Management wants to develop a new ‘strategic’ plan for the future of the Adult Probation Department. Shouldn’t they just talk to Jim & the Union first? Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen? Or is this new adventure going to be more of ‘Just Do It?’

We’re happy that Jim Works FOR Us! The members of Local 3486.

Labor law is very clear about the right the union has to represent their members.  The stewards of this Local have protected the rights of members without compensation, and despite the often intimidation and interference by management. 

Apparently this new management is no different. 

Management is trying to question the right this Local has to represent their members and believes that they can interfere in the Local’s right to assign stewards.  Yet, they continue to allow managers, with a long history of unprofessional conduct, who berate, belittle and bully stewards and members, to continue with the status quo without any consequence! 

Sadly, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The Local will move on every recourse that it has under the Employer and with the Illinois Department of Labor to address this attack! 

This Local will NEVER allow the management of the Adult Probation Department to make decisions about who represents our members or affect the stewards ability to provide representation!     

admin on April 1st, 2014

It was appropriate that we had contract negotiations today with the County, who played us for ‘fools’ in today’s session.The County came in and lectured us (again) about the rising costs of health care, and how little we are actually paying for it as opposed to everyone else.

We were quick to point out that the County had past opportunities in the past two contracts to address the gap between premiums and amounts actually paid, but did not close on a proposal in either contract. Now, the County wants to make up for their mistakes all at once.

The County’s health care proposals would increase contributions 3X, to get current with what is being paid by public sector employees in the City & State, while offering under 4% total for the last three years of the contract. Naturally costs would increase dramatically also, which we would not recoup currently. We are naturally looking for wages to be increased greatly if the County demands that health care costs change in any way. The County is turning a deaf ear to these demands.

It has been past practices that we have deferred salary for manageable health care costs, but the County has selective memory.

We are approaching the time where we will have to show Madame Prez & her Band of Minions that we will do whatever it takes to get this contract done! A card is coming for you to fill out from Council 31. It is ‘A Count Me In‘ card. This will allow us to gauge our support amongst the Locals, and show what our employees are willing to participate in; picketing at work sites, picketing the county building and yes, ultimately going out on strike if necessary. If you’re not with us, to do whatever it takes to get this contract done, we can accept the County’s offers at an upcoming negotiation session and get this contract settled! Union contact members will have these cards shortly at all work sites. These will be collected by April 14th.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday, April 16th. Wear your AFSCME shirts to work! WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

Pension News:

If you’ve seen today’s newspapers, The Grinch has been breaking unions to try & shore up the city’s pension mess. He apparently has the support of the trade unions, (Construction, Electrical, Plumbing etc.) and SEIU, who was a partner in ‘WE ARE ONE’. The trades have tried to break county agreements in the past, as their members would make up any increased costs in overtime wages.

We are not aware of any backroom deals coming from the County at this time. Madame Prez does want to reach an agreement on pension reform with AFSCME and the Coalition of Unions in ‘WE ARE ONE’, but talks are not ongoing on an urgent basis at this time. We will keep you posted as this issue heats up.


admin on March 15th, 2014

Wednesday, March 19th is the next Solidarity Day in Cook County!

Please wear your AFSCME T-Shirts or green if you can’t wear the shirt at your worksite!

We know it’s St. Jospeh Day, but wear your AFSCME GREEN TO SUPPORT YOUR BARGAINING TEAM!

Thank You for Your Continued Support!

admin on March 15th, 2014



These claims aren’t coming from Rauner’s opponents – they’re coming from the
man himself. Here’s what Rauner told the Tribune:

On public employee pay:

“Rauner says unions have ‘bribed’ lawmakers with campaign cash to keep
compensation and benefits unreasonably high compared to counterparts in
the private sector, and he vows to push for a cut in pay for public

On pensions and retirement security:

He also condemns as inadequate the controversial pension benefit
overhaulsigned into law by Quinn late last year, which unions are now
challenging in court.”

“The only way to fix the state’s fiscal woes, Rauner insists, is to
effectively do away with the current pension system… Rauner says,
going forward they all should be shifted into 401(k)-style plans that don’t
guarantee minimum retirement benefits…”

“Workers in the private sector were long ago shifted to the more volatile
401(k) plans, he argues. However, Rauner would not have the state pay
to extend Social Security coverage to those same public workers, even
though that is legally required for those in the private sector whether or not
they have 401(k)s.”

We can’t allow Rauner’s extreme agenda to come close to being reality – that’s
why it’s critically important that all AFSCME members voting in the March
18 Republican primary vote for Kirk Dillard, who has stood up for public
employees and is now surging in the polls against Rauner.

Bruce Rauner represents the biggest threat public employees in Illinois have ever
faced, but we have the power to stop him. Visit for more
information and make sure you vote in the March 18 Republican primary for Kirk

We don’t do this often, but we’re asking you, our membership to VOTE REPUBLICAN in the March 18th Primary and cast your vote for Kirk Dillard. You don’t really want to vote for Quinn or Preckwinkle anyway!

Too many other people are believing Rauner’s message that he’s going to ‘Shake Up Springfield’, when all he IS going to do is cause chaos for public employees like what’s his name in Cheeseland? and cause greater polarity between parties down in Springfield!

You thought it was Chicago vs. the rest of the State of Illinois before? Just wait and see should he win the Republican nod!

Members are still needed to work the phone bank. Call AFSCME at (312) 641-6060 for more info.

admin on March 11th, 2014

Any probation officer who qualified for shift differential pay for 2013, and has not submitted paperwork documenting said hours worked, should contact their supervisor and HR immediately.

Past practice has been that time has been presented in six month or yearly documentation to said supervisory personnel to verify the pay earned. This could lead to a timeliness issue to file any claims or grievances,  so please attend to this quickly.

admin on March 10th, 2014
When 500 local union delegates gathered in Springfield on February 1 for the biennial AFSCME PEOPLE Conference, they knew beyond any doubt that Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner had a target painted on the back of every public employee in the state of Illinois. They’d heard about Rauner’s baseless claims that public employees are overpaid and have excessively rich pensions. That’s why the delegates overwhelmingly adopted a resolution making the defeat of Bruce Rauner AFSCME’s top priority in this primary election.


Kirk Dillard I’m writing to let you know that earlier this week the PEOPLE Executive Committee met and voted to endorse Kirk Dillard. Dillard served as the chief of staff to former governor Jim Edgar – and subsequently as an Illinois state senator. While AFSCME has had our differences with Dillard over the years, we have found him to be someone who respects the work of public employees and who tries to find common ground.


AFSCME and other unions set ourselves to the task of exposing the real Bruce Rauner. We researched his business record and uncovered many of the dirty deals he’d been trying to keep hidden. We revealed his use of insider cronyism to reap millions of dollars from public pension funds. We exposed the illegal employment practices of companies he owned. And we blew wide open the vast scandal connected to his firm’s purchase of more than 200 nursing homes.


But to defeat Bruce Rauner, we all need to stand together in support of another candidate. AFSCME believes that candidate should be Kirk Dillard. Dillard voted against SB1 which slashed the pension benefits for tens of thousands of state and university employees and he is a co-sponsor of our bill to pay 25,000 state employees the more than $100 million they are owed in back wages. Plus, in recent weeks Rauner’s big lead in the polls has steadily shrunk, while Dillard’s standing has risen.


Bruce Rauner is a billionaire who is prepared to spend tens of millions of dollars to buy this election – and the state’s other wealthy Republicans are flocking to his camp. Kirk Dillard doesn’t have those kinds of resources or those kinds of pals. He’s counting on us to get the word out about his record and his commitments.


There’s no doubt that Bruce Rauner wants to wage all-out war on public workers and public services. We’ll fight that war if we have to – but public employees and all Illinois citizens would be far better served if we can stop Bruce Rauner in his tracks on Tuesday, March 18. Vote for Kirk Dillard in the Republican primary.




 Henry Bayer

Executive Director

Council 31 will be holding the next round of work site membership meetings next week. Both meetings will take place in the downstairs canteen (cafeteria) of each courthouse.

The Bridgeview meeting will be on Wednesday, March 5th from 11:30a to 1:30p. The Markham meeting will be on Thursday, March 6th from 11:30a to 1:30p. The presentation will repeat every 30 minutes.


admin on February 20th, 2014

Local 3486 has won an arbitrated case involving discipline for negligence in caseload supervision.

An officer had been given a 2 day suspension for failure to enter caseload negligence for failure to enter  closing information. The Local took the case up to arbitration, and not only did the officer get the 2 day suspension rescinded, the discipline was reduced to a written reprimand after a successful argument by the Local that the discipline imposed was not progressive and corrective!