This was Wednesday’s, December 4th, Editorial Cartoon from Scott Stantis. We weren’t going to acknowledge this editorial cartoon at all, but couldn’t let them get away without a rebuttal! AFSCME is NOT to blame for the State’s fiscal pension mess, but he believes that We are the ones responsible for the poor state of affairs in Illinois. Fine, Mr. Stantis. Blame us instead of the legislature, who created this mess by borrowing from the pension funds, and then didn’t pay it back! Remember this too Mr. Stantis, Dogs Do Bite When They Are Antagonized!
(This Bill was quietly signed into Law by the Governor today…)
The Sun-Times is reporting that Madame Prez is going to be in charge of inmate release at the county jail? What’s next? The director of Social Services running the Probation dept.? Wait a minute…
This Just In… It appears that a tentative agreement has been reached in the three week strike between AFSCME & Will County officials. News networks are reporting that a deal was struck at 2:30am today. A contract ratification vote will be held today or tomorrow, and workers may return to work by Thursday.
Today, both the Senate and House voted in favor of the Madigan Sponsored Pension Reform Bill, nicknamed the Pension Theft Bill by the We Are ONE Coalitition. Here is a look at how the votes were cast, thanks to Chicago Tonight:
Time to hit the phone lines again friends! It looks like the House is going to ramrod through a bill along the lines of the Madigan Plan, which will decrease annual COLA’s and add years to retirement age! The County IS NOT on this plan yet, but you know they’re watching intently. Especially if you’re under age 45!
Call (888) 412-6570 and tell your legislator to VOTE NO on the Pension Theft Bill. This could be the beginning of a very bad chain reaction!
The following is a notice received by Local 3486 President Jim Dunaway, in response to a question raised on the holiday for the day after Thanksgiving…Copies have been provided to all members also
You’ve requested an update on the proposed County shutdown day on November 29, 2013 (day after Thanksgiving). As you know, during the budget discussions for the FY2014, The Union had several discussions with representatives of the Chief Judge’s Office on this issue. The Union was told that it was the intent of the Chief Judge to pay Union employees for the day after Thanksgiving, which has traditionally been a paid holiday for these employees. On November 13th, the Union became aware of a memorandum from the Comptroller’s Office that was received by the Adult Probation Department giving instructions to dock employees on November 29th.
The Council immediately contacted the Chief Judge’s Office to verify whether the Chief Judge still intended to pay Union employees for the 29th. The Chief Judge’s Office verbally told Council 31 that AFSCME employees working for the Office of the Chief Judge will be paid for November 29th this year. Employees who is years past had a holiday on the November day after Thanksgiving will receive pay on that day, and employees who are scheduled to work as part of their departmental schedule should report to work.
However, in order to preserve rights of those members of AFSCME Local 3486 and other AFSCME represented Locals in Cook County, Council 31 filed a class action grievance challenging the County’s decision to impose a shutdown day on all County departments and employers. If our members do not receive holiday pay for the 29th as we have been told they will, the grievance challenging that decision has already been filed, and we will proceed with that grievance. In addition to this most recent notification of a shutdown day, you may also remember that AFSCME Council 31 has arbitrated the County’s decision to impose a shutdown day in 2011 on another County Local, and we are currently awaiting the arbitrator’s decision on that case.
The Union will continue to fight to make sure that our members have the day after Thanksgiving as a paid holiday, as it has been for over two decades. I will continue to give you updates on information our office receives regarding the situation. If you ahve any questions, please contact my office. Thank you.
Maggie Lorenc, Staff Representative AFSCME Council 31
The only thing we have to fear is that the Chief Judge has not always lived up to his promises… It’s taken us over two years to reverse the last one!
The County Commissioners met today for their review and passage of the 2014 budget, and WE WON!
The commissioners have restored probation officer positions back into the budget, and President Dunaway has confirmed with Chief Judge’s Representative Wisniewski and Acting Chief Reyes that the 23 remaining officers on layoff will begin to be called back beginning next week! (9 former officers have declined to return to APD.)
Special recognition goes out to our Staff Rep Maggie Lorenc & President Jim Dunaway, who took some officers along to meet with various commissioners this week to plead our case! Great work ladies and gentlemen! Congratulations on a job well done!
On another note…. The Illinois Legislature adjourned yesterday without taking action on pension reform yet again. We back the Cullerton Plan, which Madigan refuses to call for a vote in the House, despite pressure from the media to get ‘anything’ done and fight in court. This is not over, and will be waged again in the new session beginning in January!