admin on May 25th, 2017

We have received a note from Human Resources that 1/2 days are used at 3.5 hours, not 4 as they thought. We’ve always argued it was 3.5 hours and had documentation that this was agreed to YEARS AGO!

Anyone who had to take 4 hours for a 1/2 day will be credited for 1/2 hour of time back. If you don’t get your time back, please see a union representative.

admin on May 25th, 2017

I just have to share this funny story about the anti-union animus that exists in this administration:

So, on May 12th I had a 4th level grievance hearing at 69 West Washington. After the hearing I asked Assistant Director of Human Resources Mike Rohan why the Local had not received the May monthly bid list. I explained that there has been an understanding with Director of Human Resources Noreen Larson that the Local would receive the monthly bid list by the 5th of each month. Assistant Director Rohan looked puzzled, and asked, “This is an agreement Noreen has with the union?” I replied, “Yes, and has been for a while now.”

Then on May 18th since the Local still had not received the May Bid List, I sent an email to Chief Probation Officer Lavone Haywood again requesting the May Bid List and informing him that this is now the second request as I had spoken to Assistant Director of Human Resources Mike Rohan about the issue last week. Chief Haywood called me regarding my email to him earlier that day. Chief Haywood made reference to the Local only receiving the bid list quarterly according to the contract (he was referring to Article XXIV Union Rights, Section 1. Information provided to the Union, which does not identify the bid list as a document that the Local receives quarterly.)

I asked Chief Haywood if he had a contract in front on him, and he replied, “Yes.” I asked him to turn to page 29 of the contract (Article VIII Filling of Vacancies, Section 1. Posting, B. Permanent Bid List). When he indicated that he was on the page, I asked him to read the last sentence of the third paragraph on that page. He began reading the third paragraph from the beginning, but I interrupted and said, “just the last sentence.” Chief Haywood read, “The Union shall receive a monthly copy of the bid list.” [insert brief silence] “Okay, okay. I’ll make sure you get the copy of the bid list,” Chief Haywood responded, and our call ended.

This sentence has been in our contract FOR YEARS, just as the language that refers to flex-time and returning the radios the next day, etc. But rather than having a professional conversation with the union, there’s the assumption that the union is getting something that they’re not entitled to get based upon bad information from another anti-union administrator. I tell you guys this because when the Local tells the members that there is an anti-union animus that pervades every part of the current administration, it’s the truth. Management has and will deny it, but actions speak louder than words!

As always, I am very grateful to YOU, Local Union Sisters and Brothers, for your support!

In Solidarity,

Jim Dunaway

Local Union President

AFSCME #3486

admin on May 25th, 2017

As you may have noticed the contracts passed out a few weeks ago were missing the pay schedule.

Rest assured, there is a pay schedule for our final raise of this contract on June 1, 2017. You should have received it by email, but if you didn’t get one, see a union representative for a copy.

admin on May 8th, 2017

Copies of the current contract that was settled in July of 2015 are finally printed & will be made available to the membership!

Just in time as we get ready to reopen contract negotiations on the new contract that will be in effect on 12/1/17!?!?!! And no, we won’t be finished by 12/1/17.

admin on April 28th, 2017

(From The Chicago Sun-Times…)

Illinois House votes to limit busts for gang contact

By a 67-to-48 bipartisan vote, the House moved to change the law so parolees would need to be involved in gang-related activity to face arrest. The measure now goes to the Senate.

“What we were trying to do was to take away the most egregious component of the law — people who weren’t doing anything other than being in their neighborhood — and get at the core issue, which was criminal behavior,” said state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat who is chief sponsor of the bill.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Sunday that in recent years Chicago police have arrested thousands of parolees for having contact with alleged gang members. In communities with large populations of ex-offenders, many parolees have been locked up after walking down the street, visiting with neighbors or getting rides, though they were accused of no other criminal activity.

The police say the law has allowed them to ensure that felons are following the terms of their release from prison. But Cassidy and others say the law unfairly targets parolees trying to get back on their feet.

This action is going to impact our units on the streets, especially those working nights and overnights. This affects more probationers than parolees. Call your State Senator and tell them to Vote “NO” on this bill. It is a safety issue for all, especially those living in gang infested neighborhoods. What do they (legislators) think they’re doing on the streets? Exchanging emails?

admin on April 28th, 2017

(From The Chicago Sun-Times…)

Sheriff wants inmates charged for attacking deputies

Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart is seeking attempted murder charges against three maximum security inmates at the Cook County Jail for allegedly attacking two correctional deputies.

The three detainees repeatedly punched the two deputies about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in a housing tier in Division 9, the super maximum facility, according to a statement from the Cook County sheriff’s office.

Both deputies were hospitalized after the attack, the sheriff’s office said. One deputy suffered an orbital fracture, and the other lost consciousness and was kept at the hospital overnight for observation.

Two of the detainees involved in the attack — 19-year-old David Bush and 20-year-old Taiwan McNeal — are being held on attempted murder charges in connection with the shooting of an off-duty Oak Park police officer in 2015, the sheriff’s office said.

The third detainee, 20-year-old Terrence Lynom, has been held in Cook County Jail since 2014 on attempted murder charges in connection with the shooting of a 6-year-old girl who was riding her bike in the Far South Side Roseland neighborhood.

Each of the three detainees has had more than 20 court continuances on their original cases and have had multiple disciplinary incidents issued against them while in custody, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office is working with the Cook County state’s attorney’s office to seek attempted murder charges for the detainees, according to the sheriff’s office. The investigation is ongoing.

To all officers who regularly visit Cook County Jail, especially Division 9, your safety is the number one issue. Insist that your defendant is restrained and a sherriff is outside the door.

admin on April 5th, 2017

(From the Chicago Sun-Times…)

State Supreme Court denies Rauner request to bypass AFSCME appeal

The Illinois Supreme Court has denied Gov. Bruce Rauner’s request to bypass an appellate court regarding whether his administration can impose contract terms on the state’s largest employee union.

It’s the latest chapter in a contentious feud between the Rauner administration and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — which represents 38,000 Illinois state government workers.

Rauner on March 17 asked the Illinois Supreme Court to bypass the appeal process — arguing the delay is costing the state money. In early March, the 4th District Appellate Court granted AFSCME Council 31’s request to put on hold the impasse that was declared by the state’s labor board.

The Illinois Supreme Court issued its denial on Tuesday.

“AFSCME members are public service workers who do their jobs every day protecting kids, keeping us safe, helping veterans and the disabled and much more,” AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said in a statement. “Gov. Rauner should stop wasting time and money on costly court fights and instead do his own job, working constructively to find common ground.”

Rauner’s general counsel Dennis Murashko on Tuesday called AFSCME’s efforts to fight the contract “regrettable.”

“We have gone as far as we can go in negotiations — and our last, best and final offer is all that our taxpayers can afford,” Murashko said in a statement. “It is therefore regrettable that AFSCME is continuously resisting every attempt for a quick resolution and wants to continue dragging this out in the courts. Every day of delay costs taxpayers over $2 million.”

In requesting the case go to the Supreme Court last month, Murashko warned that “after 67 days of negotiation” with the union, “this is as far as we can go and it is time to implement it.”

The state’s labor relations board in November declared an impasse between the union and the Rauner administration. The union immediately vowed to appeal the ruling.

The union’s contract expired on July 1, 2015.

The governator has started running re-election commercials already! He should use his duct tape on his mouth, bind his hands and tape himself to a chair at the negotiation table and settle this contract! 2 Million a day? Pocket change for Bruce! GET IT DONE!

admin on March 25th, 2017

The U.S. House of Representatives pulled their Bill to repeal Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act as it is officially known, because they did not have enough Republican votes to do so.

Trying to follow the Democrats lead from 2007 where the Bill was passed with only Democratic votes, the Republicans fell short.

While Obamacare may not be the greatest insurance, at least it IS insurance and many more people are covered. The time has come for both sides of the aisle to sit down, and negotiate changes to Obamacare which will lower costs, make more health care choices available, keep all necessary provisions of the Bill and make prescription drug prices competitive.

Congress, Get to Work! And work for ALL People, not just the 1%!

(From the Chicago Sun-Times…)

Aldermen go to bat for AFSCME in contract clash with Rauner

Chicago aldermen went to bat for the state’s largest public employee union Thursday in a confrontation with Gov. Bruce Rauner that threatens to culminate in a strike.

The resolution co-signed by 46 aldermen and advanced by the City Council’s Workforce Development Committee urges Rauner to return to the bargaining table to resolve his confrontation with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31.

Aldermen openly acknowledged that the resolution does not carry the weight of law.

Nor is it likely to influence a Republican governor who has asked the Illinois Supreme Court for permission to impose his preferred contract conditions on AFSCME’s 38,000 members who work for state government.

“We are not blind to the fact that we have no power to compel Gov. Rauner to act to do the right thing,” said Ald. Ray Lopez (15th).

“But that doesn’t mean that we, as a city, as a collective, can’t continue to fight against the winds that he tries to bring — the winds of disorder and chaos and forced crises that are impacting . . . communities that are most vulnerable.”

By taking their case to the court of public opinion — during a City Hall news conference and a hearing that followed — aldermen whose past campaigns have been bankrolled by AFSCME hope to pressure the governor.

Their goal is to avert a strike that South Side Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) warned would have a devastating impact on African-American neighborhoods like his own where residents have used government jobs at all levels as a “ticket to the middle class.”

Samia Miles, a three-year veteran of the state’s Department of Human Services, complained about the governor’s demand that AFSCME members pay double for medical coverage.

“For me, that’s alarming because I tend to my own chronic medical condition that already consumes a majority of my income. So, the idea of paying thousands more for my health coverage is devastating. But, it doesn’t matter to a [billionaire] governor,” Miles said.

“Having to spend thousands of dollars for my health care is not the only issue. . . . The governor wants to wipe out standards in our contract that prevent reckless privatization of public service. He wants a blank check to privatize anything at any time without any accountability.”

Unless Rauner is willing to compromise, Miles said AFSCME members will have no other option but to go on strike. A strike has already been approved by union members, with 81 percent voting to authorize one.

“The governor doesn’t seem to care about the harm this will cause. He’s seeking confrontation. But, we don’t want to have to strike. . . . We are very concerned — especially for those in the Chicago area. A strike would hit our communities the hardest,” Miles said.

Aracely Tirado has spent nearly four years at the state’s Department of Children and Family Services assigned to the reception desk at Juvenile Court. She provides information to caseworkers, attorneys, parents and children. She loves her job because she believes she can make a difference when families need it most.

“I’m so frustrated that the governor refuses to bargain. He walked out of negotiations more than a year ago and has repeatedly rejected any call for negotiations. He just wants to impose his terms without any understanding of what impact it would have on state employees and on our families. Or perhaps, he just doesn’t care,” she said.

“He is demanding that we pay 100 percent more in health costs, but not get a penny more in wages for four years. My husband and I are raising four children. And even now on our salaries, we need to be very careful about our household budget. I know how the governor wants everyone to believe that state employees all make the big bucks, but it’s just not true. We don’t. Let’s get real. The pay cut would hurt me and my family.”

The governor’s general counsel, Dennis Murashko, responded to the City Council pressure by noting that the Rauner administration “negotiated with AFSCME leadership for 67 days while it was clear they had no plans of compromise on their agenda.”

“Our proposals — like overtime kicking in after 40 hours, the use of volunteers and a merit pay system — are nothing out of the ordinary, and have been agreed upon by 20 other public employee unions,” Murashko wrote in an emailed statement.

“We continue to invite AFSCME to put aside its unaffordable demands, remember the taxpayers who have to pay state employee salaries and benefits, and work with us to implement common-sense proposals.”

It’s clear that the Governator thinks that 67 hours of negotiations is enough to reach a three or four year contract agreement that covers working conditions, wages and benefits? We’ve gone 72 hours straight to reach a final agreement!

The ONLY union that would agree to such nonsense is SEIU, who signs anything that’s put before them with a threat attached to it! You honestly think the electricians or plumbers unions would allow “volunteers” and a merit pay system to do their jobs?!?!?? Really?!?!

admin on March 25th, 2017

(From the Crains Chicago Business…)

Rauner vetoes Emanuel’s pension bill

In an expected but still provocative action, Gov. Bruce Rauner today vetoed legislation strongly pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to refinance cash-short pension funds that cover city laborers and white-collar workers.

The state needs comprehensive pension changes, not fund-by-fund ones, Rauner said in a veto message, noting that the city separately is pushing for $215 million to shore up Chicago Public Schools’ pension fund.

“It’s like trying to fix a drought with a drop of rain. We see pension funding challenges throughout the state—one-off, short-sighted approaches won’t really fix the problem,” Rauner said. “We must have comprehensive, long-term pension reform. Let’s get it done.”

Rauner specifically wants approval of a pending bill that, if upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court, would force state workers and teachers outside of Chicago to choose between keeping their guaranteed 3 percent compounded cost-of-living hike in pension benefits, or including pay hikes in their pension base. That measure has been caught in wrangling over the wider state budget.

Emanuel had no immediate response, but is likely to be quite sharp when he does.

Both of the funds—the municipal and laborers retirement systems—are in danger of becoming insolvent in a few years. Emanuel’s bill would require taxpayers to pay more, stretch out payments, and require new but not current workers to make additional contributions.

The latter is the best the city says it can do under Supreme Court rulings.

Emanuel already has pushed though major hikes in the city’s water and sewer fee (a sort of property tax) to pay for the bill.

Rauner had mentioned that in previous threats to veto the bill, but did not include it in today’s veto message.

Expecting the veto, the Senate already has approved and sent identical legislation to the House. The bill Rauner vetoed cannot be overridden because it was passed by a prior General Assembly whose tenure has ended.

Rauner last year similarly vetoed legislation to shore up the city’s police and fire retirement funds, but lawmakers over-rode him and the measure became law.

Update— Emanuel is out with a statement, and it indeed is on the bitter side, with spokesman Adam Collins terming the veto “irresponsible and irrational.”

More from the statement: ‘This bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support because it improves our fiscal stability for taxpayers and shores up pensions for thousands of retirees who earned them. Instead of helping secure the future of our taxpayers and middle-class retirees, the governor chose to hold them hostage – just as he has done to social service providers, schoolchildren and universities across the state . . . The people of Illinois deserve better.”

Doesn’t sound like the mayor is endorsing the governor for-reelection next year, does it?

If this goes through, Madame Prez will be next in line with her hand out for a hand out!