admin on August 16th, 2017

Union Sisters and Brothers,

In a meeting with management on Friday, August 11, 2017, the Union was informed by Chief Probation Officer Lavone Haywood that due to continued budget restraints there will be a reorganization of staff in the Adult Probation Department. As a result, management is planning to involuntarily transfer the least senior members in the Department to the Pretrial Services Division if there are not enough requests for transfers to Pretrial Services Central Bond Court from the bid list. Then they expect to either back-fill the vacant positions with the least senior members of the Department or members from units that they determine will be downsized or eliminated. The reorganization could result in vacancies in grant-positions like ARI, which would have to be filled in accordance to the grant, and thereby would also be subject to the bid list per the contract.

Members who are interested in transferring to Pretrial Services Central Bond Court or the ARI program should immediately submit their interest via email to Michael.rohan@cookcountyil.gov PRIOR to Thursday, August 17, 2017, at 5:00 p.m.

Of course this means that caseload size will rise even more! It is the Union’s intention to provide suggestions to management (who said that they would be willing to consider) that would ease the burden of managing a high caseload, like reducing field days to one per month or only being required to check one source for new arrests, Chicago, LEADS or Clerk’s System. The Local is requesting additional suggestions from members to provide management in a subsequent meeting. Please email those suggestions to afscme3486@aol.com. This will be an opportunity for management to demonstrate that they are truly committed to assisting employees in this struggle to maintain adequate supervision of probationers given the burden of high caseloads due to Department staff reorganization.

The Local is also developing additional member driven job actions to address the lack of funding to our Department. Initially, we want members to contact the Cook County Commissioners to urge them to allocate additional monies for the Adult Probation Department in order to properly fund the staffing levels commensurate with the guidelines of the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts. The Local leadership is dedicated in ensuring compliance with the contract by management, the Union is YOU! We need an organized and stalwart membership to affect the changes that we want to see in our workplace!

In Solidarity,

Jim Dunaway

Local Union President

AFSCME #3486

admin on August 9th, 2017

The County has announced that the planned layoffs scheduled to take effect on August 18th have been rescinded for all employees who received notice.

The County is still mum on whether layoffs are going to be part of the 2018 County Budget.

admin on August 3rd, 2017

Maybe it was apropos that negotiations were held at the county morgue building yesterday? With the impending layoff date quickly approaching, Mike Newman, Chief Negotiator and Assistant Director of Council 31, demanded to know from the county what their plan of action is now that the soda tax (or sugary drink tax-take your pick!) is now law as of yesterday. Mr. Newman asked that all layoff notices be rescinded as the County is now collecting the needed resources to close a projected 67 million dollar budget hole.

It took the County over three hours to return to the negotiation table with an answer to Mr. Newman’s question. The County apparently now projects a budget shortfall of 17 million dollars, not 67 million dollars. The County had thought to rescind the layoff notices, but an emergency temporary restraining motion was filed with the Illinois Appellate Court to try and block the tax on drinks from being collected. The Court will take up the motion, but did not issue a stay on the collection of the tax at time of this writing. You can logically bet that whomever loses this decision will appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court for relief.

So, what does this all mean? This is where the “IF” comes into play. For now the layoff notices are still pending until the county can get their new facts and figures together and what the overall budgets will look like with the soda tax being collected. This is supposed to be done by Friday and reported to Madame Prez by Monday, August 7th.

“IF” the tax is not over ruled or stayed by the Appellate Court in the near future, it is believed that the county will rescind all of the layoff notices. “IF’ the Court rules otherwise, the layoffs will go into effect as scheduled.

“IF” the County is going to continue the layoffs as scheduled, AFSCME has asked for an emergency negotiation session before that scheduled date. AFSCME has sent notice asking for information on how the decision was made to go directly to a layoff when vacant positions and individual budgets were cut, and how much money those actions saved.

“IF” there is any news on the impending layoffs or the rescinding of the layoff notices, we will keep you informed.

admin on June 21st, 2017

Please review any open transfer requests that you may have on file.

The Bid List will freeze on Monday, July 3rd at 12:30pm. If you want to file a transfer request, please do so before July 3rd.

If you have a transfer request on file that you are no longer interested in, please contact human resources to withdraw it.

All bids remain active for one (1) year of filing.

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.