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