Administrative Law Judge's Recommend Decision and Order
By Dan Mahoney, Attorney - Thursday, March 14, 2019
On March 7, 2019, Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Sharon Purcell of the Illinois Labor Relations Board (“ILRB”) issued a recommended award regarding a charge filed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 700. If the full ILRB upholds the decision, it may impact a section of our Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) with the Sheriff. So far, there has been no impact on our contract or on our members. However, many of our members have called the Union asking for clarification regarding the recommended award. This article will address those questions.
The FOP bargained for Section 14.20 which sets out that any Deputy, who enters the Bargaining Unit after September 2014, will be subject to a physical agility test. The Deputies who fail may be given one retest. A Deputy who fails the retest shall be returned to his/her prior unit. Section 14.20 was made part of our CBA in August 2015 after an Interest Arbitration Award.
The recommended award was issued by an ALJ and not an Arbitrator. It is not a final decision. The recommended ALJ award orders the Sheriff to cease requiring a physical agility test (“PAT”) for employees who seek a transfer from Corrections to Court Services. Yet the Illinois FOP Labor Council (“FOP”) was never made a party to the case by the ILRB. Therefore, the ALJ did not consider our position before making her recommendation. The award by the ALJ can, and will probably, be appealed by the Sheriff. If any appeal ends up being filed, the FOP will decide what, if any, action to take.
Currently, there is a transfer class in the Academy. Consistent with our CBA, that class has taken and passed a PAT. Therefore, the Sheriff has not violated our CBA. Those 39 new members will be assigned to court facilities on Friday, March 15, 2019.
Since the Sheriff has not violated our CBA, the FOP does not have to file a grievance or issue a demand to bargain at this time. If the Sheriff does violate our CBA, rest assured that the FOP will take the appropriate action to protect your contractual rights.
Importantly, the award of the ALJ does NOT address the issue of seniority for transfers from other divisions to Court Services. The Department Seniority date for job posting and bidding for district, division, unit and shift (including day-off group); as well as choice of vacation days, layoffs & recalls, and overtime has always been and continues to be the start date in Court Services.
Please do not listen to rumors spread by people who know nothing about our contract. If you have a question about the recommended ALJ decision, or the CBA, contact your Union Steward.