The Illinois FOP Labor Council

The Labor Council provides full union representation: negotiating and enforcing contracts, improving salaries, working conditions, and benefits for law enforcement professionals throughout Illinois. Our members are protected 24 hours a day by a staff of full-time, in-house attorneys and field representatives who have a proven track record of winning.

24 Hour Critical Incident Hotline: 877-IFOP-911

By Gary Bailey, Attorney - Wednesday, January 2, 2013


The Labor Council bids farewell to Ralph Nikischer, who retired from the Labor Council on December 31, 2012 and left behind a legacy that few if any could ever match.

Ralph retired early from the Riverside Police Department to become a full-time Field Representative with the Labor Council in September 16, 1990. He was promoted to Assistant Director of the Labor Council on February 26, 1994, but always continued to perform the duties of a Field Representative, such as negotiating contracts, filing grievances, attending labor-management conferences, and representing members during internal investigation interviews.

The manner and style with which Ralph represented his members, whether at the bargaining table or in a direct confrontation with management, was a pleasure to witness. He was never at a loss for words and he stopped many experienced and educated lawyers dead in their tracks with his skills and his flair for argument. No matter what the odds, Ralph never backed down from a fight, and his tenacity never subsided. He was relentless in his pursuit to achieve success for the membership.

Behind the scenes, Ralph was instrumental in shaping the operations of the Labor Council in its formative years. While serving in the capacity of Director of Field Services, Ralph supervised the Labor Council Field Representatives and coordinated their unit assignments. Ralph was often the catalyst in organizing protests that featured picket lines and focusing media attention on situations where our members were being mistreated.

In the 1990s, Ralph also undertook the daunting task of formulating the Labor Council’s personal computer hardware systems. With Ralph’s assistance and leadership, the Labor Council made it a priority to hire experienced IT experts, to establish computer databases so research could be simplified and to link the offices (Springfield and Western Springs) so the Labor Council could operate more efficiently.

Most importantly, Ralph was always at the ready to lend a helping hand to his co- workers in difficult situations.

The work at the Labor Council never ceases, so after over 20 years of serving the union membership on 24/7 basis, we send Ralph our best wishes for a relaxing retirement.