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 Kevin Krug, Field Supervisor - Tuesday, June 5, 2018

 

The parties completed negotiations for a sucessor Labor Ageement prior to the existing Labor Agreement expired. The team was successful in increasing compensatory time. Expanded who can provide a medical certification when requested to include nurse practitioner and nurses assistant. Expanded the use of sick time per the The Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act (Public Act 99-0841). Improved text for selection of a arbitrator. Want to thank the team that worked hard in presenting reasonable proposals to the Employer and having explanations why the Employer should accept the changes.  



By Jay Titus, Field Representitive - Friday, June 1, 2018

 

The Savanna Police Department completed a new three-year Agreement.  The team secured a wage increase in each of the three years, significantly increased Lieutenant pay, limited part-time officer use, streamlined the grievance procedure, increased personal and compensatory time, increased uniform allowance and the percentage between the last three longevity steps were increased.  Beneficial language changes were made throughout the contract which have a positive impact on all the members.  The bargaining team of Dan Neville and Mitch Ottenhausen did an excellent job representing the membership.  The team was assisted by Field Representative Jay Titus.



By Doug Crawford, Field Representative - Friday, June 1, 2018

 

Greene County FOP #113, composed of Deputies, Corrections and Telecommunicators, reached a three-year deal with the County and Sheriff.  Wages increased 2% each year; insurance remains at 100% paid for the employee.  Classification seniority, family sick leave use, and part-time deputy work sharing were defined.  Jason Havlin represented the unit along with Field Representative Doug Crawford.



By Jay Titus, Field Representitive - Friday, June 1, 2018

 

The City of Fulton Police Department has a new three-year Agreement. The team secured a wage increase in each of the three years, increased the maximum accrual of compensatory time, added a step to their wage step scale and was able to obtain a 12-hour work schedule.  Many beneficial language changes were made throughout the contract which have a positive impact on all the members.  The bargaining team of Jeremy Leitzen, Casey Simpson and Dwayne Hamilton did an excellent job representing the members.  The team was assisted by Field Representative Jay Titus.



By Bruce Wisniewski, Field Representitive - Thursday, May 31, 2018

 

After a protracted period of bargaining with the County of LaSalle, an amicable and mutually beneficial contract was reached. Wages (with retroactivity) will increase 12.75% over the term of the Agreement. Also the salary schedule was reduced from 18 steps to 16 with no reduction of salary and a $2,500 wage adjustment will be implemented for those with 10 or more years of service. Remaining contract improvements include, establishing new overtime language that segregates Bond Ct from all other OT; ensuring that 5 vacation days can be carried over to next year; creating an annual insurance opt out of $2,000; and incorporated OIS language and SAMHSA standards for drug testing. Congrats to bargaining team members Donna Ortiz and Tom Kramirsic for their persistence and perseverance in ensuring that workplace conditions were improved.



By Sander Weiner, Attorney - Thursday, May 17, 2018

 

Police Officers who also serve with any Armed Forces Reserve components, including the National Guard, may want to keep a watchful eye on SB 3547.  The Illinois FOP Labor Council along with its lobbyists from Leinenweber, Baroni, and Daffada and several other interested parties have been assisting the Attorney General’s office with the proposed legislation to ensure that citizen soldiers in Illinois are getting a fair shake. There are currently several Illinois State laws meant to protect the rights of service members and their families, particularly those employed in the public sector. If the bill becomes law, several of these statutes will be repealed. The intent of those currently on the chopping block were well intended when enacted. However, due to ambiguous language and less than ideal drafting, the current laws, as written, have led to unnecessary litigation and unjust outcomes. Naturally, when it comes to overhauling such a crucial body of legislation the tendency to be overcautious is warranted.  But, sometimes it is necessary to lose something good in order to gain something great. This senate bill has been long overdue considering the state of current legislation and present-day “total force” policies.

The Labor Council has been focused on ensuring that the essential benefits from Illinois statutes in line to be repealed will not be diminished. The current bill is intended to clarify, consolidate, and when appropriate, develop current service member benefits as well as incorporate and supplement the federal law. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) is the principal federal law, ensuring that persons serving in the Armed Forces, Reserves, National Guard or other “uniformed services” are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service. 38 U.S.C. § 4301–4335.

Service member employment rights and benefits provided by USERRA are plentiful and include: entitlement to return to the employer, with accrued seniority, after returning from military service; entitlement to the most favorable seniority rights provided to other employees on non-military leave of absence; additional paid time options; health insurance coverage up to 30 days; continued service credit for pension plans and; other job protections. However, USERRA acts as the floor, not the ceiling. For citizen soldiers to have the ability to carry on with their duties, State and local law must supplement the minimum requirements set forth in USERRA. The proposed legislation focuses less on what USERRA provides and concentrates on areas where protections are lacking.

In a perfect world, we would not need to meticulously scrutinize statutory language that is solely intended to protect service members. While most employers proudly support their service member employees, there are still those few unscrupulous public employers in Illinois who insist on holding onto nickels as though they were manhole covers. In their effort to save a few dollars, they take no issue in harming those who have answered the call and put aside civilian pursuits to serve our country and state in times of need.

Earlier this May, a federal judge granted a motion to dismiss an Illinois National Guardsman’s case after he was forced to resign from the National Guard Counter Drug Task Force in order to pay his bills. The Joliet Police Sergeant was activated for Full Time National Guard Duty under Title 32 to serve on the task force. Though it is the soldier, not the lawyer, who gives us the right to a fair trial, and the guardsman’s orders clearly stated the authority for his leave, he was not afforded federal protection under USERRA. His service was purportedly solely under the authority of State and not Federal law. Since any state claims would have been brought into federal court under supplemental jurisdiction, the judge ruled that, without a federal issue, he did not have subject matter jurisdiction to hear state claims and dismissed them without prejudice. To summarize, the Judge bought the employer’s argument that he was not entitled to differential pay or any other benefits that ought to have accrued while on leave for active duty. We at the Labor Council do not buy this argument. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident of a public employer finding a kink in the citizen soldier’s statutory armor. With the new legislation, we hope to make it more difficult for them to do so.

To tackle some of the major issues that have arisen over the years, the senate bill will repeal the Military Leave of Absence Act which states that “during leaves for annual training, the employee shall continue to receive his or her regular compensation as a public employee.” Instead, it will be explicitly stated that public employees will receive concurrent pay for annual training up to 30 days. There have been attempts by public employers to limit concurrent pay to 15 days, as the Military Leave of Absence Act does not define “annual training.” SB 3547, as written, ensures that service members will be provided their full pay, plus military pay (concurrent) for up to 30 days.

Additionally, the Local Government Employees Benefits Continuation Act would be repealed. The language in section II of this Act was unclear, especially regarding Guard Members called into service by the Governor. Instead, the language is simplified by stating that “during periods of military leave for active service, public employees shall receive differential compensation…” with a few limited carveouts. Perhaps more importantly, a fair amount of thought and language went into clarifying the muddied issue of continued health insurance benefits while on active duty. If the bill becomes law, service members will no longer have to worry about their spouses and children being forced into TRICARE or increases in their insurance premiums while serving.

An additional highlight to the bill is that it would provide additional enforcement rights and remedies that are currently not available. A private right to sue and authority for the Attorney General to enforce the Act is supplementary to the current cause of action for human rights discrimination, which has routinely caused confusion and hindered any semblance of a speedy resolution. It can be difficult for service members to prove a human rights violation due to their status as such, which is why it is paramount that additional enforcement rights are available. Moving forward, we will continue to strive to find ways to increase protections and benefits for all service members and Union members alike.

While we would like to believe SB 3547 is a perfectly written piece of legislation, a tree does not always fall with one blow. As always, unforeseen issues will arise. The legislative intent is imprinted into the senate bill and statutes can always be amended. Should any of our members take issue with some of the language in the bill, or just need clarification on an issue or specific language, do not hesitate to contact one of our attorneys at the Labor Council.

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1-Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army, Copyright Charles M. Province, 1970, 2005.

2-"Annual training" means any active duty performed under Section 10147 or 12301(b) of Title 10 of the United States Code or under Section 502(a) of Title 32 of the United States Code.

3-Sec. 2. Any employee of a unit of local government who is a member of any reserve component of the United States Armed Services, including the Illinois National Guard, who is mobilized to active military duty on or After August 1, 1990 as a result of an order of the  President, shall for each pay period beginning on or after 1990, continue to receive the same regular compensation that he receives or was receiving as an employee of the local government by which he is employed at the time he is or was mobilized to active duty, plus any health insurance and other benefits he is or was receiving or accruing at that time, minus the amount of his base pay for military service for the duration of his active military service. 50 ILCS 140 (Emphasis added).



By Jerry Lieb, Field Supervisor - Thursday, May 17, 2018

 

PSEBA benefits are found in 820 ILCS 320/10, which was passed into legislation in 1997. This Act requires the Employer of full-time law enforcement, correctional or correctional probation officers to provide free health insurance coverage for any officer catastrophically injured or killed in the line of duty. The Act requires the Employer to pay the entire premium of the employee’s health insurance plan for the injured employee, the injured employee’s spouse and for each dependent child until they reach the age of 25 if the child continues to be dependent for support or is a student. The surviving spouse is to remain covered until she remarries.

For clarification, the health insurance plan does not include supplemental benefits that are not part of the basic group insurance plan. Supplemental benefits can be vision, dental or term life insurance and would not be covered. Further, health insurance benefits from any other source will reduce benefits payable under this Act.

The Illinois Municipal League (IML) took the position that catastrophic injury must be an injury that prevents an officer from performing meaningful work. That question was finally resolved at the Appellate Court Level when the legislative notes were presented.   Laura Kent Donahue, who was the author of the legislation, clarified the definition of catastrophic with the following statement during the 68th Legislative Day, November 14, 1997, session to pass this legislation over the veto of the Governor:

“I’d like to say for the sake of the record what we mean by catastrophically injured. What it means is that it is our intent to define “catastrophically injured” as a police officer or firefighter who, due to his injuries, has been forced to take a line-of-duty disability. That’s what we mean, and would simply request that you—well, wait, there’s one more point that I think is really important. There is a possibility – a very real possibility – that we will lose federal funds to the tune of about seventeen million dollars a year if we don’t pass this legislation or override the Governor, and I just make that a request and ask for a favorable roll call”

Since this legislation passed, the Illinois Municipal League (IML) has consistently attempted to change the definition of ““catastrophically injured” to make it nearly impossible for injured officers to receive this benefit as demonstrated by the sample ordinance language being distributed by the IML to their membership of municipalities around the state.

These following definitions are contained in the sample ordinances:


 

 

When you look at the table above, which compares the catastrophic injury definition as found in the sample ordinance the IML is providing to municipalities around the state to the State Statute, it demonstrates how they want to diminish this benefit for injured officers. This move by the IML goes contrary to the law. There was a lawsuit where the City challenged the term catastrophic injury as being vague. Krohe v. City of Bloomington, 204 Ill.2d 392, 395. The Court ruled against the City of Bloomington, citing the clarification of the term in the legislative record as cited above. Id. at 400.

There are some court decisions that have ruled that the municipalities could require forms to be filled out when requesting this benefit and also require annual updates to see if any of the injured officer’s conditions have changed. Be aware that even though the statute is silent as to a time limit for the injured officer to file for this benefit, the IML’s sample language imposes a time limit of thirty (30) days to file the application.

Another decision came out that defined Medicare as a supplemental benefit and based on this decision, an officer receiving the PSEBA benefits, once he qualified under Medicare, will have his benefits under the Act reduced or ceased. Pyle v. City of Granite City, 2012 IL App (5th) 110472, 6. That ruling also stated that the Employer was not obligated to provide a Medicare supplement. Id. at 7-8.

The purpose of this article is to alert our officers that right now at least 11 jurisdictions have adopted the IML sample ordinance and we are sure many other jurisdictions will follow suit. Their definition of catastrophic injury is not consistent with the State Statue and we can only assume that their intent is to dissuade injured officers from filing for this benefit which will perhaps lead to a lawsuit and give them another chance to litigate and diminish this benefit.

 



By IL FOP Labor Council, Staff - Tuesday, May 15, 2018

 

Thursday, June 21, 2018- 9am-4pm

ILEAS Training Center
1701 E. Main St.
Urbana, IL 61802

Class size is limited to the first 50 participants. Please register with Chris Flynn at (217) 698-9433 or email: cflynn@fop.org Lunch will be provided.

9:00am - 9:30am - (Shawn Roselieb) Introduction to IL FOP Labor Council

Members will learn the distinction between the FOP Grand Lodge, IL FOP State Lodge and IL FOP Labor Council and the importance of each. (We suggest you encourage your membership to join FOP Legal Defense.) Get more information at foplegal.com.

9:30am - 11:45am: (Dan Bailey and Tamara Cummings) Handling a Critical Incident

Members will learn their role in handling a critical incident, and what they should do to protect the rights of their coworkers. IL FOP LC Critical Incident Hotline 1-(877) IFOP-911.

11:45am - 12:15pm: Lunch provided on-site

12:15pm - 12:45pm: (Jay Johnson) Worker’s Comp Issues

Members will learn the rights of injured workers, tailored to the unique circumstances of those working in the law enforcement field. Instruction will include the importance of giving proper and timely notice of work accidents, the importance of injured employees to treat with their own physicians rather than physicians chosen by the department, the unique protections under PEDA and the Public Safety Employees Benefit Act, the rights to compensation for permanent injuries (and what permanent means), and protections offered to injured employees who cannot return to their normal job.

12:45pm- 2:15pm (Dave Nixon) New Steward Training

Instruction will cover the following topics: running meetings, developing by-laws, grievance preparation, and duties for representing your membership.

2:15pm- 2:30pm Break

2:30pm-4:00pm (Mike Powell) Collective Bargaining

Attendees will receive instruction on preparation for negotiations/ reaching tentative agreement or impasse/ mediation and arbitration.