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Chicago v. State & Municipal Teamsters

OPINION FILED AUGUST 31, 1984.

THE CITY OF CHICAGO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

STATE & MUNICIPAL TEAMSTERS ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS (STATE & MUNICIPAL TEAMSTERS ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,

v.

HAROLD WASHINGTON, MAYOR, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES (AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY & MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES UNION, COUNCIL 31, AFL-CIO, INTERVENOR)).



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. James C. Murray, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE SULLIVAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This appeal is from a judgment in a consolidated action which declared lawful the city employee representation elections held pursuant to the election rules promulgated by the city of Chicago commissioner of personnel. The newly enacted Illinois Public Labor Relations Act (Public Labor Relations Act) (Ill. Ann. Stat., ch. 48, par. 1601 et seq. (Smith-Hurd 1984 Supp.)) took effect July 1, 1984, and totally preempts the field of collective bargaining for public employees. However, prior to the effective date of the Act, the city — through its department of personnel — divided the city employees into five bargaining units and, as a result, the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees Union, Council 31, AFL-CIO (AFSCME), became the exclusive representative of the city employees in all but one of the five bargaining units.

Appellant unions State & Municipal Teamsters, Chauffeurs & Helpers, Local 726; International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America (Teamsters); and Laborers International Union of North America, Locals 1001 and 1092 (Laborers), contend here that (1) the power of the city to conduct the elections was preempted by the Public Labor Relations Act; (2) the Personnel Code did not authorize the commissioner to enact election rules and conduct the elections; and (3) the rule-making procedure was deficient.

On February 28, 1984, the commissioner sent a letter to the Teamsters, the Laborers, and various other labor organizations, informing them that the city intended to conduct union representation elections for unrepresented city employees and had placed employees in five bargaining units for purposes of the election. Those units were:

Unit 1 — Administrative and Clerical Employees Unit 2 — Public Safety Employees Unit 3 — Human Services and Inspection Employees Unit 4 — Professional Employees Unit 5 — Library Employees

The letter stated that rules for the elections would be available on March 1, 1984, through the department of personnel, and that the city would accept valid and timely petitions for representation and requests to intervene by unions in a particular election. The city received a number of responses to its announcement. AFSCME filed petitions for representation in Units 1, 3, 4, and 5 and intervened in Unit 2. The Chicago Crossing Guards Association, AFL-CIO (Crossing Guards); Local 165, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO (IBEW); and Local 46, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), filed a joint petition for representation in Unit 2. Local 112(L) of the International Brotherhood of Carpenters Union (Local 112) threatened to pursue judicial remedies unless the city recognized Local 112 as the historical collective bargaining representative of certain city employees in Unit 3. The Teamsters and Laborers, in a letter from the Teamsters' attorneys dated April 5, 1984, demanded that the city rescind the February 28, 1984, notice and the elections rules. The letter raised essentially the same issues presented in this appeal. The Teamsters and Laborers, however, did not file a petition for representation or a request to intervene in any of the five units. After receiving the responses from the unions, the city scheduled elections in Units 1, 3, and 5 for May 3, 1984.

On April 18, the city filed a complaint against the above-mentioned unions and the Chicago Federation of Labor seeking a declaration as to the rights of the parties and the legality of the city's actions in establishing and conducting the representation elections. Motions to dismiss filed by the Chicago Federation of Labor, the Crossing Guards, SEIU, and IBEW, were allowed. Local 112 was also dismissed as a defendant, and its counterclaim and motion for injunctive relief were withdrawn after the city recognized Local 112 as the historical representative of certain employees. The Teamsters and Laborers filed answers and a joint motion for summary judgment. Edward M. Burke (Burke), an alderman of the city, was granted leave to intervene, and he also filed a motion for summary judgment.

The Teamsters and Laborers filed a separate action on April 18, seeking injunctive and declaratory relief against the mayor of the city and the commissioner. Alleging that the commissioner had exceeded his authority and that the elections would deprive the Teamsters and Laborers of their rights under the new Public Labor Relations Act, the Teamsters and Laborers requested the court to enjoin the representation elections scheduled for May 3. On April 27, AFSCME was permitted to intervene as a party defendant in the case filed by the Teamsters and Laborers, and the two actions were then consolidated.

On April 30, the motion of the Teamsters and Laborers for a temporary restraining order was denied, as were the motions for summary judgment. The trial court also held that the Public Labor Relations Act did not preempt the area until the effective date of the Act — July 1, 1984 — and that the commissioner's actions were impliedly authorized by chapter 25.1 of the Municipal Code. The city's motion for declaratory relief was denied on the basis that the department of personnel had failed to give proper notice of the proposed rules. The court then granted the motion of the Teamsters to impound the ballots.

On May 1, after the commissioner announced his decision to republish the election rules and to reschedule the elections for a later date in order to comply with the publication requirement of section 25.1-5 of the Municipal Code, the trial court vacated its order impounding the ballots. The Teamsters and Laborers sent a letter to the commissioner containing their views on the appropriate determination of the bargaining units. After the commissioner responded to their comments, the elections in all five bargaining units were scheduled for June 5 and 6.

The Teamsters and Laborers then filed a petition for preliminary injunction, challenging the rule-making procedures followed by the commissioner. Prior thereto and after the dismissal in this court of their interlocutory appeal of the denial of their motion for a temporary restraining order, the Teamsters and Laborers filed — on June 1 — an amended petition for a preliminary injunction which reasserted their earlier objections concerning the commissioner's authority. On June 4, the trial court denied the requests of the Teamsters and Laborers to enjoin the election, but did enjoin certification of the results until further order. The elections were then held on June 5 and 6.

On June 8, the trial court ordered the election results in Units 2 and 5 certified, since the Teamsters and Laborers did not object to the composition of those particular units. On June 11, it held that the commissioner's rule-making procedure was lawful, and a final order was entered which dismissed the complaint of the Teamsters and Laborers, denied its amended petition for preliminary injunction, granted the city's complaint for declaratory relief, and directed that the election results be certified. This appeal followed.

OPINION

I

The Teamsters and Laborers first contend that the Public Labor Relations Act precluded the city from holding the representation elections by preempting the area of collective bargaining by public employees. The State legislature does have the power to preempt the exercise of certain home rule powers by providing for the exclusive exercise of such powers by the State. (Ill. Const. 1970, art. VII, sec. 6.) The parties agree that the Public Labor Relations Act included express language of preemption.

"It is the public policy of this State, pursuant to paragraphs (h) and (i) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution, that the provisions of this Act are the exclusive exercise by the State of powers and functions which might otherwise be exercised by home rule units. Such powers and functions may not be exercised concurrently, either directly or indirectly, by any unit of local government, including any home rule ...


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