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08/07/87 the City of Rockford Et Al v. the Illinois State Labor

August 7, 1987

THE CITY OF ROCKFORD ET AL., PETITIONERS-APPELLANTS

v.

THE ILLINOIS STATE LABOR RELATIONS BOARD ET AL., RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT

512 N.E.2d 100, 158 Ill. App. 3d 166, 111 Ill. Dec. 196 1987.IL.1144

Petition for review of order of State Labor Relations Board.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE HOPF delivered the opinion of the court. UNVERZAGT and INGLIS, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE HOPF

Petitioners, city of Rockford (city) and Rockford Public Library (library), have petitioned this court for review against respondents, the Illinois State Labor Relations Board (Board) and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees . Petitioners challenge that portion of the decision of the Board, filed on June 27, 1986, which, in determining the appropriate bargaining units for purposes of conducting a representation election under the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1601 et seq.), found that the city and the library are joint employers of library employees. In making their challenge, petitioners argue: (1) that the Board's decision is inconsistent with applicable definitions of "employer," and (2) that the Board's factors for linking the city and library are insufficient to find joint employer status.

On November 1, 1985, AFSCME filed a petition for representation-certification with the Board pursuant to section 9 of the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1609), seeking an election to determine whether AFSCME should be certified as the exclusive collective-bargaining agent for the employees of the library. The petition named only the library as the employer of the employees sought to be represented.

A hearing was held on the petition before one of the Board's hearing examiners on January 30, 1986. At that hearing AFSCME was allowed to amend its petition, over objection of both the city and library, to name the city as "joint employer" with the library. The main issue raised at the hearing, and also in this court, was whether the city and the library are joint employers of the library employees.

On May 16, 1986, the hearing officer issued a recommended opinion, finding that the city and the library are joint employers and that "in light of the authority shared by the City [of] Rockford and the Rockford Public Library, . . . meaningful negotiations over the essential terms and conditions of employment on behalf of the Library employees could not take place without the presence of both the City and the Library." Exceptions were taken by the city and the library to this ruling.

On June 27, 1986, the Illinois State Labor Relations Board issued its opinion and direction of election. The Board accepted, and adopted as its opinion, the recommendation of the hearing officer that the city and the library are joint employers of library employees. The Board directed that an election be held to determine either representation by AFSCME or "no representation."

The city and library appealed from the Board's determination that the city and the library are joint employers. That appeal was docketed in this court as case No. 2 -- 86 -- 0711. The Board, however, filed in this court a motion to dismiss the appeal on the grounds that it sought judicial review of an administrative decision which was not final. We ordered the motion to be taken with the case.

Subsequent to the docketing in this court of case No. 2 -- 86 -- 0711, an election was held pursuant to the June 27, 1986, order of the Board. AFSCME won the election and was certified as the exclusive bargaining representative of the library employees. The library, however, refused to bargain until the joint-employer question was resolved. AFSCME filed an unfair labor practice charge based on the library's refusal to bargain. Following a hearing on that charge, the Board determined that the library was guilty of an unfair labor practice by refusing to bargain.

As a result, the library timely filed a petition for administrative review which was docketed in this court as case No. 2-87-0085. The library then moved to consolidate case Nos. 2-86-0711 and 2-87-0085 because of the common question regarding the joint-employer issue, and this court granted that motion. Inasmuch as part of the consolidated petitions seeks administrative review of a final order issued by the Board pursuant to section 11(e) of the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act dealing with unfair labor practices (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1611(e)), the joint-employer issue is open to judicial review. Accordingly, we deny the Board's motion to dismiss the appeal on the grounds that it seeks judicial review of an administrative decision which is not final, and we address the joint-employer issue.

The library was created by municipal ordinance and is governed by a nine-member board of trustees, all of whom are appointed by the mayor of Rockford with the advice and consent of the city council. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 81, pars. 2-1, 4-1.) The library is a public tax supported entity which depends upon a property tax levied by the city council pursuant to section 3-1 of the Illinois Local Library Act. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 81, par. 3-1.) By this statute, the city has the authority to levy up to $0.15 per $100 assessed valuation for library purposes. When the library board asked the city council in 1983 to submit to the voters a referendum increasing the tax rate to $0.30 per $100 assessed valuation, the city council had to deny the request because it had already ...


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