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01/07/88 the City of Chillicothe, v. the Illinois State Labor

January 7, 1988





518 N.E.2d 734, 165 Ill. App. 3d 217, 116 Ill. Dec. 112 1988.IL.7

Petition for review of order of Illinois State Labor Relations Board.


JUSTICE SCOTT delivered the opinion of the court. BARRY, P.J., and WOMBACHER, J., concur.


This case comes on appeal from the decision and order of the Illinois State Labor Relations Board (the Board). Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 335 (107 Ill. 2d R. 335), the petitioner, City of Chillicothe (City or Chillicothe) seeks reversal of the Board's decision that Chillicothe had engaged in unfair labor practices within the meaning of section 10 of the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act (the Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1601 et seq.) against members of the City's Public Works Employees and Policemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Chillicothe . The relevant facts are as follows.

Chillicothe has a council-mayor form of government. Since 1977, members of the city council have been appointed by the mayor to a committee to meet with representatives of city employees. The committee has had several names, including "payroll," "wage negotiation," and most recently, "employee relations committee." The mayor also in 1977 encouraged the public works employees, the police officers, the dispatchers and the office personnel to select one or two persons to attend meetings with the payroll committee. The purpose of these meetings was to discuss employee concerns and what employees would like included in a payroll package. The annual packages compiled since 1977 have covered wages, sick leave, overtime, vacation days, personal leave, longevity pay, bereavement days, clothing or uniform allowance, holidays, and call-in procedures.

The PWE is made up of two departments of Chillicothe employees, water and sewer department and road and bridge department. Each year these two departments select two representatives to meet with the City's payroll committee. The representatives at the meetings present proposed changes that the members of the PWE would like to obtain from the current payroll package. The Discussions had and any counterproposals made by the payroll committee are then relayed by the representatives back to the PWE members for Discussion and consideration.

The PBPA is a fraternal organization for police officers. The PBPA purposes include promoting the welfare of its members and engaging in community service programs. All sworn peace officers are eligible to join the PBPA. Members pay dues, elect officers, have adopted bylaws and meet regularly once a month. Three patrolmen and the police chief are PBPA members out of a total of eight police officers employed by Chillicothe. William Gatlin (Gatlin) has been the president of PBPA since 1983. The PBPA president appoints representatives, subject to membership approval, to act as a negotiating committee. Members of PBPA and nonmembers are asked to provide input concerning what proposed package goals the PBPA representatives should try to obtain.

On May 15, 1986, and May 16, 1986, respectively, the PBPA and PWE filed separate unfair labor practice charges with the Board alleging that Chillicothe had refused to bargain with them in violation of section 10(a) of the Act. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1610(a).) The cases were consolidated for hearing. At the hearings the PBPA and PWE argued generally that they were labor organizations under the Act; that they have historically represented specified bargaining units of Chillicothe employees; that they requested Chillicothe to bargain with them over wages, hours of employment and other conditions; but that Chillicothe refused to do so.

We will not go into great detail regarding the meetings between PBPA and PWE representatives and the Chillicothe payroll committee since 1977, as those details have been sufficiently stated in the Board decision. Briefly, however, in 1977 representatives from the PWE and PBPA and Chillicothe committee members met two to five times in the city hall. The employee representatives were given the opportunity to state what they would like to have included in a payroll package. Certain suggestions were made regarding wages and benefits and the City later adopted a payroll package that granted, at least in part, requests made regarding wage increases, sick leave, personal days and vacation time.

In 1978 there were three meetings between employee representatives and city council members. The substance of the meetings was similar to those in 1977. Highlights, however, include the City's adopting a payroll package incorporating the PWE's proposal that the public works employees receive a clothing allowance rather than wearing uniforms furnished by the City and that a new lead man position be created in the department. All employees also received a pay raise and were given an additional personal day rather than two extra holidays as was requested.

In the spring of 1979 similar meetings were again held on three occasions in the council chambers at city hall. PWE sought a 10% pay raise, an increase in the clothing allowance and the creation of a mechanic's position. The PBPA representative requested that peace officers receive a 1% to 2% hazardous pay raise above any other wage increase and that Easter Sunday or Good Friday be given as an additional holiday. The subsequently adopted payroll package, although in the opinion of one alderman was not what "we agreed upon," included a 7% wage increase for all employees except policemen, who received an 8% increase, a $50 clothing allowance increase for policemen and public works employees, an additional holiday, and a new job position was created for a public works mechanic.

In 1980 and 1981 employee representatives and city council committee members met to discuss proposed changes in the upcoming payroll packages. Approximately three meetings were held each year. Topics of Discussion were wages, personal days, sick leave, vacation leave, clothing allowances, holidays, cost of living and hazardous pay. In both years the payroll committee, after the meetings, submitted a proposed payroll package to the city council for approval. The council approved ...

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