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01/28/88 the City of Peoria, v. the Illinois State Labor

January 28, 1988

THE CITY OF PEORIA, PETITIONER-APPELLANT

v.

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



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT

518 N.E.2d 1325, 165 Ill. App. 3d 429, 116 Ill. Dec. 345 1988.IL.99

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

APPELLATE Judges:

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

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SCOTT

These consolidated actions came before this court on direct administrative review from the Illinois State Labor Relations Board (Board). The Board found that the City of Peoria (City or Peoria) violated section 10(a)(4) of the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 56 1/2, par. 1610(a)(4)) by refusing to bargain with the Peoria Police Benevolent Association (Benevolent) and the Peoria Firefighters Association Local 544 (Local 544) over wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment with regard to the City's police ranks below chief and the City's commissioned fire-fighting personnel in the ranks of assistant chief, battalion chief, captain, engineer and fire fighter. The Board found that the City had historically recognized the Benevolent and Local 544 as representing specified bargaining units within the meaning of sections 9(b) and 9(c) of the Act. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, pars. 1609(b), (c).) Although both the Benevolent and Local 544 filed two charges, this appeal will speak only to charge S-CA-270 filed by the Benevolent and charge S-CA-264 filed by Local 544, as the other charges stand or fall based upon the outcome of the above-stated charges.

Local 544's charge S -- CA -- 264, filed February 5, 1986, and the Benevolent's charge S -- CA -- 270 filed February 21, 1986, were pursuant to section 11 of the Act and the rules and regulations of the Board (80 Ill. Adm. Code 1200 et seq. (1985)). Both charges were based upon a claim of historical recognition and alleged that the City refused to collectively bargain with the respective organizations over the wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment of the employees in the affected ranks. The City has not denied that it refused to bargain, but denied the claim of historical representation. The City also asserts that if historical recognition is found to exist, managerial positions within the police and fire departments should not be included within the respective bargaining units. The City claims that its refusal to bargain with either organization was predicated upon managers being generally excluded from collective bargaining units by the Act. In other words, we believe the City's position to be that regardless of whether historical representation and recognition took place, the proposed units to be represented by the respective organizations are not appropriate units under the Act because they include managers.

Thus, on review we believe the issues to be as follows: (1) whether the Benevolent and Local 544 are labor organizations that have been historically recognized as the exclusive bargaining agents under sections 9(b) and 9(c) of the Act; (2) whether the proposed bargaining units represented by the respective organizations are the appropriate units under section 9(b) because they may include managers; (3) whether evidence regarding managerial status may be considered by the hearing officer pursuant to the filed unfair labor practice charged by the respective labor organizations; and (4) whether the City violated section 10(a)(4) of the Act of by refusing to bargain with the Benevolent and Local 544 over wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.

The Benevolent is an Illinois nonprofit corporation organized for the benefit and protection of its members, all of whom are police officers employed in the Peoria police department. The only rank excluded from membership in the Benevolent is the police superintendent. Currently all four captains, all 10 lieutenants, 29 of 30 sergeants and 138 of 141 patrol officers of the Peoria police department are members of the Benevolent.

The Benevolent is governed by an executive board consisting of elected officers and board members. Officers of all ranks maintaining membership with the Benevolent are eligible to vote in elections and run for office. The dues collected by the Benevolent have been deducted directly from the payroll checks of the members by the City's payroll department for at least the last 15 years.

The parties stipulated and the hearing officer found that the Benevolent is a labor organization within the meaning of section 3(i) of the Act. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1603(i).

Local 544 was chartered in 1938 by members of the Peoria fire department as an affiliate of the International Association of Fire-fighters . All ranks but fire chief are eligible for membership in Local 544. In fact, roughly 159 of 170 fire-fighting personnel are members of Local 544. The parties stipulated and the hearing officer found that Local 544 is a labor organization within the meaning of section 3(i) of the Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1603(i)), and that the ranks of the Peoria fire department are, in descending order: chief, deputy chief, assistant chief, battalion chief, captain, engineer and fire fighter.

In consideration for dues paid by process of payroll deduction, Local 544 provides certain benefits to its members, including group insurance, representation of members in grievance proceedings and negotiation with the City regarding wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment. Although Local 544's president has authority to appoint a negotiating team, a pattern of practice developed wherein the negotiating team consists of the union's chief officers, which may include members of any rank within the fire department.

The hearing officer found, based on the evidence presented, that representatives of Benevolent and Local 544 have been meeting annually with the City concerning wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment since the mid-1960's. The hearing officer details these annual meetings in her findings of fact; we, ...


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