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03/09/88 the County of Peoria, v. American Federation of

March 9, 1988

THE COUNTY OF PEORIA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT AND CROSS-APPELLEE

v.

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, COUNCIL 31, AFL-CIO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES AND CROSS-APPELLANTS

(ANTHONY

v.

SINICROPI, ARBITRATOR, DEFENDANT)



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT

521 N.E.2d 151, 167 Ill. App. 3d 247, 118 Ill. Dec. 83 1988.IL.324

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Peoria County; the Hon. Robert E. Manning, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE SCOTT delivered the opinion of the court. HEIPLE and STOUDER, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SCOTT

This is an appeal by the County of Peoria, Illinois (County), from an order of dismissal with prejudice of a complaint for declaratory judgment, the defendants in said action being the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31, AFL-CIO, et al. .

In 1984 the jailers at the county jail chose AFSCME to be their exclusive bargaining representative. The County and AFSCME entered into negotiations in an attempt to arrive at a written contract concerning the terms and conditions of the employment relationship between the jailers and the County. Agreement was reached on certain items but there was a failure in negotiating all items of an agreement.

In September 1985, the County and AFSCME sought the services of an arbitrator. They mutually chose Anthony Sinicropi, an independent arbitrator. After the County and AFSCME had presented their respective positions to the arbitrator, he (the arbitrator) rendered his initial decision in February 1986 on all items presented to him. The County presented the arbitrator's decision to its governing body, the county board of supervisors. The county board rejected three of the items decided by the arbitrator.

The County and AFSCME returned to the arbitrator for further proceedings. On July 2, 1986, the arbitrator affirmed his earlier award. The county board, on July 8, 1986, again rejected the arbitrator's award concerning salaries and wages and the arbitrator's interpretation of the statute (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1614).

On October 1, 1987, the County filed a two-count complaint in the circuit court of Peoria County. Count I sought a declaratory judgment relative to the arbitrator's interpretation of the result of an employer's rejection of an award and as to the nature of supplementary proceedings. Count II sought judicial review of the rejected substantive salary/wage decision of the arbitrator.

Subsequent to the filing of various motions and memoranda by the parties, the circuit court entered an order on January 14, 1987, which found that the County's action was not filed within the time limit prescribed by the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1614(k)).

The Act provides that petitions for review of orders of arbitration shall be filed with the appropriate court within 90 days following the issuance of the arbitration order. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 1614(k).) In the instant case there is no dispute concerning the fact that the arbitration award was issued on July 2, 1986, and that the County's petition was filed on October 1, 1986. The circuit court found that the petition was filed one day too late and was subject to dismissal.

The County argues that the term "issue" requires delivery and receipt and that the time limitation should not have commenced running until July 3, 1986, the date that the arbitrator's award was received by the County.

We disagree with the County's argument. The term "issue" is defined to mean to publish, put forth, circulate and to give out publicly or officially. (See Webster's Second College Dictionary (1972 ed.).) Though the result may appear harsh, we are not inclined to distort the clear meaning of the word "issuance." The County acknowledges by stating in ...


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