INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS LOCAL 965, Petitioner,
THE ILLINOIS LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, STATE PANEL; and THE OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER, Respondents
Direct Review of the Decision and Order of the Illinois Labor Relations Board, State Panel. No. S-UC-13-044.
Michael W. O'Hara (argued) and Timothy J. Shrake II, both of Cavanagh & O'Hara, LLP, of Springfield, for petitioner.
Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, of Chicago (Carolyn E. Shapiro, Solicitor General, and Paul Racette (argued), Assistant Attorney General, of counsel), for respondent Office of the Comptroller.
JUSTICE TURNER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Holder White and Steigmann concurred in the judgment and opinion.
[¶1] In May 2013, respondent, the Office of the Comptroller (Comptroller), filed a unit-clarification petition with the Illinois Labor Relations Board (Board), seeking to have it clarify that public service administrators (PSAs) were excluded from collective bargaining following an amendment to the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act (Act) (5 ILCS 315/1 to 28 (West 2012)). In June 2013, petitioner, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 965 (Union) filed a request to intervene and a motion to stay the Comptroller's petition. In November 2013, the administrative law judge (ALJ) issued his recommended decision and order. In April 2014, the Board granted the Comptroller's unit-clarification petition.
[¶2] On appeal, the Union argues (1) the ALJ failed to timely rule on its petition to intervene and (2) the Board erred in granting the Comptroller's unit-clarification petition. We affirm.
[¶3] I. BACKGROUND
[¶4] On April 4, 2013, the Union and the Comptroller entered into two collective-bargaining agreements (CBAs) which were each applicable to separate bargaining units. Each bargaining unit included Comptroller employees who held the job-classification title of PSA. Both CBAs were effective retroactively from July 1, 2012, until June 30, 2015.
[¶5] On April 5, 2013, section 3(n) of the Act (5 ILCS 315/3(n) (West 2012)), which defines a " public employee" or " employee" for purposes of the Act, was amended (see Pub. Act. 97-1172, § 5 (eff. Apr. 5, 2013)). The amendment added language to section 3(n) which excluded any " person who is a State employee under the jurisdiction of the *** Comptroller who holds the position of [PSA]" from the definition of " public employee" or " employee." 5 ILCS 315/3(n) (West 2012).
[¶6] The Comptroller initially interpreted the new language in section 3(n) as self-effectuating, i.e., that as of April 5, 2013, the PSAs employed by the Comptroller no longer enjoyed the rights associated with collective bargaining. The Union took the position that the statutory amendment was not applicable to the parties' existing contracts and would not affect any bargaining-unit employees until after June 30, 2015, the date the parties' CBAs expired.
[¶7] On April 26, 2013, the Union served a grievance on the Comptroller, alleging the Comptroller's action " to unilaterally remove the [PSA] classification from both of the bargaining units" at issue violated the parties' CBAs. On May 9, 2013, the Comptroller refused to recognize the grievance, stating that because the PSAs had been excluded from collective bargaining by operation of law, they could no longer file a grievance or be represented by the Union.
[¶8] On May 13, 2013, the Comptroller filed a unit-clarification petition with the Board, seeking to have it clarify that PSAs under the jurisdiction of the Comptroller were excluded from collective bargaining and the bargaining units at issue as of the effective date of the amendment--April 5, 2013. The Comptroller argued a reading of the plain language of the Act demonstrated the exclusion of the PSAs was self-effectuating upon the effective date of the amendment. In the ...