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AFSCME v. State, Department of Central Management Services

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division

May 19, 2015

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY, AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES (AFSCME), COUNCIL 31, Petitioner, (Glen Bell, Lisa Krebs, Carol Gibbs, David Johnson, and Maureen Haugh-Stover, Individual Objectors).
v.
THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, THE DEPARTMENT OF CENTRAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES, and THE ILLINOIS LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, STATE PANEL, Respondents

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Petition for Review of a Decision and Order of the Illinois Labor Relations Board, State Panel. Nos. S-DE-14-005, S-DE-14-008, S-DE-14-009, S-DE-14-010, S-DE-14-017, S-DE-14-021, S-DE-14-026, S-DE-14-028, S-DE-14-030, S-DE-14-031, S-DE-14-032, S-DE-14-034, S-DE-14-039, S-DE-14-040, S-DE-14-041, S-DE-14-042, S-DE-14-043, S-DE-14-044, and S-DE-14-045.

Affirmed.

For American Federation of State, County And Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31, Petitioner: Melissa J. Auerbach, Stephen A. Yokich, Gail E. Mrozowski, Andrew B. Epstein, Cornfield and Feldman, LLP, Chicago, IL.

For Illinois Dept. of Central Management Services and Illinois Labor Relations Board: Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, State of Illinois, Carolyn E. Shapiro, Solicitor General, Ann C. Makaleris, Assistant Attorney General, Chicago, Ill.

PRESIDING JUSTICE SIMON delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Neville and Pierce concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

SIMON, Judge

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[¶1] This case deals with a statute aimed at increasing efficiency in the state government by reducing collective bargaining unit membership among management-level state employees. The goal of the statute is to ensure that certain employees' undivided loyalty will be to the executive branch, as collective bargaining unit membership inhibits their ability to manage subordinates with whom they share common interests as collective bargaining members. To further that stated objective, the General Assembly passed a statute that gave the Governor the authority to " designate" up to 3,580 state employment positions. " Designate" in this context means that the Governor can file a petition and, so long as the employment position qualifies for exemption under certain statutory parameters, the employee occupying that position becomes excluded from his or her collective bargaining unit.

[¶2] Under the authority of that statute, the Governor filed petitions identifying the positions occupied by the individual objectors in these cases (individuals) for exclusion from their collective bargaining units. The Governor's designations were approved by the Illinois Labor Relations Board, thereby excluding the individuals from their collective bargaining units. AFSCME, on behalf of the designated employees, filed this appeal arguing that the statute is unconstitutional. We reject AFSCME's arguments, and, therefore, we affirm the decisions of the Illinois Labor Relations Board.

[¶3] BACKGROUND

[¶4] In 2011, the Illinois General Assembly began to debate measures that would remove state workers in management positions from their collective bargaining units with the goal that those employees would act as managers and would not act with any allegiance to their fellow collective bargaining unit members. The stated objective of these legislative efforts was to increase efficiency in the state government. In 2013, the General Assembly passed a public act that narrowed the class of those that could be considered " public employees" and set up a process by which the Governor could designate up to 3,580 positions as excluded from collective bargaining units. Months later, the General Assembly passed another public act that exempted certain specific state employment positions from designation--positions that may have otherwise been considered to have fallen within the ambit of those subject to designation under the initial

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public act. The public acts were approved and signed into law by the Governor on April 5, 2013, and together they became section 6.1 of the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act (Act) (5 ILCS 315/6.1 (West Supp. 2013)).

[¶5] Beginning in August 2013, consistent with the procedures set forth in the Act, the Department of Central Management Services, on behalf of the Governor, filed petitions with the Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB) seeking to exclude certain public employment positions from collective bargaining units. AFSCME, on behalf of the individuals, contested their removal from their collective bargaining units and filed objections to the petitions. The ILRB approved the Governor's decision to strip the individuals' collective bargaining rights. In four of the five administrative cases before us, the ILRB relied exclusively on the positions' title--" senior public service administrator" --for its determination that the Governor's action was appropriate. Section 6.1(b)(2) of the statute permits the Governor to designate, and the ILRB to approve the designation, based solely on the position's title. " Senior public service administrator" is one of the position titles that the statute authorizes the Governor to designate. The ILRB rejected the individuals' request for an evidentiary hearing as well as their constitutional challenges. In the other of the five cases currently before us, the ILRB found that the positions were Rutan -exempt (see generally Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois, 497 U.S. 62, 110 S.Ct. 2729, 111 L.Ed.2d 52 (1990)) and exempt from jurisdiction B of the Personnel Code (20 ILCS 415/8b). Section 6.1(b)(3) of the statute permits the Governor to designate employees, and the ILRB to approve the designation, based on those criteria.

[¶6] The statute at issue is the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act (5 ILCS 315/1 et seq. (West 2012)). The statutory section challenged by the individuals is titled " Gubernatorial designation of certain public employment positions as excluded from collective bargaining." 5 ILCS 315/6.1 (West Supp. 2013). That section, in pertinent part, provides:

" The Governor is authorized to designate up to 3,580 State employment positions collectively within State agencies directly responsible to the Governor, and, upon designation, those positions and employees in those positions, if any, are hereby excluded from the self-organization and collective bargaining provisions of Section 6 of this Act. Only those employment positions that have been certified in a bargaining unit on or after December 2, 2008, that have a pending petition for certification in a bargaining unit on April 5, 2013 (the effective date of Public Act 97-1172), or that neither have been certified in a bargaining unit on or after December 2, 2008 nor have a pending petition for certification in a bargaining unit on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly are eligible to be designated by the Governor under this Section. The Governor may not designate under this Section, however, more than 1,900 employment positions that have been certified in a bargaining unit on or after December 2, 2008." 5 ILCS 315/6.1(a) (West Supp. 2013).

The statute goes on to provide metrics to instruct the Governor as to which positions qualify for designation.

" To qualify for designation under this Section, the employment position must meet one or more of the following requirements:
(1) it must authorize an employee in that position to act as a legislative liaison;

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(2) it must have a title of, or authorize a person who holds that position to exercise substantially similar duties as an, Agency General Counsel, Agency Chief of Staff, Agency Executive Director, Agency Deputy Director, Agency Chief Fiscal Officer, Agency Human Resources Director, Senior Public Service Administrator, Public Information Officer, or Chief Information Officer;
(3) it must be a Rutan-exempt, as designated by the employer, position and completely exempt from ...

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