INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIREFIGHTERS LOCAL 49, Plaintiff-Appellant,
THE CITY OF BLOOMINGTON, Defendant-Appellee.
23 order filed April 27, 2016
23 order withdrawn July 1, 2016
from the Circuit Court of McLean County, No. 14-MR-111; the
Hon. Paul G. Lawrence, Judge, presiding.
M. Voyles (argued), of Springfield, for appellant.
J. Powers (argued), of Clark Baird Smith LLP, of Rosemont,
JUSTICE STEIGMANN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Knecht and Justice Holder White
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 In 2012, plaintiff, International Association of
Firefighters Local 49 (Union), and defendant, the City of
Bloomington (City), began renegotiating their collective
bargaining agreement. During negotiations, the parties were
unable to agree on the extent to which the City would
continue to pay retiring Union members for their unused sick
leave. Unable to resolve that dispute, the parties referred
the issue to mandatory arbitration. In November 2013, the
arbitrator entered a written order adopting the City's
final proposal. The Union petitioned for review of the
arbitrator's decision in the circuit court. Both parties
filed motions for summary judgment.
2 In June 2015, the circuit court entered a written order
granting the City's motion for summary judgment and
denying the Union's. In addition, the court denied the
Union's motion for an award of statutory interest.
3 This appeal by the Union followed. We affirm.
4 I. BACKGROUND
5 A. The Parties' Prior Collective Bargaining Agreements
and the "Buyback" Provision
6 The Union represents the approximately 103 members of the
City's fire department. In 2012, the parties began
renegotiating their collective bargaining agreement, which
was set to expire on April 30, 2012. While negotiating a new
collective bargaining agreement, the parties agreed on all
issues except for the extent to which the City would continue
to compensate retiring Union members for their unused sick
7 Since 1992, the parties' various collective bargaining
agreements included a sick leave "buyback"
provision, pursuant to which the City would compensate
retiring firefighters for unused sick leave time. That is,
the City would pay each retiring Union member an applicable
hourly rate for any unused sick leave that the Union member
had accumulated while working as a City firefighter. The
bargaining agreement applicable from 2009 to 2012 allowed
Union members to receive payment from the City for 100% of
their unused sick leave, up to a maximum of 1, 800 ...