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Total Articles: 5

Federal Court Strikes Down Lincolnshire’s “Right to Work” Ordinance

Last week, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois held that the Village of Lincolnshire’s municipal ordinance regulating union activities was invalid under federal law. The ruling is a defeat for Governor Bruce Rauner in his efforts to work with local governments to pass municipal and county-wide right-to-work ordinances.

Governor Rauner and AFSCME Extend Master Agreement, But Only Through September

Earlier this week, Governor Rauner and AFSCME Council 31, the union representing almost 40,000 state workers, agreed to temporarily extend the terms of the 2012-2015 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and prohibit a strike or lockout until September 30, 2015. At the same time, Governor Rauner vetoed SB 1229, a union-backed bill which would have prohibited the Governor from locking out state employees, instead requiring the parties to proceed to arbitration after impasse. Despite the extension, a successor CBA remains elusive.

General Assembly Bans Strikes by State Workers, Expands Right to Interest Arbitration

Earlier this month, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation that drastically changes the collective bargaining landscape for State of Illinois employees. Senate Bill 1229 requires the use of interest arbitration procedures in lieu of a strike or lockout to resolve collective bargaining impasses between the State and the unions that represent its employees. Senate Bill 1229 also bans strikes by State of Illinois employees and prohibits the Governor from declaring a lockout. AFSCME Council 31, the labor union that represents nearly 40,000 state workers, supported the legislation.

Attorney General Madigan Finds "Right to Work Zones" Preempted by Federal Law

Last Friday, Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued an opinion finding that Illinois counties, municipalities, and other local governments cannot pass local “right to work” ordinances because they are preempted by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). State Senator Gary Forby, Chair of the Senate Labor Committee, and State Representative Jay Hoffman, Chair of the House Labor & Commerce Committee, requested the opinion. The Attorney General found that the NLRA only permits statewide right to work legislation rather than the “empowerment zones” proposed by Governor Rauner, which would allow local governments to enact right to work ordinances within their geographic boundaries.

Appellate Court Reverses IELRB: School District Did Not Unlawfully Change the Status Quo or Retaliate Against Union Vice President

In Thornton Fractional High Sch. Dist. No. 215 v. IELRB, the Illinois Appellate Court recently held that a high school district did not engage in any unfair labor practices when it did not assign 12-month secretarial positions on the basis of seniority, and when it did not offer a 12-month position to a secretary who also happened to be the Union Vice President. The Court reversed a decision by the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) on both counts.