(KANE COUNTY, Ill.) — Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Court probation officers and youth counselors represented by Teamsters Local 330, who monitor adult and juvenile criminal offenders, have voted to reject the court’s final offer for a new collective bargaining agreement and to authorize a strike.
The court’s offer would eliminate the existing wage structure, which already required the officers and counselors to work 15 years before reaching top salary, and freeze these workers at their current salary steps with smaller annual percentage increases over three years.
Local 330 President Dominic Romanazzi said of the vote: “These are highly trained, college educated professionals responsible for keeping track of thousands of offenders, including some on probation for felonies including sex offenses and domestic violence. Our members’ only desire was to keep the wage structure they deserve and fought hard to secure in the last contract, which eventually provides fairness in line with their duties and responsibilities, which are of the utmost importance to the public’s safety. The court’s offer does not acknowledge either the reasonableness of our members’ demands or the importance to the public of ensuring that these professionals are appropriately compensated for their critical work.”
The union offered to submit the contract dispute to an arbitrator in order to avoid a possible strike, but the court refused. The union has also alleged that the court violated the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act by failing to maintain the existing wage progression after the current contract expired in 2017.
The union members voted to authorize a strike in part to protest this alleged unfair labor practice, in addition to seeking to maintain the wage progression over the life of a new contract.
Local 330 will provide the court with a five-day notice of intent to strike as required by law. If the union does not receive a revised offer, which is acceptable to the membership, the union will prepare for a walkout.
Teamsters Local 330, based in Elgin, Ill., is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25.