Despite our relentless efforts, HB 3653 has passed in both Houses of the Illinois General Assembly. The bill only passed by 1 vote in the State House, and due to the strong efforts of Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 and affiliate Teamster Locals working with our allies in Springfield, the bill is a shell of its former self. We were able to compel lawmakers to remove language restricting collective bargaining rights and eliminating peace officers’ qualified immunity. However, the bill still contains harmful provisions that inhibit law enforcement’s ability to properly serve and protect the public. We will continue to oppose the bill, and call on Governor J.B. Pritzker to veto the bill the minute it hits his desk.
I would personally like to thank each and every Teamsters Local Union’s Executive Board and Membership that reached out to their lawmakers in Springfield opposing this bill. There is zero doubt in my mind that collectively, our voices were too hard for the General Assembly to ignore, and that directly led to the whittling down of what was a horrendous attack on public sector bargaining rights and law enforcement’s ability to ensure public safety.
When HB 3653 was first introduced a week ago, it contained one of the worst assaults on public sector workers we have ever seen. It restricted collective bargaining rights to wages and benefits only and stripped peace officers of qualified immunity protections. While those issues have been tabled for now, the bill would still allow for anonymous complaints against officers and lays out a challenging process for decertification, among other changes.
We will continue to defend the rights of our law enforcement members. They are some of our most dedicated and hard-working public servants. We are monitoring other anti-law enforcement bills being discussed in Springfield, and will be keeping you updated as situations develop. We will never stop fighting for dignity, respect, and fair treatment for all Teamster Members!
Terrence J. Hancock
President, Teamsters Joint Council No. 25