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Will County union employees vote to ratify new contract

County executive 'satisfied' with compromise

Rex Robinson | 12/6/2013, 8:17 a.m.

“Working with the County Board my office sought to continue to maintain a progressive health care model for our employees,” Walsh said.

“During the negotiations my office worked to include an upper income bracket so that the highest paid employees paid a larger share of the cost as compared to the lower income employees. We believed this was fair, but there had to be a compromise on what this amount was. Ultimately, no one was completely happy with these agreed to amounts which often means this was a true compromise.”

The County, Walsh said, agreed to the continue “step” pay increases each year of the contract which mean union employees will receive regular increases of approximately 2.5 percent throughout the four year contract.

However, in the final contract these step increase, along with cost of living increases, were adjusted to allow for removing remove some of the lower paid salaries and bring these employees up on the pay plans.

“I am happy to report that AFSCME Local 1028 ratified our compromise contract on Thursday evening and I am hopeful that the County Board will give a strong approval of this contract at the December County Board meeting,” Walsh said.

“I want to thank all of our employees who continued to work throughout the work stoppage by the union and who kept county services going despite the strike. I particularly want to thank our negotiating team who spent countless hours at the bargaining table to reach this fair agreement.”

Walsh expressed optimism that both union and management employees could begin the healing process to repair relationships that were strained due to the strike.

Delrose thanked everyone in the community for the “tremendous outpouring of support.

To everyone who hung a sign or joined our picket lines, donated to our cause or just honked and waved, we couldn’t have done it without you,” he said. “Now we’re glad to be back at work, serving you, our neighbors and the countless friends across the county that we never knew we had.”

AFSCME represents more than 1,200 employees in the county court system, health department, highway department, Sunny Hill Nursing Home, county jail, and in the offices of the sheriff, coroner, recorder, assessor, clerk, chief judge, circuit clerk, executive and state’s attorney.