Teamsters Local 700 Files Unfair Labor Practices Against Cook County Sheriff for Violating Contract

Sheriff Tom Dart Violates Union Contract Under Lunch Premium Agreement

Teamsters Local 700 recently filed two unfair labor practices (ULP) with the Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB) against Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart after he violated the collective bargaining agreement between the union and Cook County Department of Corrections.

After Sheriff Dart unilaterally closed the Cook County Jail’s Division 5 in 2013 without following the contract and providing the appropriate compensation to the Cook County Department of Corrections deputies affected, Teamsters Local 700 immediately filed a grievance to protect members’ rights. The arbitrator rules that, while the lunch premium award provided compensation for temporary reassignments, it did not address what is due to CCDOC deputies moved as a result of a non-temporary division closing, but that the effects of such closures must be bargained with the Union or addressed before the Illinois Public Labor Relations Board. Local 700 has already filed an omnibus charge against the Sheriff for failing to bargain in good faith over the division closure and many other contract violations.

As part of the Lunch Premium award mandated in 2012, all employees who are subject to a transfer shall receive one hour of comp time for each day they are placed at a different division than originally assigned. Because Sheriff Dart closed Division 5 without notifying or bargaining with the union, the affected employees were transferred without any additional compensation. Local 700 believes that the Illinois Labor Relations Board will agree with the Arbitrator that the effects of the shutdown must have been bargained with the Union, and award appropriate compensation.

“The union is not responsible for the sheriff’s bad management practices,” said Becky Strzechowski, President of Local 700. “We represent thousands of law enforcement members and Cook County deputies and will not stand idly by as the Sheriff tries to ignore what we have both agreed on in this contract.”

Local 700 immediately filed a grievance against Sheriff Dart when he altered the criteria for employees to bid on a transfer by making them pass a Physical Agility Test. An arbitrator agreed and ordered the Sheriff to rescind the test as part of the criteria to bid on transfers. The Sheriff is not permitted to impose a physical ability criteria as part of any transfer process to the Court Services Department going forward, and deputies who were wrongly-deprived of the 2015 Court Services transfer will be offered first transfer rights at the next opportunity.

As is states in the Lunch Premium award, the criteria for employees that seek a transfer to court services do not include any physical tests. Deputies who were previously disqualified last year due to not passing Dart’s Physical Agility Test will now have the first opportunity based on seniority to bid on the open jobs within court services.

Teamsters Local 700 is poised to file charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Illinois Department of Human Rights if Sheriff Dart applies the Physical Agility Test to any Court Services Department employee adversely-affected by such a test going forward.

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