Nine Grundy County sergeants that are represented by Teamsters Local 700 will be made whole after an arbitrator decided they shall receive reimbursement for insurance premiums that their employer failed to pay for.
The sergeants’ previous health insurance plan was cancelled at the end of January. When the Sheriff and the County did not provide a replacement plan and told the sergeants to get their own health insurance, Local 700 filed an unfair labor practice with the Illinois Labor Relations Board against them.
The current contract covering the sergeants expired on Nov. 30, 2015. The union gave notice to the County of its demand to bargain a new agreement on behalf of the sergeants on Sept. 3, 2015. Within the following year, Local 700 had offered five contract proposals to the County, all of which were rejected, along with multiple requests to meet. The parties were forced into mediation and came to an impasse, leading to the interest arbitration.
On Sept. 22, 2017, an arbitrator issued an award in favor of Local 700 and the sergeants, stating that each bargaining unit member will be reimbursed for the amount of any premium paid for any alternate health insurance they obtained for themselves and/or their families.
“Grundy County is contractually obligated to provide an insurance plan for the sergeants and they had ample time to come up with an alternative plan,” said Teamsters Local 700 President Becky Strzechowski. “We are proud to represent the Grundy County sergeants and are thrilled they will be made whole and also get the health insurance coverage they deserve.”
The sergeants will receive the reimbursement within 21 days after submitting all of their claims to the County. The arbitrator also ruled for the sergeants to be covered under the County’s insurance plan starting no later than Oct. 1, 2017 at no cost to them.