Court: N.J. towns can furlough workers without union talks.

By Ryah Huthins – Politico

Economic reasons are indisputably a legitimate basis for a layoff of any type.
New Jersey’s highest court ruled Tuesday that officials in three municipalities were within their rights to furlough workers at the height of the recession—even without consulting labor unions—because “economic reasons are indisputably a legitimate basis for a layoff of any type.”
The 4-1 decision by the state Supreme Court is a precedent-setting victory for public employers in New Jersey and was immediately condemned by labor leaders.

“There is no room for mandatory negotiation in the determination to reduce a workforce,” Jaynee LaVecchia, a centrist and the longest-serving justice on the court, wrote for the majority. “That is so because such decisions go to the heart of governmental policy determinations about what services are to be provided and how they will be provided to the public. Public managers must be the ones accountable to the people for such substantive policy decisions.”

In a fiery screed against his colleagues, Justice Barry Albin said the ruling erodes existing protections for union-represented workers and should not be taken lightly.

“The majority opinion sweeps away nearly fifty years of this Court’s public-sector labor jurisprudence, giving municipal employers the unilateral power to reduce the wages and hours of public employees promised in collective negotiations agreements,” Albin wrote in his descent. “Before today, the cardinal principle guiding public-sector labor negotiations had been that the wages and hours of public workers are subject to negotiation—not to a public employer’s fiat.” read more

Rauner pension plan would end union negotiations, freeze pay

By Sara Burnett, Associated Press

The legislation would prohibit state employee unions from collective bargaining on issues such as wages, vacation and overtime, and would freeze salaries for five years beginning this month. It would then offer workers the option of getting raises, more vacation or more overtime — but only if they agree to switch to a less-generous pension plan.
Rauner wants to give local governments the ability to file Chapter 9 bankruptcy — an idea he’s pitched as a possible solution to Chicago Public Schools’ financial mess.
Emanuel has said it’s “the wrong thing to do.” Madigan also indicated he opposes the idea. read more

Streets and Sanitation 3rd Quarter Training Opportunity Dates

Streets and Sanitation 3rd Quarter Training Opportunity Dates

Date: Saturday, July 11, 2015

Topic: Customer Service Requests (CSRs)/311 Complaints – How To Enter Them, Look Them Up, and Close Them Out; Management Reports including Alley Times

Time:09:00 hr – 11:00 hr

Location: City Hall Room 1107

Trainer/Contact Person: John Dunn RSVP: Email John Dunn at no later than Thursday, July 9, 2015

Date: Saturday, July 18, 2015

Topic: The Basic Concepts of Chicago Mobile Asset Tracking (CMAT) and Auditing of Worksheets    (GPS vs Worksheet), Microsoft Word 365 and Microsoft Excel 365

Time:  09:00 hr – 11:00 hr

Location: City Hall Room 1107

Trainer/Contact Person: Chris Reiser RSVP: Email Chris Reiser at no later than Thursday, July 16, 2015

Date: Saturday, August 1, 2015

Topic: The Basic Concepts of KRONOS/Time and Attendance System for Editing

Time:  09:00 hr – 11:00 hr

Location: City Hall Room 1107

Trainer/Contact Person: Steve Morales RSVP: Email Steve Morales at no later than Thursday, July 30, 2015

Parking:  Parking is available at the Streets and Sanitation Lower Randolph facility located at 351 East Lower Randolph or local garages.

All training sessions are voluntary and attendees will not be paid for attendance.  All attendees must RSVP to the appropriate trainer by the close of business on the Thursday before the training.

Classes are open to City of Chicago Department of Streets & Sanitation Employees only

Rauner opens up 2nd front vs. unions


As Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner remains locked in a stalemate with Democratic lawmakers over his pro-business, anti-union agenda, he’s opened up a second front, battling the largest state employee union over a new contract.

Also at issue are the governor’s proposals to change the way overtime pay is calculated and to allow the state to circumvent union workers by contracting out to private vendors.

But perhaps the most charged proposal is the one that would halt the state’s long-standing tradition of withholding directly from paychecks union member dues and fees on nonmembers that fund union activities. Currently, that money is deducted along with taxes and health care premiums, and then routed back to the unions. Rauner wants to end that practice, essentially cutting off the regular, predictable flow of money to his union adversaries.

Bob Bruno, a professor of labor and employment relations at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said the administration’s demands are “so draconian that they would practically strip away all of the standards and the level of benefits and working conditions and pay that workers are currently experiencing.”

If unions were to agree to Rauner’s terms, they’d “create conditions that wouldn’t even justify having a union in place,” Bruno said. read more….