Union votes to authorize strike against Village of Oak Park

SEIU Local 73 votes 85 percent in favor of strike

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

Members of the Service Employees International Union Local 73, a public service union, voted Friday to authorize a strike for a number of village employees if compromises are not met.

The group, voting at the village's public works building, approved the strike authorization vote with an 85 percent approval, according to Tim McDonald, group vice president.

Oak Park's Interim Village Manager Cara Pavlicek said the village and SEIU are currently in federal mediation over the contract.

"We will continue to work through the issues that the group has brought forward to us," she said. Another meeting is scheduled in July 2.

Adam Rosen, communications director for the union group, said the strike authorization would be presented to village staff. The next meeting is scheduled for July 2.

"We hope village management has seen the strike authorization vote and will come to the bargaining table with something that will be respectable to accept," he said Monday.

The strike authorization gives the union's leadership leverage in negotiations by allowing them to begin a strike.

The collective bargaining effort between Oak Park and the union involves a number of employees across multiple departments. SEIU Local 73 represents some 45 village employees, including staffers from parking enforcement, forestry, police records, the village clerk's department, code administration, water, building departments, finance and adjudication.

According to the union, Oak Park's village management wants no retroactivity on any wage increases, merit pay increases tied to no grievances being filed, decreased holiday and Sunday pay from double time to time-and-a-half for hours worked, and loss of overtime pay if sick, holiday or vacation days are used in the same week as the overtime was earned.

Instead, management is offering a 1 percent wage increase plus a 1 percent merit increase and is offering one additional sick day, according to the union.

The strike authorization vote doesn't mean a strike will happen.

It gives the union's bargaining committee the ability to deliver a five-day strike notice to village management, which would give the group the ability to strike after the five days.

Contact:
Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

Reader Comments

123 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: July 5th, 2012 7:42 AM

Lopez,Union Steward: BTW,as an ex-Teamester union memeber when I was in college I worked for UPS. I had to pay full union dues and full entrance fee just like the full time workers for a part time job loading trucks. No benefits, except a button and a card. I worked in the 100 degree heat, the big box drivers had air conditioning in the cabs of their semi tractors.. Never knew where my union dues went to. Strange how that worked.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: July 5th, 2012 7:32 AM

Lopez,Union Steward: According to article,"Staffers from parking enforcement,police records,building department,fiance and adjudication", who voted to go on strike, are not working in the 100 degree heat, but inside the air conditioned office. They are not the employees who work outside whom you cite. These are your words. Thank you.

Lopez, Union Steward  

Posted: July 4th, 2012 10:54 PM

Mr. Slowiak, our union represents 76 members in many different departments at village hall. Yes, it includes Forestry, Parking Enforcement, Parking Meter Techs, Engineering Techs,Building and Property inspectors and so on who work outside, not in air-conditioning in village hall. And again, please don't forget our Public Works employees (and those who fall under the department of Public Works and other departments)who will be outside in over 100 degree heat tomorrow and Friday. Thank you

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: July 4th, 2012 9:07 PM

Lopez, Union Steward: My point is that according to the article the union employees who threaten to go on strike are not working in the 100 heat, as per your mention on June 27th. "Please dont forget our public works employees, they will be in 100 degree heat tomorrow" The employees who work outside are completely different than those that work inside.

Lopez, Union Steward  

Posted: July 4th, 2012 1:13 PM

Slowiak, your point? Yes, most Union employees have air-conditioning and we are grateful for it.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: July 4th, 2012 11:53 AM

To Lopez, Union Steward: From the article only parking enforcement and forestry will be out in the 100 temperature. All the rest will be inside. And thats "staffers" if that is the same as line personnel.

charles from river forest  

Posted: July 4th, 2012 10:43 AM

Ignore these rude comments and stand up to the village mismanagement team!! Oak park is the place to go if you get fired from another village manager position!!!

Dutch Elm  

Posted: June 29th, 2012 10:46 AM

Q and Rah Rah. I am self employed. And I love the thought of all the selfless Union village hall employess rushing during their "breaks" to post comments to manage this PR disaster. Hilarious!

Rah Rah  

Posted: June 28th, 2012 11:06 PM

Dutch Elm, are you getting your information directly from the village mis-management team?

For The Last Time....  

Posted: June 28th, 2012 5:44 PM

Private sector unions, Yes. Public sector unions, no. Oh, and by the way, all you public sector unions have your waiver for that Obamination health insurance crap that the rest of us can,t opt out of. A rigged game indeed.

Nicole from Oak Park  

Posted: June 28th, 2012 4:27 PM

I was sad to see the accusations made about me after I commented. I do not recall personally attacking anybody. For one thing, I am not a village employee, commenting during work hours. Those accusing -- who is to say that you are not part of the village management team commenting during work hours- it isn't fair accusation to make! I am a mother of 3 who works part time at a restaurant- I do not work for the village, but I do live here and pay taxes here-I should be aloud to voice my support

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 28th, 2012 4:21 PM

Dutch Elm, if you are working, you are working without any breaks. The union cheer leading is being done on their break time, and with their own phones. Now that you understand, you should get yourself back to work.

Unfortunately  

Posted: June 28th, 2012 4:11 PM

Where to begin? Alright, I'll keep it simple: none of the sane "huh?" critics regarding the rationale of the strike are questioning whether or not the VOP employees are good and decent people. However, we ARE wondering how so many OP residents and union supporters believe that simply because they are SEIU members - that they are entitled to more, more, more? Nicole writes "I love that union members are standing up for what they believe in..." They SOLELY "believe in" getting more of my money!

Dutch Elm  

Posted: June 28th, 2012 3:54 PM

It's Thursday, 3:50PM. Again, today, all of the Union cheeleading (from Village staff) has been occuring during working hours. PLEASE GET BACK TO WORK!

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 28th, 2012 2:44 PM

Quinten from Oak Park, what type of business are you in partnership with? Do you have it union workers too? We still need unions to protect that workers are paid fairly.

Quinten from Oak Park  

Posted: June 28th, 2012 2:32 PM

My partner and I are glad to see that the union members are standing together. I hope this will make the village management realize the need for a fair contract.

Nicole  

Posted: June 28th, 2012 12:16 PM

Whooo! Hooo! I love that the union members are standing up for what they believe in, and that they are standing up against an unfair contract! Keep negotiating,and use the strike if you need to! Keep standing up for what is right!

Annie from The OP  

Posted: June 28th, 2012 11:43 AM

I for one support these workers. My sister lives in Wisconsin. Trust me- we are all very lucky to be able to collectively bargain here in Oak Park. It is one of the processes that makes our village even better. We are able to hear the voices of our workers and to stand with them!!!!

Stefania from Oak Park  

Posted: June 28th, 2012 11:31 AM

I would like to thank all of the village workers who are working in the 102 degree weather today. I would like to thank the workers that keep our village clean, safe and in order. I would like to thank the workers who greet me with a friendly smile when I go to village hall, all of the workers who are always going above and beyond what is asked of them. I would like to thank the workers who are devoted to the Village of Oak Park, and to those who help make it great. I support the union!!!!

Wondering  

Posted: June 28th, 2012 7:55 AM

As an employer of a grandfathered union shop, I can say that most of the guys would give up the union membership. Unions long ago stopped being in the business of "protecting the workers" and are in the business of protecting the union bosses who still get their cars, vacations, HUGE salaries...Unions had their place at one time but that time has come and gone long ago.

Lopez, Union Steward  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 11:40 PM

I have to respond to some of the negative comments about my fellow co-workers. We work very hard at our jobs. We take pride in our work and treat residents with respect. We do not make policy but must follow it. We go above and beyond to assist residents. Residents are appreciative of the service they receive at village hall and thank us. It is nice to hear but no need for thanks, it is our job. Please don't forget about our public works employees, they will be in 100 degree heat tomorrow.

ILLEGAL Immigrant Guy from Sanctuary City  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 10:02 PM

I don't understand. Cook County Democrats give us sanctuary (also known as breaking the law )and then we take jobs away from legal residents cause we work so cheap. Public sector union employees support the Cook County Democrat Party that allows us lawbreakers to stay here and take your jobs cause we work so cheap. Thank You silly, stupid Americanos.

Wake up from Oak Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 9:32 PM

Interim Village Manager Cara Pavlicek is behind all of this! That is one EVIL woman who smiles in your face and stabs you in the back to outsource your job. Why do you think the Village of Downers Grove fired her?? WAKE UP PEOPLE!

Frank Lloyd Hemingway from Joke Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 7:21 PM

As Hemingway said it best when he left this loser town...... Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds. He couldn't leave fast enough to leave Oak Park, and no wonder why.

Oak Parker's are Never Wrong  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 7:07 PM

Chicago IS a suburb of Oak Park.....

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 4:36 PM

Eddie from Oak Park, there is nothing more the village likes to do then to promote themselves as the best village in the country. How would a story such as how this cheese shop was able to encroach upon the entire sidewalk read across the Nation? "Oak Park Two Faces Accessibility And Diversity"

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 4:33 PM

Eddie from Oak Park, you would direct that to the building department who starts through the process of making sure it meets all codes, including the American Disabilities Act. If you consider Rob Cole, started out as a permit taker in that department, then jumped into the position of assistant manager of Oak Park, you may contend that he has family member who made the leap from clerk to assistant manager. You would have to wonder what it is about Rob that makes him capable of that position.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 4:30 PM

Eddie from Oak Park, is she has her business fixed location, then from her door to the curb has a canopy which is supported by the curb side by permanent structures. She has a space between her door and tables on the sidewalk for her employees to access the outdoor side cart and if anyone wants to walk by, she will let them walk between her employees and the patrons. As for who allowed the structure to be built, Cont....

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 4:27 PM

Eddie from Oak Park, Poor Phil's does make it difficult, but people can still turn sideways when passing each other, or what at one end when someone is a wheelchair is going by or someone pushing a baby stroller, and the sidewalk is is closest to the street. Mary Jo's cheese emporium does it differently. She has decided to take all of the sidewalk. The way Mary jo has it, Cont....

Eddie from Oak Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 3:34 PM

The sidewalk situation on South Marion needs to be addressed by the village. The Cheese Market and Poor Phil's are obstructing public walkways that we, the property taxpayers of the village, are facing assessments for having had them upgraded. This is outrageous. Who approved these fixtures? They need to be removed, with the bills for any repairs being sent to those businesses.

Dutch Elm  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 3:26 PM

Love it how almost all of the responses from Union supporters (village employees) are during working hours! Must be lot's of newspaper reading going on! THWACK!

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 3:06 PM

Done from Oak Park, that won't be the problem of Mary Jo's. The Village tax payers will pay for the special requirements needed to remove any snow. The taxpayers own the sidewalk, and the village is hired by the taxpayers, but the village will do what Mary Jo, tells them to do. She has obstructed the full width of that sidewalk. Her business can not operate on the sidewalk without going across the so called area that someone in a wheelchair can still access the Mary Jo Public Sidewalk.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 3:03 PM

Mares from River Forest Cont... Because someone donates or starts an organization, which in itself has a lot of advantages when you want politicians on your side, doesn't mean it entitles anyone to special treatment of any kind, and especially when tax payers are being taken advantage of. If her niece uses a chair, it is not a pleasant experience going through the center of a business trying to access a sidewalk. Mares, can I have a bar b que on your lawn if I help better someone else?

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 3:02 PM

Mares from River Forest Cont... Research and find the majority of charitable organizations start by people who they themselves or a close family member has been effected by what the organization is about. Cont....

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 3:01 PM

Mares from River Forest, my goodness, that Mary Jo is such a wonderful person to help out with giving money but that has nothing to do with her business at Marion and South Blvd. Cont....

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 2:55 PM

Wait until it snows and ice builds up around the pillars and sidewalks and makes it difficult to walk around, if not to shovel. Or are the pillars and the sidewalks heated?

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 2:41 PM

Bill from Forest Park, if they haven't, they still owe for the sidewalk usage. If you know people in Oak Park, tell them to go get their fair share of the cheese because profit or not, private businesses have no business building on public sidewalks.

Mares from River Forest  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 2:32 PM

@ Q. Some interesting reading for you. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/08-10-2010/Good-hearted_capitalist http://www.goodheartworksmart.com/

Bill from Forest Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 2:18 PM

To Q from Oak Park Posted: Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 10:41 AM Has anyone gone by the cheese place at Marion and South blvd.? ... Are taxpayers sharing in the profits? Stop by the cheese shop and ask for your share of the profits. So, QfOP; you have knowledge the Cheese Mkt. has turned a profit? Please, enlighten us all with a figure.

What if it were you  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 2:16 PM

Its easy for you to say what you would or wouldnt do until you step in those shoes.the cost of living goes up year by year by year and its not like people are asking for a 5,6,or7% raise, hell you work hard and watch the fat rats that dont do JACK get fat raises and dont wana give you anything.give the hard working employees what they deserve and all that strike talk would go away.

OPRFDad  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 11:17 AM

If you can't negotiate a wage and benefits reduction, including freezing defined benefit plans, to the extent they exist, for union employees in these economic times and this anti-union political climate, you are an incompetent boob.

Russ  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 11:16 AM

Salaries are determined by worker productivity and supply/demand of said employee skill. Sooner or later, the free market/competition catches up and will reduce the inefficiency regardless of union blackmailing or not. The crazy thing is that many of these union employees might actually make more without the union interfering. Particularly, the employees who are above average performers. Business competes fiercely for good talent and will pay for it.

rj  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 10:42 AM

Over promising, over paying, over spending - Stockton CA. - soon coming to a city near you.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 10:41 AM

Has anyone gone by the cheese place at Marion and South blvd.? The village used tax payers money to build the 5 million dollar street and gave the cheese store the right to build on the public sidewalk. Are taxpayers sharing in the profits? Stop by the cheese shop and ask for your share of the profits.

Unfortunately  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 10:37 AM

Un/Under-employment is about 20%. OP has foreclosed houses everywhere. The 10-Yr Treasury is at 1.6%. The SEIU employees are wanting to go on strike because their raise is only 1-2%?!? IL is going broke because of municipal employees and their benefits. Am I living in Bizarro World in OP? In the meantime, @jagbev, "my family" has "only" lived in OP for around 100 years - and we're kind of tired of paying nose-bleed taxes for generous wages and benefits for municipal employees - union or not!

jagbev from oak park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 9:20 AM

re:Luke ScottWalker As did many early settlers to Oak park including mine. You are not special. .Do you know the village is installing a new heating and AC in village hall. The unit will take care of only the FAT CATS offices ? hmm sounds like sweat labor for the rest of the bldg.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 9:20 AM

Again, what is it these employees are losing in this strike? Not a damn thing! And they are getting a 2% raise and an extra sick day! Let them strike! It's not like OP is asking for them to pay a larger contribution towards their benefits. Wait until that happens with our school district employees. Let's hear the bitching then! But I'm sure that will be OK since it's for, you know, the kids and we don't want to lose any programs at the schools, you know, for the kids.

Russ  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 6:21 AM

Bob, no the reason for the widening gap is that the low skilled jobs are competing globally and technology advancements have increased productivity. As a result, low skilled labor is being marginalized. Many jobs see significant increases in salaries with no union support due to supply and demand. Unions inflate the salaries of marginal and unproductive employees while deflating the salaries of the go-getters.

Sammie from Oak Park  

Posted: June 27th, 2012 5:41 AM

To all of you Union haters, where was your outrage when millions of our tax dollars were spent on frivilous decisions by VOP to install heated sidewalks, reduced if not totally non-exsistant services and who knows what other crazy and expensive decisions are being approved right now in the board room. VOP needs to give their hard working Union employees a decent raise on what are reasonable if not lower end salaries. They deserve it.

Bob Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 11:31 PM

The main reason for the dangerous and growing inequality between the US working class and the wealthy elite has been the attacks on the labor movement. The social inequalities that we have now are the road to perdition for any nation. Even uber-capitalist Henry Ford knew that if people are too impoverished to buy products than capitalism collapses. So if the idea of capitalism collapsing is so appealing to you, than by all means continue attacking the labor movement. But be careful what you wish for, because you might get it.

Union Monkey  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 11:27 PM

This is boring and doesn't deserve a response.

Are You Serious ?  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 11:21 PM

Perhaps you should think of changing that adorable inflatable black rat to a purple and green dinosaur, cause that's where public sector unions are going.

ref  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 11:07 PM

I'm with "Are you serious"? Yes, please strike. I'll be there with my resume in hand.

Union Monkey  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 11:03 PM

That's right, "Are You Serious", it is a union job you want. And why is that? The unions have fought hard for decades for worker rights and we will continue. If we can unionize more companies more workers can have a fair wage, OT, insurance and vacation. Less profit in the pockets of stockholders, CEO's and management, but come on, spread the wealth. Then you can take your share and send it to Mitt Romney.

Are You Serious ?  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 10:37 PM

PLEASE STRIKE. I have my resume all ready to go. Fair pay, time and a half for OT, vacation, insurance. Plus, as a bonus, I can bike or drive to work each day.

Luke ScottWalker from Oak Park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 10:30 PM

jagbev, you know nothing about me. My family's roots in OP go back to the 1890's, with multiple siblings/aunts/uncles/cousins still here. Our heritage includes turning out the old corrupt mayor form of gov here; founding churches; leading the fair housing initiatives; & educating generations of kids here. I & many of my relatives are former union members. We're disguted by the actions of union bosses & pols to bankrupt a once great state. jagbev, you haven't the 1st damn clue. Grow up.

Union Monkey  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 10:30 PM

I am confused why none of the anti-union comments have mentioned one word about VOP non-union personnel getting 3% "while there are so many unemployed people." Or doesn't that bother you? Stereotypical comments about unions are really getting old. Scummy, crummy people who don't deserve to give their children an education or decent life? Which big bank that robbed America do you work for?

The union is the real rat from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 9:53 PM

If you're unemployed and coming up on the end of your unemployment benefits the "pittance" you're griping about is tangible money. Typical union monkey threatening anyone who thinks about crossing the picket line, but thanks for making my point more credible.

ref  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 9:52 PM

The pittance the village pays? You are kidding, right? That word, pittance, it doesn't mean what you think it does.

Are You Serious ?  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 9:11 PM

Private sector unions, yes. Public sector unions, forgetaboutit.

Sammie from Oak Park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 7:43 PM

I am sure that many of those 50 unemployed people you are talking about had non union jobs leaving them at the mercy of companies who laid them off despite years of dedication because the employer could get someone to do the job cheaper. And why, because no one was there to help them fight for their rights. Unions work, get over it.

jagbev from oak park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 7:42 PM

well than try to cross the picket line and scoop a job or better yet, go volunteer your time behind the counters while the strike is in progress then come post a comment and let uis know if you would do the job for the pittance they are paying.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 7:41 PM

Russ - About 120 cities, states, counties, colleges, etc. in the U.S have ordinances re Living Wage. Most base the Living Wage on a federal calculation of poverty. That calculation is $24,000 per year. Any individual below $24.0 is considered to live in poverty and eligible for fed gov assistance. Most states use the fed calc for things like food stamps, rent subsidies, etc. The minimum wage in most states is about $7.50 though there are some with minimum wages as high as -$11 an hour. $24,000 per year translates to about $12.00 per hour, so $12 per hours is considered a Living (Hourly) Wage. There are no OP full time employees being paid less than about $16.0 or 25% higher than a living wage. With the financial crisis of 2008, many people began to say they were not receiving a living wage even if they made $100,000 per year. Those using the term "Living Wage" in that fashion are basing the view based on the standard of living they expect or aspire to.

The union is the real rat from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 7:22 PM

There are 50 unemployed people to every worker who strikes who would take those jobs in a heartbeat. Break the union and just replace them if they strike. All unions do is demand more for their members at the expense of non-union workers. Enough already.

jagbev from oak park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 7:14 PM

Re:Luke ScottWalker Im the 7th generation living here. And its people like you that have ruined our small village, our town and our country

Luke ScottWalker from Oak Park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 5:55 PM

jagbev: No, I choose to stay here & fight the good fight. Illinois govt should not be a cesspool of corruption & inefficiency. I was born here, and will die here trying to turn out the scoundrels (Dem & Rep alike) who see govt as their own personal piggybank, & we producers as their subjects. Illinois is better than this, but if we don't stop electing these pigs than we really will turn into Greece, or worse, California. Sorry, public unions are a part of the problem. The solution is to end them

Sammie from Oak Park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 5:52 PM

I wonder if Russ has ever heard of the term middle class also? Union workers are the backbone of our country's workforce. Plain and simple the SEIU village workers deserve to be recognized with a raise and benefits that reflects their hard work and commitment not take aways that lowers already underpaid jobs. Stop making excuses for the VOP who obviously doesn't value people who work hard for all of us. Pay the people!

Russ  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 5:02 PM

Can someone please define "living wage". Or is this another term like "fair share" that the left can't seem to really define when pressed for specifics. Given the economy, I don't think the SEIU would be too happy with the results of a strike. I am sure the village could fill these positions in no time with non-union workers grateful for a decent employment opportunity.

Sammie from Oak Park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 4:56 PM

The Viilage of oak Park needs to sit down and negotiate a fair contract with SEIU and village workers. As an Oak Park taxpayer I demand that our village union workers be paid a living wage. I am sick and tired of hearing how the village doesn't have the money to pay union workers yet look at the lucrative management salaries that the Village is all to eager to pay out. I say pay our union workers and if need be cut management salaries. VOP don't insult us.

ref  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 4:15 PM

From the article: "loss of overtime pay if sick, holiday or vacation days are used in the same week as the overtime was earned." This is hardly an austerity measure. Please.

jagbev from oak park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 3:37 PM

RE:Luke ScottWalker Then move to wisconsin with your brethren

jagbev from oak park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 3:34 PM

Re:Dutch Elm your log in name is a disease... seems you are too.

Unfortunately  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 3:31 PM

@Bob Simpson. I can understand the spirit of your post, but can you accept that many of your OP neighbors are struggling and that you are "happy to walk the picket line in support" of picking the pockets of these neighbors? Couldn't you instead set up an account at Community Bank and donate money to satisfy yourselves and the other supporters of "picking the pockets of your neighbors?" If not, why not? The employees must like their jobs - they're still there - they just want more money to do it

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 3:25 PM

Bob - these people are losing nothing, and in return, they are getting a 2% raise and one extra sick day for doing nothing more than holding up the village. Have a nice walk.

steve  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 3:19 PM

I'm in a union, i just want my bag o cash! i don't want to work, 3 days a week is too much! i'm going to retire when i'm 50 and move to florida for the following 35 years, at that point marry a 20 year old and she can collect half my pension for 80 more years. The taxpayers great great grand kids will be paying for my smoking hot 20yr wife's pension!

Consultants Fees 2012 from Oak Park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 3:18 PM

Does all these consultants fees mean that these departments need outside parties telling them how to do their jobs? Or is the Village just Wasting money? Hmmmmmmmmm.... I thing the SEIU should get there proper raise.

Consultants Fees 2012 from Oak Park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 3:17 PM

Straight from VOP Village Budget 2012 General Fund: Account 530667 (Consultant Fees)---- Administrative Adjudication $172,000...... Building and Property Standards $160,000..... Business Sources $115,000 ($100,000 more than 2011)..... Communications and Cable $75,000 ($75,000 more than 2011)..... Community Relations $10,500..... Finance $130,000 ($40,000 more than 2011)..... Health Services $115,500---- Just these 7 departments have $778,000 tax payer money going to outside consultants.

Bob Simpson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 3:15 PM

I stand with the Village workers and their union. We need more workers willing to stand up against the austerity tsunami that seems to be engulfing this country. I hope the Village management shows some good sense and arrives at a reasonable compromise. If not, I'll be happy to walk the picket line in support of our Village workers.

Unfortunately  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 3:09 PM

I have no idea about most of the details regarding this grievance, but I do understand simple math. The SEIU employees voting to strike are NOT teachers - which means that the lost wages will NOT be made up with a school year going in to the summer due to mandatory days of IL. Translated: every day that they miss is LOST money - for them. In the meantime, are they unaware of the economic stress today? They are griping AND getting a raise? I'm guessing that Ms. Lothson works longer - for less.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 2:58 PM

"According to the union, Oak Park's village management wants: no retroactivity on any wage increases, merit pay increases tied to no grievances being filed, decreased holiday and Sunday pay from double time to time-and-a-half for hours worked, and loss of overtime pay if sick, holiday or vacation days are used in the same week as the overtime was earned." Is their contract up? What exactly is it these employees are out? Is this timed for the influx of residents buying city stickers?

Dutch Elm  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 2:57 PM

Five Union hack responses since my post. Please, please PLEASE strike! THWACK! THWACK! THWACK! THWACK! THWACK!

OP Consultants Fees 2012 from Oak Park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 2:52 PM

Does all these consultants fees mean that these departments need outside parties telling them how to do their jobs? Or is the Village just Wasting money? Hmmmmmmmmm.... I thing the SEIU should get there proper raise.

OP Consultants Fees 2012 from Oak Park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 2:50 PM

Straight from VOP Village Budget 2012 General Fund: Account 530667 (Consultant Fees)---- Administrative Adjudication $172,000...... Building and Property Standards $160,000..... Business Sources $115,000 ($100,000 more than 2011)..... Communications and Cable $75,000 ($75,000 more than 2011)..... Community Relations $10,500..... Finance $130,000 ($40,000 more than 2011)..... Health Services $115,500---- Just these 7 departments have $778,000 tax payer money going to outside consultants.

Delusional Union Member  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 2:23 PM

Lose time and half overtime when I work 10 hours on Monday and take the rest of the week off? Never! I am an entitled bureaucrat sucking at the government teat! Ha! Ha!

OP Resident  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 1:57 PM

unfortunately, the group has very little power on individial level - so we need unions to represent their interests which is reasonable. There are projects such as ridgeland that are $25MM so it is hard to believe they can find the money. My guess is the Village is trying to prove a point/draw a line in th sand.

jagbev from oak park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 1:49 PM

Its TRUE PEter Lopez Does tell the truth. STRIKE STRIKE STRIKE

jagbev from oak park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 1:45 PM

My family has lived in Oak park for 7 generations and never have a seen such an influx of nouveau riche people moving into a community . OK so next time you are in line bitching and complaining to the parking area about the cost of your pass, think about how many others berate these employees. and they stand and take it, Its not as if they make the pay rates, talk to your board members who are the culprits. They hide behind their closed doors and allow their employees to be harassed. STRIKE!

Dutch Elm  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 11:54 AM

Let 'em strike. See what can be done with existing staff. See if the citizens start complaining about slower "service". Betcha there's still 30% bloat at Village Hall - and other OP agencies. SEIU can put up a rat, but, if the Wisconsin recall effort is any indication, the rat is already in the trap. THWACK!

UM  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 9:56 AM

Very few get the merit raise over at VH; thus, the offer is really 1%, and this after several years of no raise while inflation sucks the money out of you. Many of these employee live in OP, and non are "zombies." All very hard-working, often working extra time and not asking for compensation. The Village Hall part of your tax bill is tiny, and these employees' piece of the pie is negligible.

Union Busting from Joke Park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 9:54 AM

Well if the village is hurting so much, maybe the village should start selling off some of the hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate that it owns. Also, remember that each Contract the village has with each of the Bargaining Units, is agreed as a fair agreement by that bargaining unit AND the village.

Stressed Out Taxpayer from Oak Park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 9:43 AM

I am sure that the very liberal government of Oak Park has no intention of any union busting. This is a simple matter of math: paying double time vs. time and a half for overtime for village employees when tax revenues are still low. The VOP depends heavily on sales and transfers tax which are both at low levels. I am sure the affected village employees are all well above the "living wage".

DeJordy  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 8:05 AM

I hope they walk off and don't come back. Then maybe we can replace some of the zombies in village hall. The village is asking for employees to work for their pay. Not to cheat the system by getting overtime after using sick time. Not perpetuate an adversarial attitude with grievances. Unions make employees take a hostile approach to their employer.

Union Busting from Joke Park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 5:41 AM

The village is obviously trying to strong-arm another one of the unions into unfair compensation agreements between the two entities. I still remember how long it took for the fire and police unions to settle their CBA's. I think one of them took 5 years because the village was trying to strong-arm them also into agreeing into unfair labor working compensations. Stick in the fight and stay strong Union Brothers and Sisters.

Peter from Oak Park  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 2:01 AM

I also don't care for the high taxes that I pay as an OP resident. However, if what Lopez says is true, then it is unacceptable that full time village workers are making such paltry salaries. I support the strike. Besides, the bulk of our property taxes goes to support public education at the elementary, high school, and junior college levels. It does not go to this group of village workers. If we have to chop, we should chop redundant education administrator positions.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 1:05 AM

The union steward represents hard working and dedicated public servants who proudly perform their duties for the citizens of Oak Park. Village Hall management fought the efforts to form this collective bargaining unit and demonstrated hostility towards its' members. It's time to end the rancor and engage in fair negotiations that protect the rights of these staff members and serve the interests of Oak Park residents.

Lopez, Union Steward  

Posted: June 26th, 2012 12:37 AM

I am one of three Union Stewards for 76 SEIU members. I live in Oak Park and pay taxes as do many of our Union employees. We have full time employees who have been here almost 20 years and earn under $35k per year. We have lost 27 jobs in the past 4 years and all have stepped up and taken on more work. This year management gave themselves a 1% and additional 2% increase on salaries that go well over $100,000 . Please dont be angry at us for high taxes and wasted money.

Gym Koughlin  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 11:04 PM

I stand with all the union brothers. Fight the power, man. I'm always for the perceived underdog, man. On and on I go, each word more useless than the next.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 10:51 PM

Bill from Oak Park- Don't limit your inquiry to just VOP employees who belong to unions. Try to find out the policies for exempt personnel including those who serve in management positions. The Village's money woes are not the result of too many employees being too much. These union members are at the lower end of the pay scale and will be usually the first to see their jobs eliminated. Privitization and out-sourcing started during Alan Parker's tenure as manager and really hit stride under Tom Barwin. There's an interesting debate about understaffing in the police and fire department. Delivery of services is a key function of government. There are better options for reducing the operating budget than continuing to eliminate staff. End the practice of awarding no bid contracts and stop spending millions for consulting and personal services.

Kathleen from Oak Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 9:58 PM

SEIU - this disgusting, disgraceful organization should be strug up. Throw 'em all out and give the jobs to people who have been looking for work for many months.

reality check from Oak Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 9:54 PM

The economy has been brutal for many residents, who are earning less while paying more for medical care, etc. Meanwhile, Oak Park taxes have risen too high too fast. The aggressive ticketing policy adds insult to injury. If the village's municipal workers have the nerve to go on strike, I suggest they keep on walking and look for jobs elsewhere.

Fan of Walker  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 9:40 PM

Fire them all and privatize their jobs. Simple. Why should public unions expect more than what their employers (the taxpayers) get? If they are unhappy with their union jobs let them compete in the private sector.

Mitch Douglas from Oak Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 9:29 PM

@hey What you are saying is true. But if you are using public money then it's not true. Save your argument for private sector unions. Your position rings hollow for tax supported employees.

Bill from OAK PARK  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 9:20 PM

Village seems very reasonable. Would be nice for Wednesday Journal to let us know how many vacation/sick days these folks get and if they carry over after a year, how much of their pension is paid by village etc. My guess is it is much better then what those of us in the private sector get. Doubt people will be attracted to Oak Park with even higher taxes, not to mention the bill for teacher pensions courtesy of Madigan.

hey  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 7:52 PM

When everybody works for minimum wage, who will buy your Oak Park house? I hope all parties negotiate fairly, but wages cannot forever be driven into the ground. Not enough space here to explain that a living wage or better means that someone earns and pays their own way for healthcare, retirement, is less dependent on aid, pays taxes, puts money into the economy....if you own a business, don't you need customers who earn enough to be your customer?

Wrong John Silver from Oak Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 6:30 PM

John/Q; sorry, you're wrong. If unions actually did assure fair wages in this day & age it would be one thing. But as the private workforce has become more educated unions have rendered themselves largely irrelevant. Public sector unions are a completely different animal, & frankly should be abolished. It is nothing but a corrupt game between union bosses & Dem hack politicians who don't represent the interest of taxpayers. The VOP has 10 bargaining units. Very inefficient for taxpayers.

C Stewart from OAK PARK  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 6:21 PM

Hey, I'll take any one of those jobs at what Oak Park is offering compared to what I'm making now........Where do I sign up? I was in a union. Local 1 SEIU, as a matter of fact. They did nothing except take my money for union dues. When it came to fight for you if you needed their help, then they didn't know you.

Are You Serious ?  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 5:47 PM

Public sector unions support the DEMS. DEMS support Sanctuary Cities. Something has to give. LOL !!!!

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 5:37 PM

John, in full agreement. You need the union to assure there is a fair wage being paid. Lower the wages you will lower the standard that American's recall that made America Great. Now it's all cheap cheap cheap instead of productivity. The lazy people are the bosses who fire people to support his or her pay check. Then the company goes out of business.

Susan from Oak Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 5:33 PM

Strike? Yes, bring it on. No more parking tickets and I won't have to pay for a permit to fix my porch.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 5:32 PM

Bill from Forest Park, if that is correct, you can blame that on the writers skill of gathering facts. Just like the American economy is pretty much gone, so is today's young reporters abilities to really do the job correctly. It may stem from the change it kids sports where everyone is a winner regardless if they lost the game. It doesn't set a standard for improvement. Anything gets accepted, and Dan probably has given in and just throws his hands up as the pay checks continue to flow out.

Are You Serious ?  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 5:28 PM

@ Q. I am all for PRIVATE sector unions.

Dan in Oak Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 5:19 PM

This is outrageous, only time and a half rather than double time, no overtime if sick and only a stinking 2 percent pay raise to go along with an extra sick day per year? These draconian austerity measures would be an insult to Greek workers, let alone SEIUs finest. BTW-my taxes are due August 1, where do I go to vote for my tax payment strike authorization?

Agree With John  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 5:17 PM

I agree completely with John.

Bill from Forest Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 5:13 PM

How can SEIU Local 73 represent only 45 village staffers when 51 cast votes. It's more like 75.

Wondering  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 5:08 PM

Seriously? Strike? Anyone thinking about striking when they're getting a regular paycheck deserves to be replaced. I have no patience for this anymore oh and I don't have the money for it either.

John   

Posted: June 25th, 2012 5:03 PM

I'd rather my tax money go to union employees than sub standard business, whom recycle employees constantly. Take a look at the work in Rehm Park by non Union employees. Pathetic. What's wrong with paying workers a livable wage? The middle class is crumbling before our eyes and you nimrods want to speed up that fact. pfffff

Joey Two Times  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 4:56 PM

We needz more unions dues to support our Democratic candidates - it's an election year ya know...

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 4:56 PM

Are You Serious? Maybe an Illegal Aliens can take over in Oak Park. Would you like that? Do you like the idea of never letting anyone make a decent wage? There was a time in our Country, that you could have a job, by a home, and raise a family. Why can't America return to that? Because everyone wants cheap toilet paper from WalMart. Count when you go shopping next time how many products are made in China. China now has an economy, America's is questionable unless you count cell phones.

Paul  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 4:50 PM

It seems that the package that Oak Park is seeking is reasonable.

Stressed Out Taxpayer from Oak Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 4:45 PM

Let me see if I understand this: Unemployment is at 8.1% (or 8.2% depending on whether you read the NY Times or the WSJ)and property taxes are high. Oh yes, a great time to make demands of the taxpayers of Oak Park!

Are You Serious ?  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 4:44 PM

There are plenty of over qualified people that can and will do these jobs at the current going rate. Tell SEIU to take a hike. You'll have a least 100 applications for every one of those 45 openings and will end up getting better qualified and harder working former private sector employees.

Luke ScottWalker from Oak Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 4:43 PM

Really?? I stand ready to protect the interests of the taxpayers of OP.

Tired of Getting Ticketed from Oak Park  

Posted: June 25th, 2012 4:42 PM

I was pleased to see that parking people would be included in those who might strike. A ticket holiday would be a pleasant respite and improve Oak Park tourism and business in general.

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