Resetting the Labor-Management Relationship at OUP


We reached tentative agreements this week with the Offices Under the President (OUP) on a handful of ‘low hanging fruit’ contract language issues.

We had a lively discussion about pushing the reset button on our labor-management relationship. The County is wedded to the existing model where management makes decisions, then informs the Union after the fact and we can then request meetings, effects bargaining, or file a grievance. We tried to offer an alternative model in which management meets with our members and Union Stewards before making a decision to get input about what may or may not work. Our approach assumes our members have valid experience and knowledge to contribute to the decision-making process. We also believe it moves from an always adversarial relationship to a more collaborative and problem-solving approach

An example that came up in the negotiations was how the Bureau of Technology is considering modifying the Field Tech I job qualifications so some amount of experience and/or certifications could be considered equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. We think it makes sense to discuss it with the people who work in the Field Tech I and II job titles as well as the Stewards in the department before a decision is made. Management is too used to the idea that they will decide what they want and put us in a position of either acquiescing to or fighting against their decision.

We meet again on March 15 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. We will discuss seniority rights in transfers, promotions, and layoffs; improving the disciplinary process; protecting Union jobs; on-call and certification pay for Animal Control. Then we will be able to focus on wages and benefits.

Other upcoming bargaining dates are:

  • Mar 8 Sheriff’s Office
  • Mar 11 CCH Technicians
  • Mar 15 CCH Healthcare Professionals
  • Mar 17 Offices Under the President
  • Mar 22 Sheriff’s Office
  • Mar 24 Offices Under the President
  • Mar 25 CCH Healthcare Professionals

You can view the latest information on Cook County Bargaining on our website. 

Be sure to show your union pride every Wednesday by wearing your Local 73 swag or wearing purple! Organizers will distribute stickers at worksites for you to wear. Working remotely? Here’s a Zoom background you can use in meetings!