Cook County Contract Delays Continue


At the Dec. 16 Cook County Board of Commissioners meeting, Local 73 President Dian Palmer outlined how our contracts continue to be delayed. She called on the Board to suspend the rules and direct the already agreed upon $3,000 lump sum payment to Local 73 represented employees as soon as possible.

“On July 12, our union signed the tentative agreements with Cook County, ended our strike, and voted to return to work. On July 29, we sent redlined drafts of the new collective bargaining agreements to BHR. On August 16, we notified BHR that our members had ratified all of the contracts. It wasn’t until October 12, when BHR finally communicated with us about the contracts. We met with County representatives on November 16 and again on November 23. These virtual meetings outlined what needed to take place to get our contracts signed and ratified by the County Board. On November 24, our union sent all redlined corrections to BHR. And on November 29, we sent all executed signature pages to BHR,” stated Palmer.

“Since then, we have been waiting for BHR to collect the signatures from each elected office. It is our understanding elected officials did not receive the documents for signature until December 10. Today marks the eighteenth day that BHR has had to bring our contracts before this Board.”

“It is difficult to not perceive these delays as undue punishment for our members for their 18-day strike. Today you are voting on contracts for the Teamsters and the Police. After today, you will have ratified contracts for Teamsters, the Fraternal Order of Police, AFSCME, and the National Nurses Organizing Committee. Our contracts should have been ratified as well.”

“Given that our members have been working without a contract for more than a year, and the holidays being just over a week away, we ask you to suspend the rules, and direct the already agreed upon $3,000 lump sum payment to Local 73 represented employees as soon as possible.”

“We also call on you to question the process and determine whether the delay in bringing our contracts before you was intentional and punitive.”

Commissioner Larry Suffredin requested a response to which Cook County Director of Labor Relations LaShon DeFell claimed, “the County must receive the award [from the arbitrator] to finalize the CBAs to present to the Board…the longstanding normal course of business has been to present the final agreements.”