Excerpts from pjstar:.com

A clerical error could cost the city of Peoria upwards of $500,000 after an administrative law judge recommended nearly a dozen firefighters be reinstated and the two rescue trucks taken off line last year be reinstated.

And while those changes would be substantial, neither Peoria Firefighters Union Local 50 nor city hall believe the recommendation, handed down in late February, is the final say on the matter. In fact, the Peoria city attorney says the reasoning behind the decision was a clerical error — the city never responded to the unfair labor practice accusations from the union that sparked the case because the complaint and other documents were sent to an attorney’s old place of employment.

But, on the surface, the Feb. 27 ruling seems to be a total win for the union as it orders the city to:

– restore the staffing levels of the Peoria Fire Department to levels it was before May 21, 2018, when a series of brown-outs were instated to help with budgetary issues.

– compensate those who lost income by offering back pay to those who were eligible to work on the rescue squads.

– resume bargaining with the local over staffing and work conditions.

The city will, in essence, appeal and tell the state Labor Relations Board what it thinks the hearing officer got wrong. The ILRB will likely hear the case sometime later this year.

The union filed its complaint last summer in the wake of brown-outs that were ordered by city hall to help close a budgetary shortfall. Local 50 cried foul and said the brown-outs were an unfair labor practice in the wake of an agreement they had reached in late 2017 that eliminated some unfilled positions in return for keeping the fire apparatus online.