Posts Tagged International Association of Firefighters Local 50

Peoria Fire Department news

Excerpts from

The Illinois Labor Relations Board has upheld a summary ruling against the city of Peoria earlier this year which restricts the brownout of fire department engines. In February 2019, an administrative law judge summarily ruled in favor of International Association of Firefighters Local 50 after the city failed to respond to an unfair labor practice complaint filed by the union.

The union said the city refused to provide a signed copy of a memorandum of understanding it was using to justify the brownout policy, which took apparatus out of service on certain days in a cost-cutting measure. The union said it had made other consessions with the understanding all companies would remain in service.

The city claimed the decision was issued by the judge without notice or participation by the city, and said the substantial cost to taxpayers imposed by suspending the brownouts was prejudicial. It requested a variance.

But earlier this month, the Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB) disagreed. The board provided a timeline of the the communications between the ILRB and the city of Peoria, saying the city had multiple opportunities to respond and take part in the investigation of the allegations, but failed to do so.

The city said the initial notice was mailed to the wrong address, and claimed it was likely mailed to the wrong address again when re-mailed in January 2019. The city did not respond to an order to show cause it didn’t receive the second mailed notice, and it did not comment on whether or not it received e-mailed notices, the ILRB found.

Indeed, the city’s lack of activity in the investigation of the charge, a charge which the city clearly had notice of, belies its contention that allowing the default to stand would come at a substantial cost to taxpayers. If this case was so significant to the city and its residents, it stands to reason that the city would have been more vigilant during the investigation and in responding to communications from the Board. – ILRB ruling

The ILRB upheld the judge’s order to revert to the pre-brownout status quo, reimburse impacted employees with back pay, and head back to the bargaining table. The city can now take the case to an appellate court, if it so chooses.

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Peoria Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

City Hall and the union that represents Peoria firefighters are at odds over an ordinance that could change the way public safety employees are compensated after an injury.

At the crux of a lawsuit filed this week in Peoria County Circuit Court by the International Association of Firefighters Local 50 is the definition of a catastrophic injury. The city, in a June 12 ordinance, sought to define the term to cut down on abuse, according to a document issued to the council.

“While the General Assembly did not define ‘catastrophic injury’ in the legislation, they do allow cities to establish a procedure for reviewing these types of claims and providing some definition to catastrophic injury,” said City Manager Patrick Urich.“This ordinance provides that procedure for Peoria. The city believes catastrophic injury means being severely injured to the point of never being able to work again, in any field.”

The union, however, doesn’t see it that way and believes the city’s action is unlawful and blatantly wrong.

“The issue is, what the city of Peoria is doing is against the law. Every citizen should be concerned when a municipality decides they are going to ignore the rule of law and create their own law,”  said the union’s attorney, Jerry Marzullo.

Under the Illinois Public Safety Employees Benefit Act, a firefighter or a police officer who is injured so severely that they can’t continue could have a change in their benefits if they are awarded a line of duty disability benefit from a pension board. Such a benefit covers health care costs and other issues. 

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