May 13, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Waukegan, ILL – More than a year after court workers in Chicago’s northern suburbs filed a petition to be represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the union has filed four unfair-labor-practice complaints against the Lake County Circuit Court’s administrator.
The complaints, filed with the Illinois Labor Relations Board, accuse Circuit Clerk Keith Brin of firing a worker who was active in organizing, prohibiting workers from handing out union literature in the office, and refusing to open contract negotiations. An administrative-law judge certified the union last July, but Brin is appealing that ruling. Brin’s chief deputy said AFSCME had won the representation through “fraud and coercion” and “we don't answer to AFSCME.” “We weren't being treated fairly, so we came together to form our union," court worker Cindy Robers said in an AFSCME news release May 4. “The clerk's harassment and intimidation of us is out of bounds. We're more determined than ever to win a fair union contract and respect for the public service we provide.” Read more