Today, the Illinois Labor Relations Board overturned a previous decision by Administrative Law Judge Anna Hamburg-Gal by declaring the Village of North Riverside negotiated in good faith with its Firefighters’ Union by presenting valid proposals during its two year long negotiations. The Labor Board found the Village negotiated in good faith despite the claims by Union. The Labor Board agreed that the Village was within its authority to use sub-contracting of firefighting services as a negotiating tool to help reduce its fire suppression costs and acknowledged the Village’s final 11 year proposal to phase in sub-contracting of fire services when employees retired as a legitimate proposal that warranted more consideration by the Union. The Village did nothing wrong during its negotiations with its firefighters, but unfortunately we were unable to come to an agreement over new contract terms. However, the Labor Board did not agree that the Village could unilaterally terminate its collective bargaining agreement with IAFF Local 2714 and instead suggested the Village place its financial well being in the hands of an arbitrator.
The Village will continue to pursue cost saving measures to ensure the Village’s long term financial health. We value our firefighters and will continue to negotiate for a fair contract. We cannot lose sight of our main goal…..to continue providing exceptional services at an affordable cost!