Carpentersville Wins Award for Labor Negotiations

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), November 7, 2011 | Go to article overview

Carpentersville Wins Award for Labor Negotiations


Byline: Lenore T. Adkins ladkins@dailyherald.com

The Illinois Public Employer Labor Relations Association has recognized Carpentersville for its four contract negotiations in 2011 that saved hundreds of thousands of dollars, avoided layoffs and kept public services intact.

The village received the Rosemont-based association's James Baird Leadership Award, which notes "leadership and achievement" in Illinois public sector labor relations.

"The IPELRA board has determined that Carpentersville's labor relations efforts ... are positive contributions to the Illinois public sector labor relations field," Awards Committee chairwoman Mary Rath wrote in her congratulatory letter to the village.

The village this year negotiated four, three-year contracts with unions representing firefighters, police officers, police sergeants and public works employees.

But it was the talks with the fire department that set the tone for how the other three sessions went, Village Manager J. Mark Rooney said.

The firefighters union accepted smaller pay increases and other concessions that saved the village $192,640, and agreed to hold contract negotiations without an attorney.

"It gave some level of trust and probably assurance that policemen could do the same," Rooney said, adding that the village also kept attorneys out of the mix until the very end. "(Attorneys) didn't come to the table; that was just kind of an email and a conference call situation."

Rick Nieves, president of the firefighters' union, said the union also kept the taxpayers and their struggles in mind during the negotiations.

"It's not just about us; it's about the public," Nieves said. …

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