Last week, Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Andrew Gasser replied to the latest court filing by Local 150 of the Operating Engineers effort seeking to enforce the 5-year contract that Bob Miller, the man Gasser beat, signed just before going out of office.
With a four-year term, Gasser’s attorney Robert Hanlon argues that the contract was more than a little unfair because,if enforced it would vitiate the April 2017, election results.
Attorney Robert Hanlon points out the union’s memo argues the lack of notice to successor Gasser, but that it admits (on page 5) “the issue is whether Mr. Miller had the authority to negotiate and execute the purported agreement.”
Gasser submits that the contract could not be executed without approval of the Algonquin Township Board.
First Hanlon makes the point that the filing of Local 150 violates a rule in such suits.
Then, he argues that Miller did not have authority to put the union agreement in force without approval of the Algonquin Township Board of Trustees.
Hanlon points out the lack of the citation of specific authority for the Road Commissioner to independently approve union contracts.
“No sections even remotely authorize or obligate the highway commissioner to negotiate or execute a collective bargaining agreement without the Board’s approval–which Local 150 has urged.”
The Gasser brief next sets out that the contract “must be voided in part because its term extended beyond Miller’s final day in office.”
The following paragraph sums up the new Road Commissioner’s position:
The next point made is that the Open Meetings Act was violated because it was not subject to public scrutiny.
That part of the Open Meetings Act prohibiting “final action” from being taken in a closed meeting is referenced.
Addressing arbitration, the brief says, “Arbitration under a secret contract is contrary to law and public policy.”