A press release from State Senator Pam Althoff:
Althoff’s compromise bill protects collective bargaining standards
Protecting the financial integrity of local governments in arbitration proceedings with firefighter units, Senate Bill 2195, sponsored by State Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry), clarifies that the high standard used by arbitrators to rule on manning proposals will not change with the passage of the controversial minimum manning legislation (HB 5485) in 2014.
“As an advocate for protecting local governments and taxpayers, I believe this legislation was necessary to clarify an issue that might have resulted in more tax dollars being expended due to unclear direction to arbitrators,” said Senator Althoff.
After becoming law in 2014, House Bill 5485/PA 98-1151 added staffing levels, also known as “manning,” to the list of mandatory subjects of collective bargaining for firefighters.
If an agreement cannot be reached, the local government and the collective bargaining unit will be subject to binding arbitration.
Many local governments expressed concerns that House 5485 would alter the way arbitrators determine whether changes to manning are necessary.
To ease their concerns, Senator Althoff introduced Senate Bill 2195 this spring to clarify that the “breakthrough analysis” standards would remain unchanged, thus protecting the integrity of the negotiation process.
Senate Bill 2195 is a compromise bill negotiated by the firefighters and municipal groups. It unanimously passed the Senate Executive Committee and has been sent to the Senate floor for further action.