Andrew’s “First Impression” Counter Suit Against Local 150 of the Operating Engineers

Andrew Gasser

Bob Miller

Yesterday, Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Andrew Gasser’s legal action to stop the “purported (five-year) collective bargaining agreement” signed by former Road Commissioner Bob Miller was described.

Today, let’s look at the arguments advanced to halt any arbitration filed by Local 150:

  • First, the facts advanced by Gasser attorney Ron Hanlon:
  • No document exits which refer to any negotiations
  • No authorization exits for Bob Miller to negotiate or sign a collective bargaining agreement
  • No authorization exists for Miller to have signed a collective bargaining agreement
  • Miller took any evidence of negotiations with him when he left office
  • The “purported” agreement binds Miller’s successors for five years
  • The Road District has no independent body of elected officials outside of the Algonquin Township Board of Trustees, which sets all taxes for the Road District
  • Arguments follow, summarized in one paragraph:
    There are too many pages to hit all the arguments, so here are some highlights:
  • Without an injunction to stop enforcement of the contract, the new Highway Commissioner cannot “manage the terms and conditions of the employees,” including even disposal of obsolete equipment
  • Although the Township Board has jurisdiction over collective bargaining agreements and is required to “meet,” no notice of said meeting was made
  • Miller, by meeting unilaterally with Local 150, circumvented the Open Meetings Act and, in any event, the public was denied access (While officials may negotiate behind closed doors, final decisions have to be made in public.) Following is a summary of the alleged violations:
  • Agreements not approved by the Algonquin Township Board are void
  • Miller did not have the authority to enter into “the purported Collective Bargaining Agreement” (State statute does not authorized Township Highway Commissioners to enter into collective bargaining agreements.)
  • A public official cannot bind his successor’s hands
  • If enforced, the purported contract would transfer the power, conferred by state law, of the Algonquin Township Road Commissioner to Local 150

  • There is nothing to arbitrate, if there is no contract
  • Government contracting authority is required for a contract to be void

Here is the conclusion of the court filing:
= = = = =
The article about the original suit filed by Local 150 claiming violations of the Freedom of Information Act can be found here.


Andrew’s “First Impression” Counter Suit Against Local 150 of the Operating Engineers — 15 Comments

  1. We all know this was Millers attempt at a big F.U.

    I would think just one or two of these would make the whole union question null and void, but there are so many sloppy violations.

    Nice work.

  2. Employee contracts are almost always done out of the public eye, our pal Mark has posted that fact for years now.

    Only time we ever hear any numbers is when there is a impass and one side wants to leverage the other through public pressure.

    There is some most excellent Waltzing going on!

  3. OMA is the only practical form of self defense citizens are allowed by Illinois rulers.

    Union can try again with contract negotiations after properly noticing the public according to OMA requirements.

  4. Nob, that may be fine as they never reach a lawsuit or are never challenged by the public.

    If the Union and Miller didn’t follow the law, they may not be legit to begin with.

    This is looking good for Andrew and Algonquin township and possibly for the crew that’s left if they don’t want to be part of a union.

  5. Thank you Andrew.

    Que the Miller apologists blaming the legal costs on Andrew because of the clear attempt to protect family patronage employees.

    Tic Tic….

    150 needs to pursue further, this will lead to further exposure to the public when the NW Herald is forced to cover.

  6. Nob, as Cal made clear above, the negotiations may be private but the signing is public.

    This deal was never announced.

    It’s just a little bit odd this all happened without any involvement beyond Miller and the union.

  7. Joek you left out the employees involvement.

    Their involvement is all about drain the swamp mentality touching them when it shouldn’t.

    I believe all the elected at AT knew about unionization, yet I’ve heard nada from them on not being informed or blind sided.

    So much has yet to come out about the whole deal it’s kind of hard to criticize when we don’t know the whole story yet.

    I see team Andrew saying it’s comimg, but why not be more transparent and release it all at once?


  8. Been involved in a few contracts, always had to be approved in an open forum.

  9. Thanks go to Gasser and Thank you atty Hanlon.

    The Miller apologists have a lot to lose.

    They planning on becoming just like him.

    Too bad for them, the workers attempted to unionize.

    But a lot will be uncovered because of it.

    The local politicians on the take are about to have their gravy boat rocked!

    Reminds me of a glacier wiping the earth clean.

  10. Here are the townships with union highway employees:

    – Algonquin Township in McHenry County, represented by IUOE Local 150 (under dispute)

    – Warren Township in Lake County, represented by IUOE Local 150.

    – St Clair Township in St Clair County, represented by Laborers Local 459 (LiUNA); previously represented by IUOE Local 148.

    – Stookey Township in St Clair County, represented by Laborers Local 459.

    – Lemont Township in Cook County, represented by Laborers Local 165.

    – Downers Grove Township in DuPage County, represented by IUOE Local 150.


    Source: > Decisions > Bargaining Unit Certifications


    There may be others certified prior to July 1, 2006; that being the earliest date listed on the website.


    Governor Rod Blagojevich signed mandatory card check legislation in 2003 for public sector employees.

    Instead of an election, over a period of weeks, organizers ask employees to sign a union authorization card.

    Once signatures for over 50% of the workers in the unit is obtained, the union presents those signatures to the Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB) for automatic recognition of the bargaining unit.

    Issues with that process include:

    – It is not a secret ballot (the organizer knows if the employee signed the card)

    – Are the signatures legitimate?

    – Did the employee understand they were signing a card which, if the petition was successful, would result in dues or fees being deducted from their paycheck, and, what amount might be deducted.

    – How quickly does the ILRB certify the cards (how thorough is any review)


    The Illinois mandatory card check legislation was House Bill 3396 (HB 3396), signed into law as Public Act 93-0444 (PA 93-0444) on August 5, 2003.

  11. The comments and opinions on this thread are hilarious.

    Do you people really think 150 would do this illegally when they legions of lawyers on the payroll.

    As far as gasser beating 150 goes, I wouldn’t be to confident just yet

  12. Doodie – You should read closer.

    Former commissioner entered into a binding contract without public comment and review.

    150 gladly accepted the new union dues for their PAC to continue the fleecing of Illinois taxpayers.

    The 150 suit is allowing the actions of the former commissioner to be brought to light and will lead to a further examination beyond a under the table deal.

    The 150 suit is welcomed by this taxpayer and encouraged, Andrew holding strong will allow this to play out as the 150 inadvertently brings down their largest supporters, corrupt politicians who accept their PAC dollars.

  13. I love the idea that lawyers would never break the law!

    That’s so cute!!

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