After losing 10 consecutive battles with the Oak Lawn Firefighters’ union, the Village of Oak Lawn scored a major victory Friday when an administrative law judge for the Illinois Labor Relations Board ruled that the Village does not have to pay over three million dollars in disputed back pay to firefighters affected by the Village’s failure to comply with minimum manning requirements in the labor contract between the parties.
Anna Hamburg-Gal, who heard the case, ruled that the minimum manning standards in the contract was 21, including the shift commander, and not 22 as argued by the firefighters’ union. Hamburg-Gal also ruled that the previous administrative law judge was incorrect when he awarded back pay for the period of January 1, 2009 to the present date.
Hamburg-Gal ruled that while the Village should have paid interest on a previous ruling for the violation of minimum manning rules but stated that the Village waived its right to object to the failure to pay interest by not filing a legal objection on the issue in a timely manner. In perhaps the only negative point for the Village, Hamburg-Gal wrote in her report, “However, if the Board determines the Union’s objections should be deemed timely filed, I recommend that Board require the Respondent to pay the interest it owes on the backpay sum paid to employees for work they would have performed between September 1, 2008 and October 15, 2008. That interest equals $21,939.06”.
The original Kravit award against the village resulted in the village paying $285,866.72 in back pay and covered the period between January 1, 2008 and October 15, 2008. That decision was appealed to the appellate court and upheld against the village. The union has 30 days to file an appeal of the latest decision.
Read the decision below: