Strike over; Kane employees back to work

3-year contract to cost $695K

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ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – The 116 probation officers and youth counselors in Kane County’s 116th Judicial Circuit are back on the clock.

They ended the six-week strike on June 11 when they voted to ratify the contract and return to work, Kane County Court Administrator Doug Naughton said.

In a contract that will cost the county an additional $695,000 over three years, the employees accepted raises of 2 percent in the first year, 2.25 percent in the second year and 2.5 percent in the third year, Naughton said. Workers will be able to get an additional two days of sick time, which they can turn in for cash at the end of the fiscal year on Nov. 30, Naughton said.

The workers, represented by Teamsters Local 330, had requested raises of 3.7 percent a year. They also wanted to keep their 15-year step increase schedule, but that, too, was halted for the span of this new three-year contract, Naughton said.

The new contract is not retroactive to Nov. 30, 2017, but extends from June 11 to Nov. 30, 2020, Naughton said.

Lisa Aust, executive director of Kane County court services, emphasized that while the strike is over, "nobody won".

“It was hard," she said. "It was awful. They [the workers] did suffer and it was not good for anybody.”

Strikers on the picket line had emphasized that the public was put at risk when adult and criminal juvenile offenders could not be monitored.

But Chief Judge Susan Clancy Boles had said in a statement that the public was not at heightened risk during the strike because other workers took on the strikers’ work responsibilities.

“On behalf of the entire judicial system, I thank these employees for their dedication and hard work during this difficult time,” Boles offered in a statement. “We all now look forward to focusing on the work court services does for the system and the community, which has made it one of the best court services departments in the state of Illinois.”

Local 330 President Dominic Romanazzi did not return a message seeking comment.