The Evanston City Council tonight is scheduled to approve contracts with two major employee unions — the Fraternal Order of Police and AFSME.

Both unions agreed to three-year pacts with the city, up from the two-year deals that have been the norm in Evanston in recent years.

The police contract calls for a 3 percent wage increase in the first year and 2.7 percent increases in the second and third years.

The AFSCME agreement calls for a 2.6 percent increase in the first year, 2.5 percent in the second, and 2.4 percent in the third year.

Both contracts took about six months to negotiate and are retroactive to the start of this year.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Right to work

    If Illinois was a right to work state, we would not need to deal with issues like this. People would not be forced to join a union to get a job. People would not be forced to pay dues taken from their pay checks.

    I'm not saying that private unions should be eliminated but public unions like AFSCME should be. Why should a government body force people to join a union to work for the same government body.

    Without the public unions people that are good at their job can advance and can receive merit raises. With public unions it doesn't matter whether you are good or bad at your job, every one gets the same, just like communism.

    1. Is there a labor lawyer in the house?
      At the Federal level, employees are not required to join the union that represents their specific organization. Is “skipw” correct that employees at the state, county or municipal level must join the union representing their specific organization? Thank you for your pro bono answer!

      1. No to unions

        My daughter was not required to join teachers union and choose not to but was required to pay union dues. It came directly out of her salary. She got a smaller salary increase when the union members got their increase. After 3 years, the district was going to cut 3 positions and she was first to go. The union contract called for nonunion members to be cut first, regardless of qualifications.

        My first answer is no but that doesn't mean you don't pay a price for your principles.

        1. I’m still confused
          If she didn’t join the union, but was required to pay union dues, what is the difference? This is like saying six of one or half a dozen of the other. If you are required to pay union dues, is this state mandated law? I can understand a person standing on principle, but if you are paying dues as required by law, what does she gain by not joining? Is it possible she lost her job under the “last hired, first fired” rule? Again, is there a Labor lawyer in the house?

          1. Federal and State

            In Illinois;

            • Tenured union member are the last to go with any stand job cuts
            • Tenured non-union are in the next safest catagory
            • Union members are the next safest in their jobs
            • Non-union members are the least safest

            By Federal and State law, you can not be forced to join a union but, unless you are in a right to work state, you can be forced to pay a union fee. It is not the same as union dues for political purposes.

            In right to work states you can not be forsed to join a union and you can not be forced to pay a fee.

          2. unions
            There is no personal choice allowed in IL. In order to work you are forced to pay union dues. It’s a farce when democrat lawmakers say you don’t have to join a union, but then demand you pay the union dues anyway.

            To counter right to work efforts it was agreed non union members do not have to pay for “political” donations made by the unions to politicians. The “political” reduction in union dues was/is paltry.

            The unions then went about finagling this law by charging special fees and assessments, not “dues”, directly into their general treasury funds. In IL. unions may contribute to political parties, (democrats) directly from those union treasury funds,

            It took action from the Supreme Court to stop that abuse. But I believe IL still allows political contributions to be made directly from union treasury funds, in many other states those political contributions must come from a separate “voluntarily” funded account.

            Guess members are finally realizing the union and their politicians don’t really have their interest at heart, simply take the cash into their pockets today in exchange for unrealistic pension promises tomorrow.

            When right to work is initiated in a State, why do union members voluntarily leave the union in droves?

  2. We now just have to wait to see REAL costs

    Did the city give away too much ? Money it does not have and will not have in the future.  All in the name [as it always has been] of labor peace—i.e. those making the promises will be dead or moved away before the real cost become known—tax payers will still be here and paying for it !

  3. A drain on taxpayer dollars

    It's these public sector unions that protect people who don't produce anything that are draining taxpayer dollars. Police and firefighters risk their lives. The building services employee is making $110k and college instructors wish they made half that. The public sector unions reward not working and other really unproductive work habits. Workers need protections but we have gone way overboard. Likewise, positions like: Citizen Engagement Coordinator, Community Information Specialist, Outreach Specialist are baloney jobs that drain needed money for schools. 

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