state of illinois - section
Illinois Labor Relations Board - Home Page  
url - www.state.il.us/ilrb

Pat Quinn, Governor

ILRB Links

Board Information
Act and Rules
Board Forms
Frequent Questions
Recent Decisions
Interest Arbitration
Board Meetings
State Panel Minutes
Local Panel Minutes
Joint Panel Minutes
Board Publications
Labor Programs
Links
Illinois Home
Search for content in all of Illinois

  Glossary of Terms  

diagonal image

I. Unfair Labor Practice Terms

II. Representation Terms

III. Majority Interest Petitions

IV. Police Officer Decertification

V. Arbitration and Mediation Terms

I. Unfair Labor Practice Terms

Administrative Law Judge: Licensed attorneys who are employed by the Board to conduct hearings and to issue recommended decisions and orders concerning the issues raised at the hearing.

Charge: An allegation made by a public employee, public employer or a labor organization (charging party) of an unfair labor practice under the Act. The charging party must complete an unfair labor practice charge form detailing the basis of the charge as well as other relevant information when filing a charge with the Board.

Charging Party: The person or entity filing an unfair labor practice charge with the Board.

Collective bargaining: The process by which the employer and the exclusive bargaining representative negotiate over employees' wages, hours and/or terms and conditions of employment.

Complaint: A document setting forth alleged unfair labor practices and the issues to be resolved at a hearing. The complaint is issued by the Executive Director when he finds that an unfair labor practice charge has sufficient merit to warrant a hearing. The complaint contains a notice of hearing before a designated administrative law judge.

Deferral to arbitration: The process by which the Board may decline to resolve such disputes through a hearing and instead submits (defers) the resolution of such disputes to the grievance and arbitration procedure contained in the parties' collective bargaining agreement. When the Board defers an unfair labor practice charge, it reserves the authority to determine whether the arbitrator's award addresses the issues raised in that charge to ensure that the statutory rights of a charging party and/or public employees are being protected.

Duty of Fair Representation: The labor organization which exclusively represents employees in a particular bargaining unit is required to represent the interests of each employee in the unit equitably; that is, without discrimination. Under the Act, a union violates its duty of fair representation only by intentional misconduct, which means that to support an unfair labor practice charge against the union, the employee must show evidence of fraud, deceitful actions or dishonest conduct by the union and that the union intentionally acted to harm or disadvantage him or her. Mere negligence is not sufficient to violate the Union's duty of fair representation.

Fair Share Agreement: An agreement between the employer and an employee organization under which the employees in a collective bargaining unit are required to pay their proportionate share of the costs of the collective bargaining process, contract administration, and pursuing matters affecting wages, hours, and other conditions of employment. Fair share fees may not exceed the amount of dues required of members.

Good faith bargaining: Obligation of the public employer and the representative of the public employees to meet at reasonable times and to negotiate in good faith with respect to wages, hours, and other conditions of employment, or the negotiation of an agreement, or any question arising thereunder and the execution of a written contract incorporating any agreement reached if requested by either party.

Grievance: A dispute between an employer and the union or between an employer and an employee regarding the application or meaning of a term of the collective bargaining agreement or arising out of employment conditions.

Illinois Public Labor Relations Act: A set of administrative laws by which the Illinois Labor Relations Board regulates labor relations between public employers and employees, including the designation of employee representatives, negotiation of wages, hours and other conditions of employment, and resolution of disputes arising under collective bargaining agreements.

Illinois Labor Relations Board, Local Panel: An Illinois state agency which has jurisdiction over collective bargaining agreement matters between employee organizations and units of local government with a population in excess of 2 million persons, but excluding the Regional Transportation Authority. The Local Panel of the Illinois Labor Relations Board consists of the Chairman of the State Panel and two additional members, one appointed by the Mayor of the City of Chicago and one appointed by the President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. The Local Panel is responsible for interpreting the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act.

Illinois Labor Relations Board, State Panel: An Illinois state agency which, has jurisdiction over collective bargaining matters between employee organizations and the State of Illinois, excluding the General Assembly of the State of Illinois, between employee organizations and units of local government and school districts with a population not in excess of 1 million persons, and between employee organizations and the Regional Transportation Authority. The State Panel of the Illinois Labor Relations Board consists of the Chairman and 4 members appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The State Panel is responsible for interpreting the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act.

Impasse: A "deadlock" or stalemate in negotiations between management and union officials over terms and conditions of employment. Whether an impasse bargaining exists is a matter of judgment for the Board and depends on such factors as bargaining history, the good faith of the parties in negotiations, the length of the negotiations, the importance of the issue or issues as to which there is disagreement, and the contemporaneous understanding of the parties as to the state of negotiations.

Respondent: The public employer or union against whom the charge is filed.

Rules and Regulations of the Illinois

Labor Relations Board:
A set of rules, which set forth the procedures, which govern all Board proceedings.

Unfair labor practice: An action by a public employer or a labor organization, which violates the rights guaranteed by the Act to public employees, labor organizations and public employers. Some employer unfair labor practices include discrimination on the basis of union activity, refusal to bargain in good faith, interference, restraint and coercion with protected rights. Some union unfair labor practices include breach of the duty of fair representation, refusal to bargain in good faith and interference, restraint and coercion. The State and Local Panels of the Board do not have jurisdiction over discrimination that is motivated by an individual's race, age, gender, religion, disability or political persuasion.

Unfair labor practice hearing: When the Executive Director determines that an unfair labor practice charge contains issues of fact or law which require a hearing to resolve them he issues a Complaint for Hearing. The Board assigns an administrative law judge to hear the matter. On an agreed upon date, the parties present their case to the administrative law judge. The hearing is a formal proceeding consisting of opening statements and examination and cross-examination of witnesses, submission of exhibits as evidence, rebuttal and closing arguments. The charging party has the burden of proving the allegations in the charge. The hearing is stenographically transcribed. After reviewing the record and all relevant evidence, including any post-hearing briefs submitted by the parties, the administrative law judge issues a recommended decision and order. The parties may appeal the recommended decision and order to the Board. If no appeals are filed the recommended decision and order becomes a non-precedential decision of the Board.



II. Representation Terms

Authorization card: Cards signed and dated by employees and submitted as evidence of their interest in being represented by a labor organization (showing of interest) for representation and intervention petitions. In decertification petitions, cards are signed and dated by employees and submitted as evidence of their interest in decertifying the existing exclusive bargaining representative.

Bargaining unit: A class of jobs or positions held by employees whose collective interests may suitably be represented by a labor organization for collective bargaining.

Certification: Board document which formally acknowledges (certifies) the outcome of the various representation petitions and issues before the Board.

Certification bar: A Board restriction against petitioners filing representation or decertification petitions within 12 months following a voluntary recognition and Board certification of an exclusive representative of all or some of the employees in the bargaining unit.

Challenged ballot: A ballot, which is objected to by an observer because of a question, concerning voter eligibility.

Confidential employee: An employee who is exempt from coverage under the Act because in the regular course of his/her duties he assists and acts in a confidential capacity to persons who formulate, determine, and effectuate management policies with regard to labor relations or who have authorized access to information relating to the employer's collective bargaining policies. (Section 3(c) of the Act).

Consent Election: Representation election conducted pursuant to an agreement (stipulation to a consent election) between the petitioner and the employer whereby the employer has "consented" to the election.

Contract bar: A Board rule that restricts petitioners from filing representation and decertification petitions while a collective bargaining agreement is in effect, except during the window period.

Craft employee: Skilled journeyman, crafts persons, and their apprentices and helpers. (Section 3(d) of the Act).

Decertification Election: Board-conducted procedure whereby individuals vote by secret ballot as to whether they desire continued representation by their existing exclusive bargaining representative.

Decertification petition: A Board designated form filed by an employee or group of employees requesting an election to determine whether a majority of the employees in an appropriate bargaining unit maintain their desire to be represented by the existing exclusive bargaining representative. The petition must be accompanied by a 30% showing of interest.

Election bar: A Board restriction against petitioners filing representation or decertification petitions within 12 months following a valid Board-conducted election among all or some of the employees in the bargaining unit.

Election observers: Individuals designated by the petitioner and the employer to observe the election and to observe the tallying of the ballots.

Exclusive bargaining representative: A labor organization that has been designated by the Board as the representative of a majority of public employees in an appropriate bargaining unit.

Firefighter: Any person who has been or is appointed to a fire department or fire protection district or employed by a state university and sworn or commissioned to perform fire fighter duties or paramedic duties. Certain exclusions apply. (Section 3(g-1) of the Act).

Intervention petition: A Board designated form filed by a labor organization seeking to participate in an election to be held pursuant to a representation petition.

Labor organization: An organization which exists for the purpose of representing the interests of public employees concerning their wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment, including the settlement of grievances.

Mail ballot election: A Board-conducted election whereby eligible employees receive their ballot in the mail and they mark their choice and mail the ballot back to the Board. The Board tallies the ballots on a set date.

Managerial employee: An individual who is engaged predominantly in executive and management functions and is charged with the responsibility of directing the effectuation of management policies and practices. (Section 3(j) of the Act).

Objections to the Election: A statement filed with the Board by a party to an election that alleges that the election result was not fairly and freely chosen by a majority of the employees.

Peace officer: Any persons who have or are appointed to a police force, department, or agency and sworn and commissioned to perform police duties. Certain exclusions apply. (Section 3(k) of the Act).

Petitioner: Term to describe entity filing a petition with the Board.

Petitions to Amend Certification: A Board designated form filed by an exclusive bargaining representative whenever there is a change in its name or structure. An employer or exclusive bargaining representative files such a petition whenever there is a change in the structure of the unit's employing entity.

Petitions for Amendment or Clarification of the Bargaining Unit (Unit clarification petition) (UC petition): A Board designated form which a labor organization must complete and submit to the Board when it seeks to include a unit of employees in an existing bargaining unit. A UC petition is only appropriate under four circumstances. See: FAQ

Professional employee: Any employee engaged in work predominantly intellectual and varied in character rather than routine mental, manual, mechanical or physical work. (Section 3(m) of the Act).

Public employee: An individual employed by a public employer.

Public employer: The State of Illinois, any political subdivision of the State, or a unit of local government.

Representation Election: Board-conducted procedure whereby individuals vote by secret ballot as to whether they desire representation by a labor organization.

Representation hearing: When questions concerning representation arise, the Executive Director or the administrative law judge assigned to the petition may order a hearing to resolve such issues. Representation hearings are fact-finding proceedings and are therefore considered non-adversarial in nature. On an agreed upon date, the parties present their case before the administrative law judge. Representation hearings are formal proceedings consisting of opening statements, examination and cross-examination of witnesses, submission of exhibits as evidence, rebuttal and closing arguments. The administrative law judge may also require the parties to produce information relevant to making a fact-finding determination. The hearing is stenographically transcribed. After reviewing the record and all relevant evidence, including any post-hearing briefs submitted by the parties, the administrative law judge issues a recommended decision and order. The parties may appeal the recommended decision and order to the Board. If no appeals are filed, the recommended decision and order becomes a non-precedential decision of the Board.

Representation petition (RC petition): A Board designated form which a labor organization must complete and submit to the Board when it seeks to become the exclusive bargaining representative of a unit of public employees. The petition must be accompanied by a 20% showing of interest. See also: FAQ, Forms

Run-off Election: An election conducted by the Board when there are three or more choices on the ballot and no choice receives a majority of the valid ballots cast. The Board conducts a run-off election between the two choices that received the most votes.

Security employee: An employee who is responsible for the supervision and control of inmates at correctional facilities. (Section 3(p) of the Act).

Short-term employee: An employee who is employed for less than two consecutive calendar quarters during a calendar year and who does not have a reasonable assurance that he or she will be rehired by the same employer for the same service in a subsequent calendar year. (Section 3(q) of the Act).

Showing of interest: For representation and intervention petitions, it is evidence, often in the form of authorization cards indicating that an employee desires to be represented by a particular labor organization; for decertification petitions, it is evidence that an employee no longer wishes to be represented by the labor organization which is the current exclusive bargaining representative.

Spoiled ballot: A ballot that is defaced, torn, marked in such a manner that it is not understandable, or identifies the voter.

Voluntary recognition petition (VR petition): A Board designated form that is filed jointly by an employer and a labor organization requesting the Board certify the labor organization as the exclusive bargaining representative without holding an election because the labor organization clearly represents a majority of employees in an appropriate unit.

Voter eligibility: A set of guidelines for determining whether an individual is eligible to vote in an election. To be eligible to vote, an employee must have been in the bargaining unit as of last day of the payroll period immediately prior to the date of the direction of election or the approval of a consent election agreement, and must still be in the bargaining unit on the date of the election.

Window period: The acceptable time frame for filing representation and decertification petitions (between 90 and 60 days prior to the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement) with the Board.



III. Majority Interest Petitions

Majority Interest Petition: A representation petition filed by a labor organzation seeking certification as the exclusive bargaining representative of a unit of employees through use of the Board's card check procedures instead of an election.

Card Check: The process by which the Board determines whether a petitioner has satisfied the majority showing of interest requirement in a majority interest petition.



IV. Police Officer Decertification

Interested Party: The defendant or any police officer who has personal knowledge that the police officer who is the subject of a complaint has, while under oath, knowingly and willfully made false statements as to a material fact going to an element of the offense of murder.

LETSB: Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board created by the Illinois Police Training Act.

Perjury: While under oath, knowingly and willfully making false statements as to a material fact going to an element of the offense of murder.

Police Officer: Any individual who has been certified pursuant to the Illinois Police Training Act.

Verified Complaint: The document filed with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board by a defendant or police officer with personal knowledge of perjured testimony in a murder prosecution where there has been an acquittal.



V. Arbitration and Mediation Terms

Fact-finding: A process whereby an employer and an exclusive representative submit their disputes concerning the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement to neutral third party for non-binding findings of fact and recommendations.

General Public Employee Unit: Any bargaining unit of employees who, because they are not subject to Section 14 of the Act, have the right to strike in accordance with Section 17 of the Act.

Grievance Arbitration: A process whereby an employer and an exclusive representative submit a dispute concerning the interpretation or application of an existing collective bargaining agreement to a neutral third party for resolution.

Grievance Mediation: A process whereby an employer and an exclusive representative employ a neutral third party to communicate with the parties and endeavor to bring about an amicable, voluntary resolution of a dispute over the interpretation or application of an existing collective bargaining agreement.

Initial contract: Refers to negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement covering a bargaining unit that is not currently covered by a collective bargaining agreement between the exclusive representative and the employer.

Interest Arbitration: A process whereby an employer and an exclusive representative submit their disputes concerning the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement for resolution by a neutral third party. Compulsory interest arbitration refers to interest arbitration engaged in pursuant to Section 14 of the Act. Voluntary interest arbitration refers to all other interest arbitration engaged in under the Act.

Mediation: A process whereby an employer and an exclusive representative employ a neutral third party to communicate with the parties and endeavor to bring about an amicable, voluntary resolution of negotiations over the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement.

Protective services unit: Any bargaining unit subject to Section 14 of the Act in which the employees accordingly do not have the right to strike. Such units are units of security employees of a public employer, peace officer units, or units of firefighters or paramedics.

Successor contract: Refers to negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement covering a bargaining unit that is currently covered by a collective bargaining agreement between the exclusive representative and the employer.



These files are in Adobe Acrobat format. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it for free by clicking on the pdf icon to the left of the link.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS - Unfair Labor Practice Terms
GLOSSARY OF TERMS - Representation Terms
GLOSSARY OF TERMS - Arbitration and Mediation Terms


State Features

Living in Illinois
Some files on this site are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You may download a FREE copy of Adobe Acrobat by clicking the logo below.
Get Adobe Acrobat Reader Free!

Access Adobe's
PDF Accessibility Tools
The above links for Adobe Acrobat will open a new browser window.

 

Copyright © 2014 Agency Agency Site Map | Illinois Privacy Information | Kids Privacy | Web Accessibility | Agency Webmaster