AFSCME Local 448, a union representing State of Illinois employees and workers in Northwestern Illinois.
AFSCME Local 448 . . . Northwestern Illinois State Employees

AFSCME Local 448 . . . Proudly Representing Over 600 Workers in the Illinois Counties of Boone, Bureau, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago

December Membership Meeting

Our next membership meeting will be held on Thursday, December 2. This will be an in-person meeting taking place at the Rockford Labor Temple located at 212 South 1st Street in Rockford. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. Unfortunately, the Labor temple still has restrictions on providing food so no food will be served at the meeting.

Representatives Dave Vella and Maurice West will be there to discuss staffing issue in all agencies but particularly at DCFS. Representatives Vella and West were kind enough to join us for our last executive board meeting to begin this discussion and wanted to follow up with us at our next meeting.

Join Your AFSCME Local 448 Family For Some Holiday Cheer!

— Thursday, 12/9: Palmyra Pub and Eatery, Dixon

— Tuesday, 12/14: Cimino's Little Italy, Freeport

— Wednesday, 12/15: Stone Eagle Tavern, Rockford

Come to one event or come to them all! One guest per member welcome.

Each event begins at 5:30 p.m.

No Dues Increase in 2022

We realize things have been tough this past year. Even though our

per-capita rate with both the International Union and AFSCME Council 31 will increase, we are currently above the minimum dues rate. With that in mind, the executive board voted to waive our annual dues increase for members.

Promotional Opportunities Expand

The Upward Mobility Program (UMP), a joint program of AFSCME Council 31 and the state of Illinois, is back in full swing after steadily recovering from former governor Bruce Rauner’s attempt to shut it down.

Participation has hit an historically high level in 2021. Nearly 6,000 AFSCME members are currently active within the Upward Mobility Program and in the past year, the number of employees taking promotional tests through the program has increased by more than 50% statewide.

Now, opportunities to participate will be even greater as UMP has begun operating its Online Registration System on an open and continuous basis rather than having a time-limited registration period. This means that the Online Registration System is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

With open and continuous registration, union members can register when they are ready to take advantage of the program’s benefits, not because of trying to beat a registration deadline. And they don’t have to worry about missing a promotional opportunity because registration has been closed.

Tips for Effective Stewards: Common Management Tactics On Grievances

The following are some typical management tactics on grievances and appropriate steward responses:

Problem 1: Every grievance gets an automatic “no.” Management may be used to getting away with it; don’t just accept the rejection but respond with a request for specific reasons. Unless the reasons convince you that you’ve got a losing grievance, take it to the next step.

Problem 2: Every grievance is met with a management stall. As with problem 1, management may just be used to getting away with it. Your employer may have no clear policy in place on how to respond to the union. Keep plugging away and pressing for a settlement. If you don’t get a response within the proper time limits, take it to the next level.

Notifying management at higher steps that lower-level management is giving an automatic “no” or stalling rather than working out a solution might also help; talk to your president or staff representative if these problems persist.

Problem 3: Management won’t settle without a horse trade. Employers love this kind of “solution” because they know it keeps workers divided and compromises the union. Don’t buy into it. Insist that each grievance is settled on its own merits. You can’t sacrifice one legitimate grievance just to resolve a second one. It’s not right and it’s not legal.

Problem 4: Management claims a grievance is no good because there was “an agreement” with the steward’s predecessors. This could be a bluff or there could be something to it. Ask to see the alleged agreement in writing, signed by authorized representatives. If necessary, point out to management that no agreement with a steward can change the terms of the union contract. Check with local union leadership to see if the claim is valid. If it isn’t, move ahead with the grievance.

(Adapted and reprinted with permission from Steward Update Newsletter, Volume 22, No 1.)




Welcome To Our AFSCME 448 Website!

It is a pleasure to present our AFSCME 448 website to our members! The website launched publicly on December 6th, and the primary purpose of the website is to communicate noteworthy news, events and information to our 600+ local 448 members. Like any well-planned and useful website, our website will never be “completed” or “finished”; we will make regular updates to it as new information and needs dictate.


I invite you to tour and experience the website, from page to page, to learn what we are sharing and communicating, and to also solicit from you what information our website lacks and needs. We look very forward to your review of the website, and any “wish list” items going forward. Email your comments to us at, or by using this website's contact form. Also, while you are visiting the site, please be sure to sign up for emailed news alerts from us. Sign up takes just a moment, and it lets us build a database of local 448 members’ email addresses so that we can, as needs arise, email important and timely news and information to our membership.

Help Is Just A Call Away!

The coronavirus pandemic has created a range of new problems and challenges for all of us — and many are finding it hard to cope with such rapid and wide-ranging changes. We wanted to take a moment to remind you that if these trying times are creating excessive stress, depression or anxiety, help is available through the AFSCME Personal Support Program. It's now even easier to access the help you need as PSP services are available via Telehealth. You can call 1-800-647-8776 for assistance.

Meet Our Members

As you know, our Local represents employees in many State agencies throughout Northern Illinois. We would like to get to know each and every one of you better. So, if you would like to help us do that, answer the following questions and we will feature a different employee in each newsletter and here on the website. Email your submissions to Alice Sutherland at

1. Tell us about your job, and let us know the agency you work for.

2. How does your job provide a valuable public service?

3. What's your inspiration to go to work every day?

4. How does your union improve your work?

5. How has your union job impacted your family?

Submit Your Photos!

Do you have any photos from your union workplace, union meetings and gatherings or other union-related events that can help tell a story about Local 448? If so, we'd like you to submit them to for our review and possible use here on this website, and/or other AFSCME-related materials. When submitting images, please submit images in .jpg format and images should not exceed 2MB in file size. Also, please provide some brief information/caption regarding each submitted image. Thank you!




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Bad Addresses


If you move, don't forget to let your steward know your new address or send an email to Alice Sutherland. Each month, we get several newsletters back because members have moved and we don't have an updated address. If you know of someone who has moved, make sure to reach out to them and let them know they need to update their address with us. We want everyone to stay informed.

Now It's Even Easier To Join AFSCME!


We are stronger together. Employees can now join our union online. If you or a co-worker haven't yet signed an AFSCME membership card, click the button below to sign up today!

Your Right To

Union Representation:


"If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated or have any effect on

my personal working conditions, I respectfully request my union representative, officer or steward to be present at this meeting. Without union representation, I choose not to participate in this discussion."

AFSCME Local 448 Union representing State of Illinois employees in Northwestern Illinois | Council 31 |  AFL-CIO

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