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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

Our New Collective Bargaining Agreement

Now that the contract is ratified let's take a look at some of the changes that were made. So let’s start at the beginning. The text in BLUE is the new language in each section.

Section 5. Employer Neutrality

It is the policy of the Employer to support its employees’ legal right to freely choose to be represented by a union. The Employer will not oppose efforts by any of its employees to be represented by a union; provided however, nothing herein shall limit the Employer’s rights before the Illinois Labor Relations Board to determine the appropriateness of an employee’s placement in a bargaining unit. The Employer shall not discourage employees from becoming union members or authorizing dues deductions, and shall not otherwise interfere with the relationship between employees and their exclusive representative. In addition, the Employer shall not provide assistance to third parties who desire to engage in such activity. The Employer shall refer all inquiries about union membership to the Union, except that the Employer may communicate with employees regarding payroll processes and procedures. The Employer will establish email safe-guards and policies in an effort to prohibit and block the use of its email system and review safeguards for access to other systems by outside sources.


So what does that mean? It means that the employer cannot provide any of our personal information to third parties unless it is for specific business reason such as insurance options. We all know that the Rauner administration provided our personal information to the Illinois Policy Institute in order to attempt to have us drop out of the union. This can no longer happen.

ARTICLE III Non-Discrimination
Section 1. Prohibition Against Discrimination

Both the Employer and the Union agree not to discriminate against any employee on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, creed, religion, color, marital or parental status, age, national origin, political affiliation and/or beliefs, nor shall the parties discriminate against any employee with a disability, or for other non-merit or any other factors protected by law.

So what does that mean? Simply, whether it is related to employment or union membership, there will be NO discrimination of any kind PERIOD!


Article IV Dues Deduction
Section 1. Deductions

The Employer shall commence dues deductions within thirty (30) days of notice of authorization by the employee from the Union. The Employer shall rely upon infor-mation provided by the Union regarding whether deductions were properly author-ized, revoked, canceled, or changed. Authorized deductions may only be revoked in accordance with the terms under which an employee voluntarily authorized said deduction. Written authorization may be evidenced by electronic communications and such writing or communication may be evidenced by the electronic signature of the employee as defined in 5 ILCS 175/5-120.

Request for any of the above shall be made within the provisions of the State Salary and Annuity Withholding Act and/or other applicable State statutes and/or procedures established by the Comptroller.

An employee who has previously authorized payroll deductions pursuant to this Section shall continue to have such deductions made and shall not be required to reauthorize such deductions unless the employee has specifically authorized revocation of deductions pursuant to Section 2 of this Article.

Authorized deductions shall be made in accordance with law and the procedures of the Comptroller and shall be remitted semi-monthly to the Union in accordance with the current procedures, and at the address designated in writing to the Comptroller by the Union. AFSCME Council 31 shall advise the Employer of any increase in dues or other approved deductions in writing at least fifteen (15) days prior to its effective date. AFSCME Council 31 shall inform the Employer about local union jurisdictions and the appropriate dues rate for employees within each jurisdiction. When an employee who has authorized dues deduction moves to the jurisdiction of a different local union, the Employer shall adjust the dues deduction within thirty (30) days.

If a bargaining unit employee requests a change in membership/dues status or has questions regarding the deduction, the employee will be referred to the Union.

So what does that mean? Basically it means that the Union now controls the membership cards. Previously, once we turned the membership cards in we had to send them to the employer. The employer took their sweet time in getting that information into their systems. They now have 30 days to start the dues deduction and if they fail to do so they are required to pay us those lost dues. Also the employer is no longer able to answer any questions related to dues, membership or revoking membership. They must refer the person to the Union.

Next month we will look at changes to the grievance procedure.


PEOPLE Conference, January 27

The Illinois PEOPLE Legislative and Primary Endorsement Conference will be held on Saturday January 27, 2024 in Springfield. At this conference we will be adopting our 2024 Legislative Agenda, making endorsements decisions for the upcoming March Primary Election and developing our strategy for tackling the many critical is-sues before the Illinois General assembly. Anyone interested in attending this conference should contact Alice Sutherland at before 12-23-23. For those of you who are not sure how our PEOPLE program works I would encourage you to attend and see our PEOPLE power in action. Illinois has THE strongest PEOPLE program in the nation.


Welcome Aboard! 

We Have two new Trustees joining the Executive Board! Kristina Steele works for DCFS and Emilie Hanson is an Auditor with IDES. Both will be a great addition to our team! Please help me in welcoming them.

Want to be more involved? Sign up to be on the Member Action Team (MAT). MAT members help with all kinds of things from signing up new members to getting information out. The key to a successful Union is communication and that takes all of us.



DCFS Steward Meeting

I met with the stewards covering DCFS on 11-9-23. While not all could attend we had a very productive meeting with those in attendance. I think we have a good plan going forward which will greatly benefit our members.

It is my plan to meet with the stewards of each agency to discuss the issues in each area. Once that is done I am hoping to have full steward meetings at least quarterly going forward.

Want To Receive Text and Email Updates?

In an effort to keep everyone up to date on what is going on, we are trying to gather personal email addresses and cell phone numbers so that this can be used as a method of contact when important things come up and we need to get the word out fast. If you would like to receive email and text updates, please send your PERSONAL email address and cell phone information to Alice Sutherland at You can also do this by going to and entering your email address in the “Sign UP for Email” space, then completing the information asked for.

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 6, 2019, 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!

We wanted to take a moment to remind you that if you are experiencing 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!

Membership meetings are

held at least quarterly and generally on the first Thursday of the month. Food will be served (when allowed) beginning at 5:30 pm with

the meeting beginning promptly at 6:30 pm.

The next Membership Meeting is March 7th

in Dekalb (Location TBA)


If you want to participate in the meeting please send an email to Alice Sutherland at 

Attend Your
Union Meetings!

Sign Up For Emailed

Membership News Alerts

December 2023 Local 448 Newsletter.jpg


To view/download/print the newsletter,

click here

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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