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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 with regard to union rights. The text in BLUE is the new language in each section.

ARTICLE VI Union Rights
Section 3. Time Off for Union Activities

Local Union representatives shall be allowed time off without pay for legitimate Union business such as Union meetings, Union administration, State or area wide Union committee meetings, Union training sessions, State-wide contract negoti-ations, State or International conventions. AFSCME Council 31 shall endeavor to supply the Department of Central Management Services with a list of such scheduled events by February 1st of each year. Prior to leaving the worksite, local union representatives shall give reasonable notice to their supervisor (including the approximate duration of time away from the worksite) of such absence and shall be allowed such time off if it does not substantially interfere with the operating needs of the Employer. The Employer shall not involve itself in the internal affairs of the Union by approving or disapproving time off for union activities based upon the nature of the legitimate union business. The employee may utilize any accumulated time (compensatory time, holiday, personal, vacation days) in lieu of taking such without pay.

So what does that mean? It means that AFSCME Council 31 will let CMS know, to the extent possible, what activities are already planned for the upcoming year so that management will have a heads up that staff may be asking for time off for these events.

It also means that those requesting Union business time off should let their supervisor know BEFORE leaving the worksite that they are going and how long they expect to be gone.

While management does not have the right, unless it is under extreme circumstances, to deny someone time off for union business, members should always be considerate and request their time off as soon as they become aware that it will be needed. While it is understood that some situations can come up unimpededly, those situations are not the norm.

Legislative Agenda

On January 27, 2024 AFSCME Presidents, PEOPLE Chairs, and activists, from all over Illinois met in Springfield to decide on what candidates, if any, we would endorse in the upcoming Illinois elections. We also discussed our legislative priorities
for this session.


I am here to tell you that we set some lofty goals for this year. The statewide PEOPLE Committee has identified 8 top priorities and the voting members at this conference unanimously agreed with those items and they are as follows.

• Support reasonable budget and adequate revenues for state and local government.
• Stabilize pension funds and address inadequacies and inequities of Tier 2 & Tier 3 pension benefits.
• Address staffing crisis in the public sector.
• Protest and expand worker’s rights.
• Support adequate funding for state universities/equality for employees.
• Fight privatization of public services and assets.
• Fight to improve wage levels in community disability agencies and other AFSCME-represented nonprofit agencies.
• Fight for Affordable Prescription drugs.


For more information on these initiatives or who we endorsed for the primary elections take a look at your latest ON THE MOVE.


International Convention 

The AFSCME International Convention will be held this year the week of August 11th through August 17th in Los Angeles, California. Start thinking about if you would like to attend this convention. Elections for Delegates, Alternates, and Guests will be at an in-person membership meeting which will be held either May 2, 2024 or June 6, 2024 depending on when we get the convention call.

Those elected to represent our local will be paid 37.5 hours lost wages for Monday through Friday provided you attend all convention sessions and required workshops.

Transportation and hotel expenses will be covered by the local and members will be paid per diem for each day of travel.

Keep your eyes peeled for more information in the upcoming months.

Rockford Public Library Contract Fight 

The Rockford Public Library workers are currently in an ugly contract battle. They are asking us to support them by joining an informational picket on March 25, 2024 beginning at 5:00 PM. They will be picketing before the Library board meeting which begins at 6:00 PM. We will meet outside the Nordlof Theater which is located at 118 North Main Street in Rockford.

This battle is so intense that management is targeting workers on the bargaining team as well as long time employees and bringing them up on discipline. While the employees and the Union have been able to defeat any attempts at making the dis-cipline stick it is still not right and these employees should not have to endure this treatment.

The library local is a very small local which represents only about 30 workers. If there is any way possible you can come out in support of these workers please do so.

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 at Fatty's Pub & Grille, 1312 West Lincoln Highway.


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

March 2024 Local 448 Newsletter.jpg


To view/download/print the newsletter,

click here

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!

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.

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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