Peoria • Galesburg • Quincy
Business Manager - Paul Flynn



 Labor Paper Article 


Brothers and Sisters of Local 34:

     Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is a modern-day Mother Jones.  Ms. Mendoza addressed the delegates at the IBEW state conference in Springfield three weeks ago.  I have heard her speak on several occasions and I must say the more I hear, the more respect I have for her and her message.  She ensured us that she will not back down from exposing the hypocrisy of Governor Rauner and will continue to insist that the Governor “do his job”.  Mother Jones was said to be “the most dangerous woman in America”.  Ms. Mendoza just might be the most dangerous woman in Illinois for the Governor’s chances of re-election in 2018.  And like Mother Jones, Ms. Mendoza is becoming known as a charismatic and effective speaker with the job performance to back it up.  She is not going to be intimidated by billionaires.  Which reminds me of a favorite Mother Jones quote referring to women who at the time did not yet have the right to vote.  She was quoted as saying that "you don't need the vote to raise hell!"  Today women can vote and raise hell.  Thank you not only to Ms. Medoza, but all the Illinois Senators and Representatives who spoke at our State Conference.  They are keeping organized labor and our interest solidly in place in Springfield. 

     Also at the State Conference, we heard from four gubernatorial candidates.  Chris Kennedy, Daniel Biss, Bob Daiber, and JB Pritzker.  I am the most impressed with Daniel Biss who is currently a Illinois State Senator from the 9th District. He has a doctorate in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  In my opinion that is what we need to fix Illinois, a math whiz.  Almost all the problems for the State of Illinois involve numbers; budget, pension, school funding, infrastructure and taxes.  Senator Biss is the only candidate that has a plan ready to go right now to bring Illinois back into the black. (Cue up the AC/DC) You can learn more about his plan from YouTube by searching “Daniel Biss the road back.”

     One of the most frustrating aspects of the Rauner era for a business manager has been the Illinois Department of Labor.  The IDOL is virtually nonexistent.  The current prevailing wage posted by the IDOL has not been updated since July 2015.  Soon to be out of date by two years.  We continue to notify the IDOL of our changes in wage rates but they do not get updated.  Public bodies rely on the IDOL website to keep informed of what the prevailing rate is.  With our market share of over 80% there is no doubt that the rate in our collective bargaining agreement is the prevailing rate for our jurisdiction.  Complaints of prevailing wage violations end up in the cloud.  I don’t mean backed up in some data center.  I mean “pie in the sky” good luck ever hearing back from the IDOL.  They are “gone with the wind”. 

     The first director for the IDOL under the Rauner administration, Hugo Chaviano, has abandoned the post.  His replacement Anna Hui, serving as acting director of the IDOL, is reportedly leaving the post after two months. She is taking a position in Missouri, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Evan worse than the IDOL not being current is state of the capital development board.  When I first took office in 2013, under Gov. Quinn, we were having a pre-job every two weeks for a capitol development project.  We haven’t had a capitol development pre-job since Gov. Quinn left office.  You never know what you have until it is gone. 

     Please be advised the Local 34 office staff will no longer send out notices to the membership of delinquent dues. The main reason is to cut cost. The IBEW Constitution states in Article 18; Section 1,  “L.U.’s shall collect dues from members either monthly or quarterly in advance”.  Article 21; Section 1 of the constitution states “No member is entitled to notice of the monthly or quarterly dues of his L.U., nor of arrearages, but must take notice when payments are due.”  The Local 34 Bylaws in Article 10, Section 7 (h) “Members who are sent a delinquency notice (for being in arrears for three months, but less than six months) will be assessed a $10.00 processing fee per notice, in addition to the regular reinstatement fees.”  Due to delinquency notices no longer being sent, the $10.00 fee will no longer being assesed.

     Hats off to President Tim Sprout and President Emeritis J.J. Walker who spear-headed this year’s Steak Fry at the Elks Club in West Peoria.  The event was well attended by the membership.  With the season of Lent, those who needed to stay away from meat on Fridays, had the choice of a fish dinner.  Also thank you to Ray Fisher, Kevin Williams, Stephanie Mallicoat,  Kirsten Flowers, Dave Lowder and Marc Burnap who helped set up, tear down, clean up, and sell raffle tickets.  Together the membership raised over $600 for the Local 34 Sick and Needy Fund.  Thank you to Rabers Meats for doing the cooking and providing good union jobs to their employees.  Finally, a big thank you to the Elks Club who are great hosts and always welcoming to our membership.  Remember to work, live an buy Union.


By Paul Flynn, Business Manager.


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