Company Engaging in Bad Faith Bargaining During Negotiations for New Brookfield Zoo Contract
Teamsters Local 727 filed unfair labor practice charges against Chicago Zoological Society management because the company has engaged in bad faith bargaining.
Negotiations on a new contract for full-time and seasonal zookeepers, groundskeepers, patrol officers and other union workers at Brookfield Zoo have ground to a halt because management refuses to budge from its draconian attendance policy proposal. The policy is designed to penalize union members for using their contractual sick day benefits.
“Management is holding these negotiations and the entire contract hostage over this attendance policy,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727. “From Day One, the company has insisted on being able to punish employees for using their contractually provided sick days. And just like it was on Day One, this proposal is absolutely unreasonable and ridiculous.”
The Local 727 Bargaining Committee has presented numerous proposals on seasonal employees and scheduling that would eliminate any alleged attendance issues, but the company has completely failed to address any of those proposals.
The company’s attendance policy proposal — which is now nine pages long — includes the following language: “It should be noted, the Society does not view any relationship between the rate at which the sick time benefit accrues and its actual usage as it relates to the Society’s standards for attendance; that is, because employees accrue ten (10) days of sick time per year does not mean that use of ten (10) sick days per year is acceptable from an attendance standpoint.”
“Once again, this all goes back to the zoo’s staffing problems,” Coli said. “The union has given management plenty of viable solutions to their supposed attendance problem, but they refuse to listen and instead continue to bargain in bad faith.”
The next negotiation meeting is scheduled for Feb. 4. The extension of the current three-year contract expires Feb. 29.
The union will continue to provide updates throughout the negotiation process.
If you have questions, contact your Teamsters Local 727 business representative, Nick Micaletti, at (847) 696-7500 or [email protected]