(KANE COUNTY, Ill.) ó Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Court probation officers and youth counselors represented by Teamsters Local 330, who monitor adult and juvenile criminal offenders, have voted to reject the courtís final offer for a new collective bargaining agreement and to authorize a strike.

The courtís offer would eliminate the existing wage structure, which already required the officers and counselors to work 15 years before reaching top salary, and freeze these workers at their current salary steps with smaller annual percentage increases over three years.

Local 330 President Dominic Romanazzi said of the vote: ďThese are highly trained, college educated professionals responsible for keeping track of thousands of offenders, including some on probation for felonies including sex offenses and domestic violence. Our membersí only desire was to keep the wage structure they deserve and fought hard to secure in the last contract, which eventually provides fairness in line with their duties and responsibilities, which are of the utmost importance to the publicís safety. The courtís offer does not acknowledge either the reasonableness of our membersí demands or the importance to the public of ensuring that these professionals are appropriately compensated for their critical work.Ē