Controversy continues between the Peoria Housing Authority and AFSCME Council 31 over unfair labor laws.

About a dozen of the union’s members met outside PHA headquarters Monday afternoon to demand a new contract, fair treatment and the removal of the housing authority’s CEO. The protesters were loud, while board members were holding a regularly scheduled meeting inside.

A union spokesman tells WMBD both sides had worked on their latest contract talks for over 15 months, and both had agreed to almost 90 percent of deal. He says the problem came when PHA wanted to remove two positions, equating to eight jobs in maintenance. AFSCME says that can’t happen because the positions have not changed, and PHA didn’t take the right steps to remove them.  

PHA board members were set to vote on what they called a ‘last, best and final offer’ on Monday night. If approved by their board, PHA would have the power to control all of the terms of the contract and the work that’s performed, forcing the union to file an unfair labor charge.

“I think that if they came back to the table, we’ve given them 90 percent of what they want, we could get a deal done, and move on and try to turn this place around,” said AFSCME spokesman, Tim Lavelle.

We did reach out to the Peoria Housing Authority Monday afternoon for comment. They told us somebody would call back once a vote was reached.

At the time of publication, we had not heard back.