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*With deep regret the Board notes that Board Member Michael K. Smith passed away on Aug. 9, 2014.  Mr. Smith was appointed to the Educational Labor Relations Board by Governor Quinn in 2011.  He was a valued colleague and Member of the Board and his contributions to the State of Illinois will be missed by all.

Welcome to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board’s website.

The IELRB is the state agency administering the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act, which establishes the right of educational employees to organize and bargain collectively. Some of the methods the IELRB employs to protect these rights are conducting secret ballot elections to ascertain educational employees’ preferences regarding union representation; certifying and clarifying bargaining units; investigating, hearing and remedying unfair labor practices by educational employers and unions; and assisting parties engaged in mediation and arbitration.

We are pleased to provide a website that gives you valuable information about the IELRB and the work we do, as well as Board forms and decisions.

Lynne O. Sered, Chairman

Agency Overview

The Act

The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act (IELRA) was effective January 1, 1984. Therein, the Illinois General Assembly declared the purpose of the IELRA was to promote orderly and constructive relationships between educational employees and their employers, recognizing that harmonious relationships are required between educational employees and their employers. The General Assembly stated that this policy is best accomplished by (a) granting educational employees the right to organize and freely choose their representative; (b) requiring educational employers to negotiate and bargain with employees’ representatives and to enter into a written agreement with these representatives; and (c) establishing procedures which protect the rights of educational employees, their employers and the public. Section 5 of the IELRA created the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB), the public body charged with administering the IELRA.


The IELRB is comprised of five members who are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Illinois Senate. By statute, Board members must be residents of Illinois and have a minimum of five years of direct experience in labor and employment relations. Board members are prohibited from holding other offices or from engaging in any other business, employment or vocation for profit.

The IELRB employs staff and promulgates rules and regulations as it deems necessary to carry out the purposes and policies of the IELRA. The IELRB has delegated to its Executive Director the authority to investigate charges, issue complaints and certify the results of representation elections.


Section 2 of the Act defines “educational employee” as those individuals, excluding supervisors, managerial, confidential, short term employees, student and part-time academic employees of community colleges, employed full or part-time by an educational employer. The definition clarifies that “part-time academic employees of community colleges” shall be defined as those employees who provide less than 3 credit hours of instruction per academic semester, and that the term “student” includes graduate students who are research assistants primarily performing duties that involve research or graduate assistants primarily performing duties that are pre-professional, but does not include graduate students who are teaching assistants primarily performing instruction or instruction support and all other graduate students. “Educational employer” is defined as the governing body of a public school district, combination of public school districts, public community college or State college or university, as well as any State agency whose major function is providing educational services. The Act specifically excludes Financial Oversight Panels created under Section 1A-8 of the Illinois School Code, but includes those created under Article 1E or 1F.

Section 7 of the IELRA outlines the types of representation cases processed by the IELRB. Section 14 of the IELRA specifically lists the types of unfair labor practice charges that may be filed with the Agency.

If you are not an educational employer or employee, or the issue you are facing is not addressed by the IELRA, the following agencies may be able to assist you:

If you are employed by a governmental entity, such as the State of Illinois or an Illinois county or municipality (including the City of Chicago), the Illinois Labor Relations Board may be able to assist you.

If you are a private (nongovernmental) employer or employee with an issue similar to those addressed in the IELRA, the National Labor Relations Board may be able to assist you.

If you are a private (nongovernmental) employer or employee with a question concerning wages, child labor laws, your rights to privacy in the workplace, as well as other issues relating to wages and working conditions, please contact the Illinois Department of Labor.

If you are a public (governmental) employer or employee with a question regarding wages or the Fair Labor Standards Act, or other issues relating to wages and working conditions, please contact the United States Department of Labor.

If you have a question or problem concerning discrimination because of age, sex, race, political affiliation, religion, national origin or physical or mental disability, please contact the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

If your questions concern educational policies and guidelines for public and private schools in Illinois, please contact the Illinois State Board of Education or the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

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