Council Leadership

Executive Director - Roberta Lynch

Roberta LynchRoberta Lynch became Executive Director of AFSCME Council 31 in 2014. She previously served as Deputy Director for more than two decades, playing a central role in all aspects of the union’s activities. In addition to overseeing the union’s policy, educational, legislative and political programs, Lynch has been a key strategist in dozens of critical labor battles. She also serves as a Vice President on the AFSCME International Executive Board and a Board Member of the Chicago Federation of Labor.

A Philadelphia native, Lynch is a graduate of Duquesne University. Before joining AFSCME in 1984, she was involved in grassroots community, labor and political organizing efforts in Pittsburgh and Chicago, including serving on the staff of the Calumet Community Religious Conference, the Chicago Area Committee on Occupational Safety and Health and the Harold Washington mayoral campaign.

Lynch is the co-author of Rusted Dreams: Hard Times in a Steel Community (University of California Press), which chronicles the decline of the steel industry in the Calumet region.



Deputy Director – Mike Newman

Mike NewmanMike Newman joined Council 31 as the Legislative Director in 1982, playing an important role in the passage of collective bargaining laws in 1983 that won public employees the right to organize into unions and to engage in collective bargaining.

As Associate Director from 1996 until his appointment as Deputy Director in 2014, Newman has been involved in virtually every facet of the union’s work, including overseeing the negotiation and administration of hundreds of collective bargaining agreements. He has been particularly key in negotiating and administering Council 31’s comprehensive Master Agreement with the State of Illinois. Newman supervises the union’s legal and contract administration teams, and serves as the chief negotiator with the City of Chicago and Cook County.

Newman came to AFSCME after teaching in the Labor Education Program at the University of Illinois where he also earned a Master of Labor and Industrial Relations degree. Prior to moving to Illinois, Newman was a union organizer in the garment industry in the Southeastern United States. 



Council 31 Executive Board Officers

State Sector Executive Vice-President

Ralph Portwood

Stateville Correctional Center, Local 1866

University Sector Executive Vice-President

Renee Kerz
Eastern Illinois University, Local 981

Private Sector Executive Vice-President

Yurvette Simmons
United Cerebral Palsy of Will County, Local 3237

Local Government Executive Vice-President

John Rayburn

Chicago Public Library, Local 1215



David Delrose

Will County, Local 1028



David Morris

Illinois State Employees, Local 805



Board Members


Region I Vice-Presidents
(Cook and Lake Counties) 

Phil Cisneros
Cook County Public Guardian Office, Local 3969
Safiya Felters
Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Local 2854
Susanne Littlefield

City of Chicago, Local 2912

Lloyd Marshall
Cook County Juvenile Probation Department, Local 3477
Kobie Robinson
Cook County Assessor, Local 3835
Crosby Smith
Ludeman Developmental Center, Local 2645


Region II Vice-Presidents
(Northern Illinois)


Terry Boone
Moline Schools, Local 672
Cody Dornes

Department of Corrections, East Moline, Local 46

Tom Opolony

Lombard, Illinois Municipal Employees, Local 89

Tawny Proulx

Jack Mabley Developmental Center, Local 172
Tamara Rietman
Department of Veteran's Affairs, Local 3693

Miguel Vazquez

Aurora Sanitary District Employees, Local 3297

Region III Vice-Presidents
(Central Illinois)


Arnold Black

East Central State Employees, Local 2971

Shaun Dawson
Illinois Department of Corrections Employees, Local 2073
Elizabeth Hutson
East Central State Employees, Local 1019

Jack Matthews

Illinois State Employees, Local 1964
Jeffrey Reighter
Department of Corrections/Graham, Local 2856

Trudy Williams

Fulton County Employees, Local 3433


Region IV Vice-Presidents
(Southern Illinois)

Gregory Faulkner

Madison County, Local 799

Jerry Grammer
Department of Corrections/Menard, Local 1175
Julie Latempt-Brazier
Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Local 2887
John Medley

Metro-East State Employees, Local 1805


State Employees Conference Board Co-Chairs

Cheryl Graham
Kiley Developmental Center, Local 785
Carlene VanDyke
Illinois State Employees, Local 2615
Tim Worker
Department of Corrections, Vandalia, Local 993


Keith Kracht
Department of Corrections, Centralia, Local 203
Vickey Leadingham
LaSalle and Putnam Counties, Local 978
Danny Williams
Shapiro Developmental Center, Local 29 

Retiree Chapter 31 Representative

Larry Brown

President, Chapter 31 Retirees