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 Executive Vice-President

Ralph Portwood

Stateville Correctional Center, Local 1866


Private Sector Executive Vice-President

Yolanda Woods

Hope Institute, Local 2481


University Executive Vice-President

Dorinda Miller

University of Illinois Clericals, Local 3700



Dave Delrose

Will County, Local 1028



David Morris

Illinois State Employees, Local 805


Board Members

State Conference Board Co-Chairs


Gloria Arseneau, (RC-14)

Northeastern Illinois State Employees, Local 2794
Gary Ciaccio
Shapiro, DC, Local 29

Kathy Lane, (RC-63)

Northwestern Illinois State Employees, Local 448


Region I Vice-Presidents
(Cook and Lake Counties) 

Safiya Felters
Department of Human Services, Local 2854
Ellen Larrimore
Northeastern Illinois University, Local 1989
Stephen Mittons
Cook County DCFS, Local 2081
John Rayburn
Chicago Public Library, Local 1215
Kobie Robinson
Cook County Assessor, Local 3835
Crosby Smith
Ludeman Developmental Center, Local 2645


Region II Vice-Presidents
(Nothern Illinois)


Garry Cacciapaglia

City of Rockford, Local 1058

Carlene Erno

Illinois State Employees, Local 2615

Tom Minick

Moline Schools, Local 672

Tom Opolony

Lombard, Illinois Municipal Employees, Local 89

Yurvette Simmons

United Cerebral Palsy of Will County, Local 3237
Miguel Vazquez
Aurora Sanitary District Employees, Local 3297

Region III Vice-Presidents
(Central Illinois)


Lori Gladson
Illinois State Employees, Peoria, Local 51
Mark Kerr

McFarland MHC, Local 2767

Gary Kroeschel

Sangamon Co. State Employees, Local 2224

Matt Lukow

Springfield Area State Employees, Local 1964

Steve Nordyke

Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Local 2600

Trudy Williams

Fulton County Employees, Local 3433


Region IV Vice-Presidents
(Southern Illinois)

Chris Milton

Madison County Employees, Local 799

Cary Quick

Choate MH/DC, Local 141

Mike Turner

Southern Illinois Corrections Employees, Local 415

Tim Worker

Vandalia Correctional Center, Local 993




Shaun Dawson
Illinois Department of Corrections Employees, Local 2073
Stephen Howerter

Canton Correctional Center Employees, Local 3585


Retiree Chapter 31 Representative

Larry Brown