Employees of a nonprofit agency in northern Illinois that helps at-risk children have voted to form a chapter affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
AFSCME (AFSK'-mee) on Tuesday announced the vote by workers at Maryville Academy. The agency has about 335 employees in facilities in Chicago, Des Plaines and Bartlett.
Maryville Academy employee LaVar Barfield says the union will give him and his co-workers a "real voice at work."
AFSCME is the state's largest union of government employees.
Maryville Academy provides therapeutic, residential and transitional services to abused or neglected children and children with developmental disabilities.