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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

State Union Workers Protest Rauner's 'Unfair Proposals'


Union workers protested in Springfield yesterday against what they call unfair proposals from Governor Bruce Rauner.

After six months of negotiating, state workers and the administration have yet to reach an agreement for contracts, which end June 30th.

"We do not want a strike,” Jennifer Desulis, a union member who works for the Illinois Department of Revenue, said. “We want everybody to have a resolution. We want a fair contract. We want services to continue on for the whole community, for the whole state."

AFSCME is the state's largest public employee union. Frank Prohaska, who works for AFSCME, says it's time for a compromise.

"Nobody knows what's going to happen on July 1, all right?” Prohaska said. “Nobody on either side knows what's going to happen July 1, but we're going to continue to bargain in good faith. I believe we've got bargaining dates scheduled after July 1. We're going to be preparing for the worst and hoping for the best and bargaining in good faith."

Unions say Rauner wants to freeze wages and prevent the raises their members deserve. They also say Rauner wants to cut the number of paid holidays.

Rauner says he's concerned with the cost unions have on taxpayers.

Union workers have events planned throughout the week.

Lisa Ryan is a graduate student in the public affairs reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She previously worked at Indiana Public Radio and the college radio station founded by David Letterman. She is a 2014 broadcast journalism and political science graduate of Ball State University.