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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Governor, Union Conflicted Over Contract

Illinois Public Radio

Governor Bruce Rauner's administration and the state's largest public employee union remain at odds on a new contract.

The two sides appear to still be far apart. A memo from the union known as AFSCME became public last week. It laid out several demands from the administration, including no pay increases and cuts to worker's benefits. The memo theorized the Governor was pushing for a strike or a lockout, which Rauner's camp has refuted.

Tim Butler is a Republican State Representative from Springfield, whose district includes a lot of state employees. 

"What I have told them and what I have told the Governor's office as well is they need to continue sitting at the bargaining table and negotiate, even if both sides feel the other isn't moving much."

An extension of the previous contract expires later this week. Butler says he's optimistic another extension for August will happen. Despite the stalemate when it comes to the talks, Butler says as of now, he would oppose bringing in an independent arbitrator to resolve it.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's administration is making plans in case some state workers decide to strike. The State Journal Register reports some retired workers are being asked if they'd be willing to come back on short-term contracts.

  • WUIS's Sean Crawford contributed to this report.
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