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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

AFSCME, Rauner Reach Temporary Contract Agreement


Tuesday is "deadline day" for state government.  But one deadline is being given a month-long extension.

Tuesday is the final day of the fiscal year; after that, the current budget expires. It's also the final day of the state's contract with its largest public employees union, AFSCME.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the union have met at the bargaining table, but AFSCME leadership has described the two sides are far apart.

That -- combined with statements Rauner made before he was governor in which he said he'd be willing to let government shut down -- have raised the specter of a lockout. Not in July.

A joint statement released Thursday evening by Rauner's office and AFSCME says they've agreed to extend the current contract for one month.

"That allows both sides to continue to negotiate during July without the threat of disruption to the public services that union members provide," AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall said.

What happens come August if there's no agreement? That's something else they'll have to negotiate. 

"We have said for our part that the union is committed to reaching an agreement that is fair to all,” Lindall said. “We've always been able to do that in the past. We're totally committed both to providing public service and to reaching a fair agreement. "

According to reports and leaked memos, AFSCME is asking for pay raises and better health benefits. Rauner's demands include a wage freeze, requiring employees pay more for health care, and a new structure that allows for bonuses. Rauner reportedly also wants the state to no longer have to collect workers' union fees.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.