Illinois Lawmaker Challenges Governor To Negotiate With State's Largest Public-Employee Union

Jan 16, 2017

An Illinois lawmaker who represents a large number of state employees is once again challenging Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to personally negotiate with AFSCME, the state’s largest government union.

The union members will vote this month on authorizing a strike. AFSCME and the Rauner Administration have failed to reach agreement on a new contract. 

Democratic state senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill says the governor needs to take steps to avoid a strike or a lockout.  

“He sold himself to the people of the state as a businessman who can make deals, that can bring stability and certainty to state government, and there’s no better place to show that that’s the case than right now with this impasse with AFSCME,” Manar said.

Manar made the remarks in a phone call with reporters. Late last year, the state's Labor Relations Board declared contract negotiations to be at an impasse.

The union has since offered significant concessions in hopes of reopening talks, but the governor hasn’t budged.