AFSCME

Members of AFSCME Council 31 have a new  labor deal with the State of Illinois, according to the union. 

NPR Illinois

Long before he ran for governor, Bruce Rauner was a champion for school choice. That’s the shorthand way of saying he used his considerable clout and cash to support charter schools, most of which don’t welcome teacher unions.

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

As part of the new Illinois budget, some 24,000 state workers will get paid for salary increases they were supposed to get as far back as 2011.

AFSCME says it agreed to temporarily defer annual raises after the 2008 financial crisis. The union later negotiated increases that were supposed to start in 2011, but the General Assembly never approved the spending — until now.

Matt Lukow works for the Illinois Department of Corrections. He says he’s owed a few thousand dollars.

Chase Cavanaugh / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University employees belonging to AFSCME Local 1890 approved a contract proposal Tuesday that was nearly three years in the making. The ratification vote on the five year contract took place throughout the day at NIU's student center. NIU’s Board of Trustees will vote on the deal May 10.

Sara Dorner is with AFSCME Council 31 and was part of the negotiations. She says she thinks NIU learned a lot about what its employees have to offer during the long bargaining process, and that “we will never be neglected again.”

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

A strike by union clerical workers at Northern Illinois University has been averted. 

The university and negotiators for AFSCME Local 1890 reached a tentative contract agreement Monday night, after more than two years of talks. The agreement needs approval by the union membership and the NIU Board of Trustees.

Details are not being released until both sides finalize their draft proposal, which could happen next Monday. The union's strike education sessions scheduled to begin Thursday have been canceled.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

A clerical bargaining unit at Northern Illinois University still doesn’t have an initial union contract with NIU after their negotiations meeting earlier this week. That’s after more than two years of talks.

The more than 600 members of AFSCME Local 1890 are now looking at their legal rights to strike, according to union spokeswoman Sara Dorner.

Dorner says that’s a different approach than the union's original plan. Clerical, administrative and paraprofessional workers planned to picket on NIU’s DeKalb campus every Monday at noon until they have an initial contract.

NIU Agrees That AFSCME Unit Can Receive Pay Raise

Oct 16, 2017
NIU

Northern Illinois University and union officials have agreed to a tentative three-percent pay increase for more than 600 clerical, administrative and paraprofessional employees. 

Acting NIU President Lisa Freeman announced last month in her State of the University address that she would pursue a university-wide increase for eligible employees not in open union contracts. That proposal will be presented to the NIU Board of Trustees on Thursday.

niu.edu / afscme.org

Northern Illinois University was ordered to stop changing parking fees for union members without bargaining and refund the fee changes. 

That’s according to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. They ruled Thursday that NIU raised parking pass prices in 2016 without bargaining with AFSCME-member employees.

More than 600 clerical, paraprofessional and administrative employees should be reimbursed $38 each plus interest, the board ruled. 

AFSCME Wins Advisory Ruling Against NIU Parking Hike

Aug 25, 2017
niu.edu / afscme.org

An Illinois state labor board has ruled that its General Counsel should side with a Northern Illinois University employee union regarding the raise of parking pass prices. But the office says it’s not the final word on the case.

The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board office says the legally-binding decision is expected to come later next month.

NIU raised the price of parking permits by $19 in July 2016. That was after NIU and the newly-formed AFSCME bargaining unit – which includes clerical and administrative professionals – entered negotiations in February 2016.

niu.edu / afscme.org

A state employee union has filed a new charge against Northern Illinois University for not bargaining in good faith.

The AFSCME Council 31 charges that NIU refused to bargain with the newly certified unit over mandatory subjects like holidays and sick time. AFSCME spokeswoman Sara Dorner says NIU suggested that the bargaining unit should withdraw proposals for language that appears in the university’s contracts with its other two units.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan argued in court Tuesday that paying state employees removes “any imperative” for Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly to “fulfill their basic constitutional obligations ... and resolve their budget impasse.”

Madigan is trying to halt state employee paychecks. She said only the General Assembly can approve state spending, which means Illinois does not have the legal authority to make payroll.

niu.edu / afscme.org

Northern Illinois University may have to reimburse some of its union-member employees for a parking pass fee increase. That’s if the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board sides with AFSCME in a final ruling.

NIU raised its parking prices by $19 as of July 2016. At the time, the university had been negotiating a first contract with a new bargaining unit of the state employee union since February 2016, according to IELRB documents.

"School buses" by Flickr User JohnPickenPhoto / (CC BY 2.0)

Rockford Public Schools bus drivers have reached a tentative contract agreement with the school district, the union representing the drivers announced Thursday morning. The agreement affects about 200 bus drivers.

Details of the agreement reached Wednesday night with district representatives will be released after a union meeting Friday, according to an email from union representative Anders Lindall of AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The Illinois Supreme Court has declined a request to bypass a lower court and immediately take up Gov. Bruce Rauner's case for imposing pay and working conditions on members of the state's largest public employees' union.

The Republican and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees state council received notice Tuesday that the court wouldn't accept a direct appeal over the validity of a state labor ruling.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Nearly two weeks after a strike from the district’s bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and food service workers, a contract deal isn’t in close reach.

AFSCME represents the workers who protested what they call “dead end contract negotiations.” 

Ed Sadlowski, with the labor union, says the strike was successful in giving school employees a voice.

“It’s a new awareness and a new understanding about what needs to happen and how, and the very appropriate approach to when you’re encountered being provoked to strike, just how do it," he said.

"Courtroom One Gavel" by Flickr User Beth Cortez-Neavel / (CC BY 2.0)

Two state workers who joined Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's lawsuit arguing labor unions shouldn't be allowed to collect fees from non-members say they're appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower-court ruling Tuesday that allowed unions to collect the ``fair share'' fees from workers covered by collective bargaining agreements.

The U.S. Supreme Court has previously found the fees constitutional. The justices split 4-4 on another case challenging the fees last year.

rps205.com

Hundreds of Rockford School District employees are picketing at schools throughout the city as a three-day strike gets underway.

Rockford Public Schools

About 900 Rockford Public Schools workers, including bus drivers, food sevice employees, and paraprofessionals begin a three-day strike Wednesday.  

During that time, schools will remain open.  However, there will be no buses to take students to school. The only students with bus service are those transported by Sunrise, a contractor unaffiliated with AFSCME Local 31, which is organizing the strike. 

An Illinois appellate court has temporarily barred Gov. Bruce Rauner from imposing his contract terms on the state's largest public employee union.

The 4th District Court of Appeals sided with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 on Friday. The court issued an order prohibiting immediate action by the Republican governor.

Talks have been unsuccessful for two years. A labor regulator labeled them at ``impasse.'' That means Rauner may impose his terms and if ASFSCME objects, it can go on strike.

An Illinois appellate court has temporarily barred Gov. Bruce Rauner from imposing his contract terms on the state's largest public employee union.

The 4th District Court of Appeals sided with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 on Friday. The court issued an order prohibiting immediate action by the Republican governor.

Talks have been unsuccessful for two years. A labor regulator labeled them at ``impasse.'' That means Rauner may impose his terms and if ASFSCME objects, it can go on strike.

Jenna Dooley

The Rauner Administration announced Tuesday that it has launched a job website as part of AFSCME strike preparation.

Tens of thousands of Illinois government workers voted in favor of authorizing a strike if contract talks don't move forward.

AFSCME Executive Director Roberta Lynch says the vote empowers the union's executive board to call a strike "if no other path forward can be found."

According to a news release from the Governor’s office:

Tens of thousands of Illinois government workers have voted in favor of authorizing a strike if contract talks don't progress.

The state council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees reported Thursday that 81 percent of union members voting favored a strike.

Roberta Lynch is AFSCME executive director. She says the vote empowers the union's executive board to call a strike "if no other path forward can be found."

"I demand respect, I deserve respect. That’s the message that I think this vote sends most clearly," Lynch said.

AFSCME Members To Vote On Potential Strike Action

Jan 30, 2017
AFSCME31.ORG

Members of the state's largest public employee union are voting Monday on whether to strike.  

About 30,000 state employees belong to AFSCME, and are eligible to vote on whether they should strike. The vote comes as the union and Governor Bruce Rauner have been locked in a contract fight.

Rauner argues AFSCME workers should put in more hours and be open to merit pay. He also characterizes negotiations with AFSCME are at an impasse.

AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall says the governor should come back to the bargaining table.

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.  

The largest public-employee union in Illinois will ask its members this month whether they'd support a strike in a contract dispute with Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration.

The state council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees told members Friday that they'll vote on authorizing the union's bargaining committee to call a strike. Such a vote would not guarantee a strike.

Rauner's office issued a statement condemning the move, saying it puts ``Illinois residents at risk.'' 

AFSCME31.ORG

Illinois' largest state employee union says it made concessions in hope of resuming contract negotiations with state government.  

The Illinois council of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees issued a letter Monday saying they've implemented a wage freeze.  They also plan to pay higher health care premiums.   AFSCME had previously called for an 8.5% increase over four years.  

A spokeswoman for Governor Bruce Rauner called the letter "superficial."  She said the terms don't address the major gap between both sides.  

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the state's largest public-employee union, a move union leaders call an attempt to intimidate their members.

Rauner's filing Thursday says it costs the state $2 million a day and is seeking damages.

Union spokesman Anders Lindall calls the filing ``frivolous.''

The Republican governor and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees state council are warring over whether the governor can impose the terms of the administration's final contract offer.

A judge in southern Illinois has issued a temporary restraining order to keep Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration from imposing contract terms onto state workers.

The order this week from Judge Robert LeChien comes after the Illinois Labor Relations Board last month issued an opinion saying contract talks between the state and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union were at an impasse.

That ruling let the state impose final contract terms.

AFSCME31.ORG

The union that’s representing 30,000 Illinois workers is suing Gov. Bruce Rauner.

AFSCME filed a lawsuit late Wednesday in Saint Clair County Circuit Court.

Spokesman Anders Lindall says Rauner is starting to implement a new state contract before the law allows.

"Those demands include four years with no pay increase, a 100-percent hike in what workers now pay for health insurance,” Lindall said. "The combination of those two is a big, effective pay cut."

A ruling by the state labor board recently gave Rauner the right to implement his terms unilaterally.

Dozens of state legislators Wednesday publicly called on Governor Bruce Rauner to negotiate with the state's largest public-employee union.

But Rauner has already started taking advantage of his ability to implement new contract terms without AFSCME's approval.

A state labor board recently found Rauner was fine to have broken off talks with AFSCME last January, because the two sides were so far apart.

The union plans to fight that decision in court, but otherwise, most state employees are faced with accepting Rauner's terms, or going on strike.

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