AFSCME

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Now that a state board says there's no point to Gov. Bruce Rauner resuming negotiations with AFSCME, his administration is beginning to impose new terms on members of state government's biggest labor union. AFSCME, however, wants Rauner to return to the bargaining table. State employees across Illinois rallied for their cause Thursday.

The Illinois Labor Relations Board has declared contract negotiations between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration and the state's largest public-employees union at an impasse.

Tuesday's decision allows Rauner to impose his terms on the 38,000-member state council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

That gives the union the opportunity to accept the terms or vote to go on strike.

AFSCME officials say they plan to appeal to state court.

The last contract expired in June 2015 and Rauner broke negotiations in January.

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

Around 100 Rockford Public Schools bus drivers picketed in front of the district’s bus terminal at 2000 Christina Street.

They chanted: “No Green, No Yellow,” warning of a possible strike if contract negotiations continue to drag on between the district and AFSCME.  The main sticking points include requests for higher wages and concern over employee contributions to health insurance.   

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

State workers suing to put an end to mandatory union dues will appeal a judge's order dismissing their case.

That's according to their attorney, Jacob Huebert, who is with the conservative-supported Liberty Justice Center.

At issue are fees Illinois government employees pay to cover unions' collective bargaining costs.

Huebert says they shouldn’t be required; he alleges the so-called "fair share" fees also support politics.

afscme.org

AFSCME members spoke out at a Rockford school board meeting Tuesday and held a march  in favor of higher wages for bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and food service workers.  

Current wages for bus drivers are $16,181, $14,280 for paraprofessionals and $11,373 for nutrition services workers. Advocates  say current these levels aren't enough to adequately support  families, and believe Rockford Public Schools can afford higher raises.  

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

A judge is encouraging Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration to keep bargaining its contract with the state’s largest government union.

Attorneys for Governor Rauner have argued the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, which represents thousands of state government employees, is making unrealistic demands in contract negotiations. They're asking the state’s labor board to declare negotiations at an impasse, which could potentially lead to a strike of state workers. 

AFSCME members don't want to strike, says spokesman Anders Lindall. But the union is laying the groundwork, just in case.

"We've got nearly 80 local unions of state employees and so they are having their conversations with their members, on the ground, where they live and work, to give them all the information and answer all their questions,” Lindall said.

Lindall says Governor Bruce Rauner is trying to unilaterally impose demands -- like pay cuts, and higher health insurance premiums -- on the thousands of state employees who are members of AFSCME.

 

illinois.gov

The Kewanee corrections site which Gov. Bruce Rauner is closing to young detainees will be converted to adult prisoner use.

The Republican's administration confirmed several lawmakers' announcement Friday that the 15-year-old facility won't be mothballed in July.

Corrections Department spokeswoman Nicole Wilson says the agency is just beginning to plan a transition as officials analyze best uses.

Rauner announced this year he would close Kewanee because of a declining population of incarcerated youth and a multibillion-dollar deficit.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation to allow an arbitrator to settle state-employee wages and working conditions if union negotiations stall.

In his veto message Monday, the Republican governor called the bill “dangerous,” adding it would replace his bargaining power with a union-friendly arbitrator.  

Ruling Democrats can try to override the veto.

AFSCME's state council Executive Director Roberta Lynch says the bill is a compromise to avoid a strike.

Contract negotiations between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and a union representing Illinois state workers have reached the state labor board.

Both sides are making arguments regarding whether labor talks have stalled.

Rauner asked the Illinois Labor Relations Board to determine whether negotiations are at an impasse.

The declaration would allow Rauner to impose his own terms for the 36,000 members who the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union represents.

afscme.org

About a dozen members of AFSCME attended a DeKalb County Board meeting Wednesday to protest changes to health insurance costs in their current contract.  

Under their current contract, AFSCME members premiums could only rise a maximum of twenty percent each year.  The board wants to eliminate this cap, which union members worry could lead to an unlimited cost increase.  

afscme.org

The state and the nation's largest union of public employees will head to court over an arbitrator's decision that Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was within his rights to order the layoffs of more than 150 state workers last year.

    

The State Journal-Register reports that the state has gone to court in Sangamon County to uphold the ruling.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees plans to file a counter-claim asking the court to vacate the ruling.

AFSCME

Illinois Democrats approved legislation Thursday to require arbitration for union contract disputes.

The state's biggest public employee union -- The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME -- supports changing the process.

Contract negotiations between AFSCME and Gov. Bruce Rauner's office have stalled. Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, says the legislation would help both sides get a deal done.  

afscme.org

Despite unions getting a small victory yesterday in the Illinois House -- state workers' future salaries, benefits and even a potential strike still remain in limbo.

After hours of debate, labor got its desired result: passage of legislation that would solve collective bargaining disputes by way of arbitration.  

Its supporters say it'd also do something even more important: prevent a government shutdown. The bill says Gov. Bruce Rauner can't lock out workers, and workers can't strike.

Rep. Chris Welch, a Hillside Democrat, is the sponsor.

Rauner Pushes AFSCME To Make Decision On Negotiations

Feb 12, 2016
afscme.org

Illinois lawmakers are once again considering an intervention in state labor negotiations.

Contract talks have stalled between Illinois' biggest government labor union -- AFSCME -- and Governor Bruce Rauner.

Rauner wants the state Labor Relations Board to decide whether negotiations are at an impasse; the union says that’s premature.

Under legislation approved by a House committee yesterday, such failed negotiations would be resolved by an arbitrator on whom both sides agree.

AFSCME says it’s willing to give up its right to strike to get that change.

illinois.gov

Director Melissa Mlynski says the board usually must determine whether a public employer and a public employees’ union are legitimately at an impasse, or whether they should work it out.

This time, the contract talks in question cover 36,000 state employees.

“Our process will be as it always is, with all of our cases. Our investigation process and if necessary, our investigative hearing process, will follow the same course that they all do,” Mlynski said.

It’s expected to take weeks. State law doesn't set any deadlines. 

afscme.org

Union leaders say Governor Bruce Rauner's move to end negotiations with Illinois' largest state employees union is frustrating and capricious. 

Rauner announced Friday that he was seeking an impasse in talks with AFSCME after roughly a year of talks.

Public school teachers aren't directly affected.

But Dan Montgomery -- who heads the Illinois Federation of Teachers -- says some of its members do work for the state.

Mongtomery says it was a knock to labor, especially given that it happened heading into Martin Luther King weekend.

AFSCME31.ORG

The rift between Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state's public employee union has escalated.

Rauner announced Friday he's asking the state labor board to decide if negotiations with AFSCME have reached an impasse. A few days ago in an interview with Illinois Public Radio, Rauner -- a Republican -- said his bargaining team is spinning its wheels.

After roughly one year -- about 67 sessions -- he claimed "AFSCME has refused to compromise off of their starting position, which was status quo with major increases in compensation, and other issues." 

afscme.org

Gov. Bruce Rauner says his team is trying to assess its options after an apparent breakdown in talks with AFSCME last week. 

The union is bargaining on behalf of 36,000 state workers for a new contract.

There's an impasse over whether there's an impasse. In this case, that's not just a synonym for "not going well." It's a high-stakes legal term, that basically signals the gulf that divides the two sides is so wide it can't be bridged, so there's no point to negotiating further.

Rauner says after a year and 67 bargaining sessions, he's seen no progress with AFSCME.

afscme.org

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration is outlining a new compensation system for state workers that includes merit pay and bonuses for employees who save taxpayers money.

General counsel Jason Barclay says the administration is implementing the system for members of 17 labor unions that signed new collective bargaining agreements last year.

In a memo to state agency directors, Barclay says the Republican governor has offered a similar compensation package to Illinois' largest state-employee union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

AFSCME

The state's largest public employee union remains at odds with Governor Bruce Rauner's administration on a new contract.  

Negotiators for the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees have been meeting with the governor's staff about twice a month since the summer. But AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall says there's been little movement toward a deal.  

"It shouldn't take this long. And this cloud of uncertainty shouldn't continue to hang over the heads of the men and women who serve our community every day," Lindall said.

AFSCME

Government labor unions lost a fight with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday.

AFSCME and other unions say the governor is making unreasonable demands in contract negotiations. But the governor and like-minded Republicans, such as Representative Jeanne Ives of Wheaton, say unions are asking for more than Illinois can afford.

"Some of you are going to be winners, and some of you are going to be losers,” Ives said. “And what you're going to lose is your livelihood, because there's no other way to pay for this."

AFSCME

A key vote in the standoff between Gov. Bruce Rauner and labor is expected in the Illinois House this week, as early as Wednesday.

Rauner has been trying to convince legislators to let him keep his power to negotiate with the AFSCME union, even if it results in a lockout or strike -- though Rauner has vowed he won't call for the former.

At the same time, AFSCME leaders are asking state representatives to stick with them.

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

The Republican's administration is negotiating a new contract with the AFSCME union, and both sides have said they're far from an agreement. 

Rauner has used his veto pen to reject legislation that could automatically land both sides in arbitration.

A vice president with the F-O-P's state lodge, Keith Turney, says that's the process Illinois has in place for police and firefighters, and it works.

Governor, Union Conflicted Over Contract

Jul 27, 2015
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. 

AFSCME

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.

AFSCME

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

Illinois's contract with the state's largest employee union expires at the end of the month, and negotiations with the governor are supposedly going badly.

Democrats are trying to prevent a potential strike, but the governor might have other plans.

AFSCME pushed the legislation so its 3,800 members would be able to continue working without a contract past the June 30 deadline. It's an apparent reaction to memos sent from Gov. Bruce Rauner's office to state agencies, asking them about what they'd need to keep running in case of a strike.

Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's office appears to be preparing in case there's a strike. The state's contract with its largest public employees' union, AFSCME, expires when the state's fiscal year ends on June 30.

Illinois' largest public employees union has made an about-face in its attitude toward Governor Pat Quinn. Over the weekend, AFSCME leaders endorsed him during a meeting in Peoria. It's a classic case of going with "the devil you know."

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