labor unions

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.

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.

With Labor Day parades stepping off across Illinois today, Democratic politicians are thinking about how to win back the once-solid support of union members.

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.

"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.

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.

Flickr user Jobs With Justice/CC 2.0

Missouri will no longer require workers who benefit from collective bargaining to pay union dues. That means Illinois is going to be surrounded by so-called right-to-work states.

Experts aren't sure what that means for the economy in formerly big-labor states. Gary Burtless is a labor economist with the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. He says right-to-work states have weaker unions, but he's not sure which leads to which.

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.

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.

Rockford Public Library

The Board of Trustees recently approved a three-year labor contract clearing up language that would open the door to Sunday hours. 

A previous contract required employees to be paid time-and-a-half on Sundays.  The board said this was a large financial burden that prevented branches from opening on that day.  This is despite several requests from the public.  

Amanda Vinicky/Illinois Public Radio

  Last week, thousands of union members rallied in Springfield,  asking lawmakers to override a gubernatorial veto.  The bill would change how the state negotiates with labor.

Democratic Representative Emanuel Chris Welch now says he  plans to call the measure for a vote.

He says state employees made their voices heard.

"Both in the districts and down here. I think the rally in Springfield last week was very impressive. And people are hearing that. So we're going to put it on the board and see if the votes are there," he said.

aflcio.org

Four labor unions are suing a Chicago suburb over an ordinance meant to bar private employers from requiring workers to join unions or pay dues.

The lawsuit against Lincolnshire and key village officials was filed Feb. 18 in federal court in Chicago by unions representing engineers, construction workers and carpenters, including three affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

The Daily Herald reports the unions are seeking to have the ordinance declared invalid and block its enforcement.

The right-to-work measure was adopted in December.