Hold Up Continues For Union Raises

Oct 28, 2013

lllinois lawmakers have yet to fund raises for certain state employees. 

The raises were negotiated under the Blagojevich administration, but it was Governor Pat Quinn who, starting in 2011, said he didn’t have the money to pay them. The AFSCME union sued, and a judge ordered the state to pay, with interest.

Then, as a part of the most recent labor contract, Quinn changed course … even agreeing to ask the legislature for extra money to pay the raises. So far lawmakers have refused, but it could happen during their fall session.

Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, says he and some colleagues might be unwilling to go along since they did not have a say in agreeing to the raises.

“Perhaps a governor, before he or she negotiates a contract with the public employees’ labor union, they should find out if the General Assembly is willing to fund that contract,” Lang said.

Some unionized workers did get raises after their agencies moved money around to fund them. But the total for those who didn’t is about $100 million, and growing.

Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey contributed to this report.