AFSCME

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.

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