AFSCME

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.

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.

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