AFSCME

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.

"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.

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