AFSCME

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Illinois' largest state employee union says it made concessions in hope of resuming contract negotiations with state government.  

The Illinois council of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees issued a letter Monday saying they've implemented a wage freeze.  They also plan to pay higher health care premiums.   AFSCME had previously called for an 8.5% increase over four years.  

A spokeswoman for Governor Bruce Rauner called the letter "superficial."  She said the terms don't address the major gap between both sides.  

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the state's largest public-employee union, a move union leaders call an attempt to intimidate their members.

Rauner's filing Thursday says it costs the state $2 million a day and is seeking damages.

Union spokesman Anders Lindall calls the filing ``frivolous.''

The Republican governor and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees state council are warring over whether the governor can impose the terms of the administration's final contract offer.

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.

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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.

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