Tens of thousands of Illinois government workers have voted in favor of authorizing a strike if contract talks don't progress.

The state council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees reported Thursday that 81 percent of union members voting favored a strike.

Roberta Lynch is AFSCME executive director. She says the vote empowers the union's executive board to call a strike "if no other path forward can be found."

"I demand respect, I deserve respect. That’s the message that I think this vote sends most clearly," Lynch said.

AFSCME Members To Vote On Potential Strike Action

Jan 30, 2017

Members of the state's largest public employee union are voting Monday on whether to strike.  

About 30,000 state employees belong to AFSCME, and are eligible to vote on whether they should strike. The vote comes as the union and Governor Bruce Rauner have been locked in a contract fight.

Rauner argues AFSCME workers should put in more hours and be open to merit pay. He also characterizes negotiations with AFSCME are at an impasse.

AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall says the governor should come back to the bargaining table.

An Illinois lawmaker who represents a large number of state employees is once again challenging Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to personally negotiate with AFSCME, the state’s largest government union.

The union members will vote this month on authorizing a strike. AFSCME and the Rauner Administration have failed to reach agreement on a new contract. 

Democratic state senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill says the governor needs to take steps to avoid a strike or a lockout.  

The largest public-employee union in Illinois will ask its members this month whether they'd support a strike in a contract dispute with Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration.

The state council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees told members Friday that they'll vote on authorizing the union's bargaining committee to call a strike. Such a vote would not guarantee a strike.

Rauner's office issued a statement condemning the move, saying it puts ``Illinois residents at risk.'' 


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.