SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Unions and reality

Tuesday, Apr 5, 2011

* One cannot simply snap one’s fingers and reopen a union contract

Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno today called on Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn to renegotiate the state’s contract with its largest employee union, saying workers should give up scheduled pay raises in the face of an ongoing budget mess.

Radogno’s comments came after a speech hosted by the City Club of Chicago in which she said unions, particularly the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers, must make sacrifices to help get Illinois out of the red.

“I don’t want to be anti-union, hostile or whatever, but when you add up what these raises have been… that’s a problem,” Radogno told reporters. “Particularly when you stack that up against the average person, who is struggling and thankful they have a job and haven’t had raises.” […]

“It has to be a function of the executive branch, they are in control of that contract,” Radogno said. “But I would stand with Pat Quinn and try to support him in doing that. He needs to do that. We need to do that for the people of the state.”

You can apply public pressure all you want, but the union has to agree to reopen the contract. They did it last year, when Quinn threatened facility closures and layoffs, but they got a no-layoff and no-closure deal out of him in exchange for helping him find millions in budget cuts. The governor claims that he’s been able to get $200 million in concessions, etc. so far, but his ammo is pretty much gone unless they try something new. What else do they have? Pensions? Yeah, but state employee unions cannot by law negotiate on that topic.

In other words, the state is likely stuck with that contract until it expires next year unless AFSCME decides otherwise.

* The big Sun-Times front page headline today was all about how Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel had issued a threat to unions. The threat is actually old news. He’s been saying the same thing for months, mainly that he wants a longer school day. But, guess what? The CTU agrees a longer day is needed, although you have to skip way down in the piece to find it

[Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis] agreed with the mayor-elect that Chicago needs a longer school day. The only question is, how schools would use the extra time.

“One of the things we want to make sure is that we have professional development built into the day and that we also have a full, rich curriculum that includes art, music, recess, p.e., history and science for all students,” Lewis said.

Pressed on what the union wants in return, Lewis said, “We’re not having that discussion yet. We don’t make backroom deals. We have a different way of doing it. The conversation we need to have is what that [longer day] will look like.”

As for Emanuel’s threat to ask Springfield to mandate a longer day if the CTU won’t agree to it at the bargaining table, she said, “I guess my question is, why do we need to threaten one another? Can we start by having a conversation without threats? We’re reasonable people.”

I guess it’s news that the mayor-elect is being Mr. Tough Guy, but getting the CTU to agree to a longer school day has been sought for years. An opening like this is pretty significant. The question now becomes if Emanuel can take advantage of it.

* In other news, Gov. Pat Quinn and Caterpillar’s CEO have scheduled a press conference for this morning. I’ll post something when I know something.

* Related…

* McCormick Place will operate under labor changes, at least for now

* CS-T: Share the pain in workers comp plan

* Legislator: UI appropriation likely less than Quinn’s budget: Following the more than 4-hour-long hearing, Hogan said the university could survive another budget cut next year.

* Illinois lawmakers debate rights for pregnant workers: But in a state where Republicans argue the business climate is already among the worst in the nation, the proposed law could add more potential for unwarranted court battles for businesses.

* FutureGen still has hurdles to clear

* Illinois House reduces pension benefits for judges, lawmakers

* Lawmaker Wants Illinois to Bail Out Prepaid Tuition Program: A West Suburban Republican legislator says College Illinois’s prepaid tuition program mislead tens of thousands of families. Now that it faces a shortfall of more than $300 million, he says the General Assembly should bail out investors. About 55,000 current or future college students count on the funds.

* Mental health community asks legislators to halt cuts

* Bellwood digs $40 million hole for taxpayers, has no new Metra station to show for it - All-in plans for a redefining Metra station leave Bellwood in a lurch

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 9:56 am:

    So sad that Bellwood’s officials decided that they can be developers as well as politicians. What were they thinking? $40 mil for a Metra Station complex for a town of 16K? Parking structures, condos, stores…. These folks should be held personally liable for playing developer with the public’s money.

    Repeat after me. When government tries to muscle into areas well served by private enterprise, they will fail big time. If a project look too good to be true and private developers are not working on it, you have been sold a bill of goods.

  2. - Fed up - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 10:03 am:

    Rich what Quinn got for the no lay off pledge was a union endorsement and needed campaign cash. It was pure pay to play.

    The city schools need a longer school day and a longer school year I expect a small increase in class time nothing significant but Rahm and the teachers will claim it’s a huge
    step forward.

  3. - cassandra - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 10:11 am:

    It isn’t that long until 2012 so maybe this is opening rhetoric on Radogno’s part. Good for her.

    It would be nice to see a list of those $200 million in savings though. Governor Pat tends to fib about fiscal matters so some documentation would be useful. Otherwise, I’d assume a lot less than $200 million. $20 million maybe? Ah, we Illinoisians. We’ll believe anything.

    I assume the negotiations for the 2012 contract start fairly soon? Or maybe Jan 2012. In any case, that’s where we really need sunlight. Governor Pat is heavily, heavily indebted to AFSCME. The new contract will be his opportunity to reward them with goodies like big raises, more generous health benefits, and, of course, an extended no-layoff agreement.Lifetime jobs for state workers is a huge benefit in the competitive global economy, far more valuable than pre-recession-. Negotiations will occur during a presidential campaign in which the Dems nationally are seeking labor’s support. This is not good news for Illinois taxpayers and very bad news for keeping the income tax increase temporary.

  4. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 10:13 am:

    - It was pure pay to play. -

    Yes Fed up, you’re obviously a better journalist than Rich. I expect the feds to beat down Quinn’s door any moment.

  5. - Steve Bartin - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 10:41 am:

    A contract is a contract. Rahm Emanuel has to deal with the hand he’s dealt. Chicago is a union town. However, with a declining population Rahm could talk about closing dozens of schools. Sure, many parents will be upset. But, many people paying property taxes in Chicago don’t have kids in the CPS system. Chicago has less children than 10 years ago. School closures are coming: with or without union help.

  6. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 10:51 am:

    Radogno’s tone and argument are more reasonable than the Tea Party stuff coming from the august Civic Committee.

    I heard a second radio spot today that just flatly states that in Illinois “classrooms are overcrowded and businesses are leaving” because of public employee pensions and that “95% of us pay higher taxes to support the other 5%.”

    Pretty Foxy, simple-minded stuff from Illinois business and academic establishments.

  7. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 10:54 am:

    The unions have worked to help the situation with the $200 million savings, they didn’t create the problem, it was Radogno and her cohorts that created it over their inability to govern.
    What has the Legislators done to help out? Lets see……
    They set their furlough days based on a 365 day work year (not bad for a part time job) while union and mc were based on a 240 day. OH they got thier raises last year too.

  8. - phocion - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 10:59 am:

    How exactly did the unions “save” the state $200 million? Seriously, I’d like the details.

  9. - Bill - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 11:00 am:

    I don’t think that the union was ever against a longer school day. They just wanted to be paid for the extra work. Their salaries lag behind most suburbs in the area now. The new leaders of the CTU are trying to take a positive approach. If Rahm tries the tough guy approach he is famous for and tries to negotiate in the press he will be in for a very unpleasant lesson in humility. It is up him to set the tone. Nobody in the union is scared of Rahmbo.

  10. - the Patriot - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 11:07 am:

    You cannot reopen the contracts but you can elimiate the positions. The legislature has the power to cut the budget and force the governor to get the concessions or make layoffs. If the Gov chooses layoffs he has to choose between union workers or the high paid adminstrative cronies he and Blago have hired.

    The problem is, it is not the Gov’s call. It is Madigans. He will give Quinn the money because he wants to keep his pockets full of union money. He does not have to balance the budget because he knows the AG won’t enforce the constitution.

    When this state chose to re-elect Pat Quinn and support legislators that will line up behind a dictator in Mike Madigan they sealed our fate.

  11. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 11:08 am:

    ===because he wants to keep his pockets full of union money.===

    AFSCME didn’t give him a dime last year. What planet do you live on?

  12. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 11:11 am:

    Isn’t the City Club of Chicago made up of a bunch of CEO’s of big companies? Nothing like someone making multimillion dollars per year trying to institute cuts against people making under $100K/year.

  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 11:17 am:

    The US school system ranks 53 among industrialized nations, our kids rank in the 20 percentile range in math and science, and the Chicago Teacher’s Union states that “a longer school day could have a full, rich curriculum that includes art, music, recess, p.e., history and science for all students.” Hello School Union - get your priorities straight. At least you said science but come on - focus!

  14. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 11:17 am:

    Well, the short school day in Chicago is why my kids go to a private school that has two hours more a day of instruction but I know many people cannot afford that. I would love not to pay that tuition.

  15. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 11:21 am:

    Pluto, like some other near West suburban governments, Bellwood has a rather colorful, storied history. They’re not Big Government types as a political philosophy, if you catch my meaning.

    Some friends of theirs made out quite well on the project, so it hasn’t been a total loss in some minds.

  16. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 11:28 am:

    –The US school system ranks 53 among industrialized nations,–

    Where’s that come from? I don’t think there are 53 industrialized nations. Most lists you see contain a max of about 30.

  17. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 12:48 pm:

    AFSCME doesn’t make many concessions, mid-contract or not. Go back, look, and give me a list of ones where they came out net-minus.

    I don’t necessarily agree with their approach. They have in the past been willing to sacrifice a smaller number of their members to preserve raises, etc for the greater number. I never thought that was really brotherhood/sisterhood. But. I’m not them, and most important of all, remember their leadership runs for election, so the numbers count big time.

  18. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 4:27 pm:

    Bill 100% correct. And how does Rhamie plan to pay for this?

    Rahmie is going to learn that being an executive is much harder than being a legislator (or being the advisor to an executive for that matter).

  19. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Apr 5, 11 @ 4:39 pm:

    @the Patriot:

    Unfortunately, your logic is completely flawed. The General Assembly can choose not to fully fund positions but the Governor still cannot get rid of anybody in the union. There is an agreement not to. Given the state’s record in court I will guarantee you that everyone will be on the payroll and get their paycheck, regardless. A court can order a state to do a lot of things. Given than there are barely any non-union staff left you are not going to get any savings in personnel until the contract expires.

    Also, it’s not up to the Attorney General to “enforce” anything in this instance. Somebody would have to sue the state for violationg the Constitution and the Attorney General would be responsible for defending the state. That is the Attorney General’s job.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Zopp makes small cable TV buy during debate
* Exelon Just Received A $1.7 Billion Rate Increase Through The Market-Based Capacity Auction
* Question of the day
* Raoul: "Inflexible demands plus willful amnesia is no recipe for any negotiation"
* Violence spike blamed on budget cuts
* *** UPDATED - Home and doing better *** I'll be back later
* Gray hired by Trump
* MLB playoff open thread
* Once more, with feeling
* B3 fallout?
* Unclear on the concept
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Major Windows 10 ‘Redstone’ update in the works already, ETA is July 2016
* 7 more countries now get local versions of YouTube
* OnePlus strikes partnership with Foxconn to join ‘Make in India’ program
* Toshiba DynaPad 2-in-1 comes with Wacom stylus, wasp waist, hefty price tag
* T-Mobile hikes iPhone 6s and 6s Plus JUMP! On Demand prices
* Pepsi phone? How about a Pepsi ‘line’ of Chinese phones and accessories?
* OnePlus Commits To Manufacturing Some Of Its Smartphones In India

* Podcast: Pitchers and Catchers review
* Chase Utley's takeout "slide" could be the tipping point
* First White Sox bench coach candidate emerges
* Hahn feels White Sox fanbase's frustration
* Sox to rely on improvement of core in 2016
* One benefit of the White Sox' lefty-heavy rotation
* Foot issue to sideline White Sox prospect Hawkins


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* SHORTAGE: Stock up on canned pumpkin before it'.....
* Better than tonight's Democratic Party Presiden.....
* Brown says Governor's call for supermajority is.....
* Miller: Bruce Rauner, Michael Madigan go back, .....

* McHenry teachers union approves contract to end strike
* EXCHANGE: Churches work together to preserve historic home
* Public can see Stanley Cup in Millennium Park on Wednesday
* Coalition urges Illinois communities to plant oak trees
* Automatic Illinois voter registration expected in committee
* $5M grant to ISU will aid young people in Champaign County
* Former reporter and Illinois Supreme Court spokesman dies
* Illinois agency investigating death of 1-year-old girl
* Judge: Class-action status allowed in deaf inmates' lawsuit
* Illinois delegate candidates for 2016 emerge

* Judge: Class-action status allowed in deaf inmates' lawsuit
* WSEC-TV's CapitolView: The continuing state budget impasse
* NightReach program's impact hampered by state budget impasse
* FOIA issue of emails on private devices goes back to court
* State criticized for approach to problem gambling
* For Illinois players, $1.6 billion in losses in three years
* More than 400 press passes issued for this year's Illinois State Fair
* Rauner names new chair of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency board
* Rail work to shut down Chicago-St. Louis Amtrak trains for two weeks
* Rail work to shut down Amtrak trains for two weeks

* Budweiser parent to buy rival for $106 billion
* Supreme Court spokesman Joe Tybor dies
* Did CPS get money's worth from tainted contract? Ex-board chief says yes
* Dissolving stent for heart arteries passes first large test
* Neglected tropical diseases taking hold in U.S.

* Clinton slams Trump in front of his Vegas casino
* Byrd-Bennett back in spotlight Tuesday — for expected guilty plea
* Cubs offer aldermen playoff tickets at face value
* Long road takes Ryan Garbutt to the ultimate hockey destination
* Brown: Time running out to fix Council inspector general mess
* Bike park opens in West Loop
* Emanuel stands behind claim about “YouTube” effect on policing
* Photo: Marian Hossa’s youth player card surfaces
* Blackhawks practice with giant puck
* Emanuel says he played no role in contract at heart of Byrd-Bennett indictment

* Weekend shooting toll: 4 dead, at least 16 wounded
* Separate shootings injure 6, including two 16-year-old boys
* Woman hurt after being struck by stolen car
* Ballhawks tout best seats at Wrigley - on Waveland Avenue
* Feds reject school district's plan for transgender student, locker room
* Emanuel, aldermen take Cubs up on face-value ticket offer
* Former Chicago schools chief to plead guilty Tuesday, source says
* Black councilman tased by police in Texas town where Sandra Bland was arrested
* Emanuel acknowledges his office aware of no-bid deal before vote
* Waukegan teen charged with shooting woman in Zion

* Judge: Class-action status allowed in deaf inmates' lawsuit
* Kathleen Parker: Don't do it, Paul Ryan
* WSEC-TV's CapitolView: The continuing state budget impasse
* NightReach program's impact hampered by state budget impasse
* FOIA issue of emails on private devices goes back to court
* Scott Gauvin: Citizens need more say in CWLP's future
* State criticized for approach to problem gambling
* For Illinois players, $1.6 billion in losses in three years
* Our Opinion: CWLP ratepayers want truth and a voice
* Statehouse Insider: Day 100 without a budget. And 101 and 102 and ...

* Top of the morning, Oct. 13, 2015
* Monday's highlights: 18 area golfers headed to state
* Area prep statistics: Girls' tennis (Oct. 13)
* Area prep statistics: Boys' soccer (Oct. 13)
* Area prep statistics: Girls' swimming and diving (Oct. 13)
* Danielson, Meyer lead charge for men's golf
* Tate: These 10 UI football issues can be resolved
* Urbana moves to make full METCAD payment
* 3 new faces join Unit 4 equity committee
* No rest for Cubit and staff during off week

* Dawn Patrol: Cubs slug their way past St. Louis; McHenry students return to class today
* Airport lodges opposition to Pheasant Run's residential plan
* Hoffman Estates might increase rebate for Duluth Trading Co.
* Evangelist brings down house at Judson University
* Will your boss let you watch Cubs game this afternoon?

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* State senators propose law to reduce textb......

* Senate committee OKs nominee for US marsha......

* Drews becomes IAR president; logo celebrates IAR’s 100 years
* The hashtag winner for the 100th Anniversary contest; start using it now
* Letter: Will County communities should curb impact fees to spur growth
* Morning Minute: REALTORS® expect moderate price growth in the months ahead
* Local associations can get ‘covered’ on IAR’s 100th anniversary
* Learn about Crosby’s service award in Illinois REALTOR®
* Name change sanctioned by IAR board at Fall Business Meetings
* MRED becomes Centennial Sponsor for IAR’s 100th Anniversary
* ICYMI: Top 4 Stories on the IARbuzz Blog
* Morning Minute: 15 home maintenance projects for this fall

* Board’s New Rules Will Reduce Risk of Tire Fires and Disease-Carrying Mosquitos
* Illinois Hosts Inaugural Interstate Medical Licensure Compact - Aims to increase health care access through multi-state physician licensure program
* IEMA Announces Elgin Community College Attains ‘Ready to Respond Campus’ Designation - Elgin one of five Illinois campuses to receive distinction
* New Mortgage Loan Interface Increases Efficiency, Compliance
* State Fire Marshal Ushers In Fire Prevention Week - “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep!”

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller