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*** UPDATED x1 - Madigan moves anti-AFSCME bill *** AFSCME plans “Unity Days of Action”

Friday, Nov 9, 2012

*** UPDATE *** As noted by a commenter, House Speaker Michael Madigan revived a bill of his today that directly impacts this topic

Declares that the State shall appropriate for no more than an X% increase for wage increases associated with any and all collectively bargained contracts throughout State government.

States the policy of the State of Illinois that the size of, or a reduction in, the State employee workforce shall not be a topic of collective bargaining.

The bill has been languishing for a year, but was moved into the House Revenue Committee today. The proposal has bipartisan co-sponsorship.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* A friend of mine came home from work last night and found this Henry Bayer robocall on his answering machine…

* Script…

This is Henry Bayer, director of your union, AFSCME Council 31.

Negotiations for a new state contract have gone on for more than ten months, and the Quinn administration is still demanding big takeaways that will reduce your pay and drastically increase your health insurance cost.

That’s why state employees are coming together to take action at their worksite next week, between November 13th and the 15th.

We have to make clear to management that we are not going to accept these very steep cuts.

If you’re not willing to settle for a contract that drives down your standard of living, then join in the Unity Days of Action at your worksite next week.

These action days are being coordinated at the local and worksite levels. I asked AFSCME for some examples of what its members will be doing. The e-mailed response….

- “Green Days” in which all members wear AFSCME green shirts, wristbands, jackets or hats;
- Displaying signs with “Stand Together” and “Fair Contract” messages in cars and throughout worksites;
- Solidarity actions such as all members marching into a worksite together in the morning, standing up as one and silently displaying signs in their worksite at an appointed time, or picketing worksites over the lunch hour.

So, no sick-outs or walk-outs… yet.

* Meanwhile, this isn’t exactly new

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he’s looking forward to accomplishing pension reform by Jan. 9 with bipartisan cooperation and before a new Legislature is sworn in. […]

Quinn says an overhaul of the state’s employee retirement system is needed so there will be adequate resources for schools, public safety and veterans’ programs.

He says Tuesday’s election results show that voters across the country want to see Democrats and Republicans work together.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Irish - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:10 pm:

    So, I suppose he feels a “mandate” to visit the IPI again.

  2. - PublicServant - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:27 pm:

    Dump the pension ramp driving the unsustanable increase in pension payments. Look to Rep. Fortner’s bill as a starting point to solve the state’s funding problem.

    As others have previously stated, it’s not the pensions that are the problem. It’s their funding.

  3. - Hat Trick - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 12:57 pm:

    I would say the Speaker would like to help the Governor stand strong for fiscal responsibility in his negotiations with AFSCME . . .

    In short, “the State shall appropriate no amount for new wage increases associated with any and all collectively bargained contracts throughout State government until the State has demonstrated 2 years of operating surpluses . . .”

  4. - Jimbo - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:16 pm:

    In the grand scheme of things, HT that doesn’t amount to much, and the state will never achieve an operating surplus according to the Comptroller. Also, this just pits employees against one another. Many Agencies aren’t funded with GRF, so the Legislature can’t prevent raises. The GA should not be in the business of negotiating collective bargaining agreements and the Governor shouldn’t be able to ignore them.

  5. - Rufus - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:25 pm:

    @hat trick. Oh that’s nice, when was the last time there was a surplus? Maybe a balanced budget, but a surplus, there is no way a legistrator would leave money on the floor.

    What a joke!

  6. - Truthteller - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:29 pm:

    If the state can afford big tax expenditures for the likes of CME,Sears, and for for-profit hospitals, can’t it afford to let nurses, state cops,CFS workers, and others keep up with the cost of living?
    Instead of relying on Quentin Young for help on the Sports Authority, Quinn should rely on him for advice on healthcare, like how to make it affordable and accessible, particularly for retirees who Quinn is trying to push out into the cold

  7. - Hat Trick - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:44 pm:

    Well, Jimbo, you may be right across the board; however, I don’t think the GA wants to have another situation where a sitting Governor facing a nasty reelection negotiates a “national model” contract with the public employee unions and then hands them the bill — and the blame, when there’s no money. I would say both leaders want to be part of this contract negotiation if they have to fund the final product.

  8. - Anonymice - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:21 pm:

    Cute trick with the resolution. When the General Assembly didn’t appropriate as much funding for a number of agencies last year, the Governor took away bargaining agreement pay raises under Section 21 of the Public Labor Relations Act, which says that multiple-year collective bargaining agreements are suject to appropriations. If the unions negotiate a one-year agreement, failure to appropriate the funds for any raises wouldn’t come within that provision and would arguably be a violation of the contracts clauses of the state and US constitutions. More money for the lawyers!

  9. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:23 pm:

    HT. A governor already cannot do that. All new employee contracts cannot be negotiated for longer than the remainder of a governors term. The GA already addressed that.

  10. - What the bleep - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:29 pm:

    Keep in mind it’s a joint resolution, not a bill. they could adopt the joint resolution, but it wouldn’t have any legal effect. All this does is lay a foundation for saying, “We don’t want raises” and give Henry Bayer something to rile up his troops.

  11. - Hat Trick - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:53 pm:

    Anon and What the bleep. The fact remains that the GA can appropriate what they see fit and may or may not agree to fund raises negotiated by the Governor (no matter what the length of the contract) without input. The idea that they may want to influence these negotiations doesn’t seem unreasonable. A resolution by a mere legislator wouldn’t be newsworthy, wtb. One set to shine on a hill by the Speaker, well . . . it’s meant to enlighten. Just an observation. Then again, it may mean absolutely nothing.

  12. - KurtInSpringfield - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 7:44 am:

    Actually, section 21 of the ILPRA does not say “subject to appropriations” it says “subject to the appropriation power of the employer, employers and exclusive representatives may negotiate multi-year collective bargaining agreements pursuant to the provisions of this

    If you study the history of this act, courts were striking down multi-year(m-y) agreements because the exec branch did not have the ability to appropriate funds to honor the agreements. The GA passed this language to let the courts know that the exec branch could negotiate m-y agreements due to the fact that the GA had the ability (power) to appropriate funds to honor those contracts. saying “subject to appropriations” & “subject to the appropriations power” are two very different concepts which is why AFSCME sued the state for violation the contract. At the end of section 21 it states “pursuant to the provisions of this act” Section 7, one of the provisions of “this act” basically states the employer has a duty to bargain regarding changes to a contract which would include freezing raises specified in the contract.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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