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*** UPDATED x2 - Motion to reconsider filed *** “Management bill” passes

Friday, Jan 4, 2013

* One of the only bright spots for Gov. Pat Quinn in an otherwise disastrous lame duck session was final passage last night of the “management bill.” It took the Senate two tries, but the bill received 31 votes the second time around

Senators also approved a bill that restricts union membership for thousands of state workers. Cullerton said nearly 3,400 state workers would either be prohibited from joining unions or would have to give up their union membership.

Even workers in management positions have been allowed to join unions, lawmakers said, resulting in a state workforce that is more than 90 percent unionized.

The bill now goes to Quinn for his signature. He has supported the measure.

Quinn has been pushing this bill for two years. The House passed it a while ago, but it’s never been able to move in the Senate, until yesterday.

Discuss.

*** UPDATE *** Well, maybe not. Thanks to a tip from a faithful reader, I see that Sen. Don Harmon has filed a motion to reconsider the vote

So, the bill is now stalled and won’t go to the governor’s desk until either Harmon withdraws his motion or the full Senate rescinds it. Fascinating development and a big setback for Quinn.

* Harmon explains

The Oak Park Democrat says he wants one more chance to get employee unions and the Democratic governor to negotiate a deal.

*** UPDATE 2 *** WUIS has more details

“The Governor I believe is clearly entitled to assemble a management team that is responsive to him and pursues his policy objectives,” Harmon said. ”And on the flip side unions representing public employees should vigorously represent public employees who report to the governor’s management team. It’s a question of where we draw the line between so that both sides can do their job.”

Harmon says he has negotiated the measure for years … and hopes the Senate’s action will “reinvigorate” discussions.
He says after he’s convened talks in coming days, he’ll decide whether he’ll lift the hold.
That has to be done by Wednesday … otherwise, with the General Assembly’s session over, the bill would be dead for good.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


64 Comments
  1. - Exhausted - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:04 am:

    A motion by Sen. Don Harmon was made to reconsider the vote. Not quite soup yet. Negotiations to continue…


  2. - uniongal - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:08 am:

    Thank you Sen. Harmon for standing for Illinois workers!


  3. - Non union guy.......... - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:11 am:

    I know that ‘everyone has the right to be in union’ but really? This is about time….I know folks who are ‘really up there in DCFS’ and other departments who are hiding in the union…will be good to get them back in the workforce. Now, if we could just deal with this pension mess….


  4. - LincolnLounger - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:13 am:

    Even the most ardent of union supporters cannot justify legislative liaisons being union jobs. Ridiculous, and I’m a former union steward.


  5. - cassandra - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:15 am:

    If these state workers are allowed to join a public unions, doesn’t that mean that their job duties do not meet the definition of management? That is, they can’t hire, fire, discipline, set policy and make similar decisions according to the state’s own personnel rules.

    If 99 plus percent of state employees can’t do any of these things, thus making them eligible for unionization, that suggests that a few people in state government have an awful lot of power and the rest are, well, peons. Is that the kind of government we want? Sounds like it may be the kind of government we have. No wonder so many state agencies are in such disarray. Practically nobody can make decisions or innovate.


  6. - Reality Check - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:16 am:

    @LincolnLounger if this were actually about liaisons there would no issue. How many liaisons are there, a couple dozen? The bill would strip union rights from thousands of state employees and could set a template for stripping rights from untold more workers throughout the public sector.


  7. - Calhoun Native - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    ‘Bout time.

    It doesn’t fix the core issue though. The reason everyone jumped into the union is because that’s the only way they got raises plus they are more secure because of the seniority provisions in the contract. Many non-union supervisors still make far less than those they supervise.

    The problem now - with all of the retirements - is that many of the best qualified folks aren’t interested in those positions.


  8. - RC63 - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    I am one union member that had hoped this passed. Since PSA’s joined the union it shut the door for those of us who aspire to those positions but are blocked out by seniority rules. I know a number of “managers” who got their positions through seniority and no real ability to manage. These positions should go back to being based on merit.


  9. - lincolnlover - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    The general assembly should be asking themselves WHY so many employees feel the need to be in a union. My boss went 10 years without a raise - she deserved as large a raise as possible! - was the first to have to give up 10 furlough days and could have been dismissed at any time without any reason. No wonder she and others in her rank wanted to join a union. People who feel they are being mistreated look for protection and they found it in a union. If they had been treated decently by their employer, they would never have considered unionizing themselves.


  10. - Soccertease - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:28 am:

    Cassandra nailed it. Senior Public Service Admins and other upper managers at my former agency took union PSA jobs for job security and actually make more now since the SPSA’s were taking 10% pay cuts because of furlough days. That’s why it’s my former agency.


  11. - RC63 - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:34 am:

    Calhoun — it’s not like we’re not interested, we just don’t have the seniority to bid against those lumps who have been around 20 years. So now we have “management” lumps who took those position because they were topped out, but have no interest in actually doing their job.


  12. - uniongal - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:36 am:

    Cassandra, It’s true that the current organizational chart of union vs merit comp complicates matters, but poor treatment of merit comp staff by the blago admin was the driving force behind their fight for union membership. They needed protection from the blatant and ridiculous cronyism we all suffered in the transition.

    However, there are bigger issues at hand and Oak Park should be proud of their state senator today for seeing it. It’s nice to know that some are willing to acknowledge that this bill will only create more tension in union negotiations, that someone is willing to show a hint of decency at a time when state workers are being kicked around like dogs. I can’t remember ever feeling more disrespected as a state worker by any administration, including g-rod’s.


  13. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:37 am:

    90%? I knew it was a high percentage, but not that high.

    Seriously?

    Let’s either make it 100% (a nice, round number just for the heck of it - why pick on those 10%’ers?) or finally establish a real system of management, oversight and public service. And to clarify, that is not meant a slight to state union workers. The majority of them are hard working and dedicated individuals.

    But 90%?


  14. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:42 am:

    These people are already in the union. When they became unionized PSA’s their salary skyrocketed. Those PSA’s - at least in my agency - are now the highest paid individuals in the agency. They have surpassed the most senior people in the agency. They are within a few thousand dollars of the director. The insanity of the salary structure in this state is beyond believable. NOBODY should make more than their supervisors, let alone more than those that actually are in charge of running an agency. The state really stuck it’s foot in it when it allowed this to happen. And the state made a mockery of pay scales when it allowed union salaries to become so bloated. For pete’s sake, their are admin assistants in our agency that make over $80,000 a year. Really? The barn door is open and it’s too late to close it because they will never be able to cut salaries. But they can certainly freeze them. It’s too bad the state can’t adjust the salaries of some people to bring them more in line with those they supervise, but that will never happen. That would require too many people being bumped up tens-of-thousands of dollars to six-figure salaries. Just another thing the state has managed to screw up.


  15. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:43 am:

    ===90%? I knew it was a high percentage, but not that high.===

    I think it’s actually much higher than that. 95 maybe. Even more? Can’t remember and too lazy right now to look it up.


  16. - anon - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:44 am:

    Hey wake up folks—this bill is not about legislative liasons or the state being able to manage—this state would not be running for the stability and hard work of most state employees. This bill is about patronage–pure and simple– and it’s disgusting!


  17. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:44 am:

    ==that someone is willing to show a hint of decency at a time when state workers are being kicked around like dogs==

    I have very little sympathy for people making six-figure salaries. Many of the PSA’s that joined the union in our agency had their salaries increase anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 over a 2-year period.


  18. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:45 am:

    uniongal, it’s not just Blago. Things have been just as bad under Quinn.


  19. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:47 am:

    @anon:

    Not as disgusting as these people’s salaries.


  20. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:51 am:

    === pushing this bill for two years ===

    A bill that would drop our union % from 90% to roughly 89%, still not done after two years.

    Meanwhile, we may somehow pass concealed carry (to comply with the court ruling), new gun control, gay marriage, gambling expansion, medical marijuana, etc. in a fraction of that time?

    I respect and agree with Harmon’s reasoning here, but this is also emblematic of a larger failure in Springfield.


  21. - Irish - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:52 am:

    Rc-63 - I think you might be surprised if these positions are removed from the union. You seem to think that they will then be filled by choosing someone with the best qualifications. You don’t understand that having an efficient work force is not the goal here. Filling non-union positions with “friends” and contributors is the goal. So unless you are one of the above you still don’t stand a chance.

    I might be one of the affected ones and the reason we were able to get into the union was because we proved that we are not allowed to make any management decisions. In spite of being in a supervisory role over several employees and several part-time “summer help” and managing three work locations; I cannot purchase anything or call a contractor to fix anything unless I ask for and receive permission from the Springfield headquarters. I cannot hire or terminate ANY employee. Example: I had a part-time 4 month employee who had not reported to work or called in for two weeks and still had keys to some of our buildings. I sent in a termination form for him and requested Law Enforcement retrieve our keys from him. I was called on the carpet by Springfield and told I had no authority to do that. Example 2: I had another part time employee who I thought was stealing. I also had very strong reasons to believe he was using drugs on the job. He would pass out while sitting in a vehicle or on a utility vehicle and he acted as though he were drunk. I tried to get rid of him and was told that Springfield would look into it and make a decision. They finally terminated him but not before he and the other above employee stole approximately $5,000.00 worth of equipment and sold it for drugs. The reason why we cannot terminate these people is because they might have been sent by someone who is owed a political favor and the Governor does not want to alienate a supporter.

    We are not managerial in any way shape or form and that is why we able to get into the union. Removing us from the union because we have managerial or decision making powers is pure BS. Nothing has changed. Quinn just wants more places to put those to whom he owes favors.

    This is the issue that is driving the holding back of pay increases due AFSCME employees and others since July of 2011. This is the issue that is keeping the Governor from listening to any of the concession offers from the unions. This is what he wants the most. The ability to pay back political favors. Nothing else.


  22. - Crime Fighter - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:54 am:

    ==These positions should go back to being based on merit.==

    I hope you’re joking. Unless you define “merit” as a willingness to break the law and undermine the stated goals of the employing agency.

    As Norsemen says “Things have been just as bad under Quinn.” Since when did Quinn base his management appointments on merit?


  23. - cassandra - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 10:56 am:

    My point is, I didn’t think that a group of govt employees could unilaterally unionize, their jobs had to meet certain specification. Whether they feel they are well treated or not is irrelevant. Maybe the distinction has blurred in recent decades but I thought that if you had the power to hire, fire, discipline, implement policy and so on, you couldn’t be in a union.


  24. - uniongal - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:07 am:

    Cassasndra, Got it. Ideally, what you’re describing would happen and did happen for many years. But two issues crept up with Blago became gov: Patronage and cronyism hijacked the PSAs’ ability to manage.


  25. - uniongal - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:10 am:

    Demoralize, Where do you work and are there any openings? Six figures? I think what you are describing is rare. I want to see the steps for those positions.


  26. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:12 am:

    === 95 maybe. Even more? ===

    All about the teamwork:

    “Nearly 96 percent of state workers are in unions”

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-13/news/ct-edit-union-0613-jm-20120613_1_union-membership-nonunion-workers-union-representation

    So this would drop union membership from roughly 96% to roughly 95%. And it takes 2 years to have a chance at passing.

    Ummmm…


  27. - Abe the Babe - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:16 am:

    There are good managers and bad managers throughout state gov. Examples are on both sides. But even the Rutan decision concedeeded that an administration needs a certain level of political appointees to implement its agenda after being elected fairly by the people.

    What is that number of at-will positions? I don’t know. Not sure anyone has an exact number but i know that 96% (the last number i remember reading) is pretty high.

    This could be about placing political friends into various places. But it could also be about getting positions that are loyal to a governor instead of their union. Having an agency lawyer be in the union when that person may have to make recommendations on personnel issues affecting union members is problematic. Legislative liaisons are the tip of the iceberg.

    And the situation described by Irish is exactly why he/she needs to be in management and out of the union. The ability to penalize employees is inherently managerial and the lack of managers at work sites across the state typifies that frustrating part of ineffective government.


  28. - lincolnlover - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    Demoralize - Where do I apply? Our PSA positions don’t make that much, but, I did qualify through CMS for several job titles, so I might fit right into your Agency’s highly paid (and, I suspect, overstated) workforce.


  29. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:20 am:

    OK, now this really takes the cake.

    Apparently, in the last 2 years, Illinois has actually continued growing the % of union membership among state workers.

    Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that but when you’re over 95%… Sheesh.

    “Currently, the Labor Relations Board is considering 31 applications seeking unionization for more than 1,100 employees. That would bump up the number of unionized state employees to 96.5 percent from 94.3 percent, according to an analysis of CMS numbers.”
    http://newssun.suntimes.com/news/4527162-418/union-membership-surges-among-state-workers.html


  30. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:23 am:

    Forgot to note: that article is from March 26, 2011.

    So if we’re at 96% now, those applications must have been approved.

    100%, here we come!


  31. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:24 am:

    Having first line supervisors picked through seniority has terrible results. Managerial skills are not a function of seniority. It is difficult to develop managers in private firms. It is almost impossible in the State

    Are factors other than competence an element of hiring decisions in the State? Certainly. But competence is still a factor.

    And how can one move out a poor manager chosen through seniority? Managerial failures are harder to document.


  32. - TheRevKev - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:25 am:

    Thank you, Senator Harmon. A previous comment hit the nail right on the head. The object here is not to make sure that these positions are filled with properly qualified workers and are necessary positions. The object is to decrease the number of state employees covered by Union contracts so that Quinn has control over what these people are being paid. I am one of the RC-63s. I went 8 years without any salary increase prior to my job title being taken in under the union contract. Because of where they put my job title in the salary structure, I only got one step increase out of that move, but I also received the small percentage increases negotiated. I’ve heard that Quinn getting these positions out of union privilege is also going to allow him to negate the salary increases that we received under the union contract. For someone like me who can retire at any time but is trying to hold on to a job (that I love, do well, and is very much needed by the agency where I work) for another two years so that I can get my social security check to supplement what will a retirement check at least $3500 a month less than my current monthly salary, if the Governor can put my pay back to what it was four years ago, that retirement check will be even less! I’d probably never get to retire, what with a house to still pay for.


  33. - Leave a Light on George - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:25 am:

    I was present at contract negotiations when a CMS lawyer predicted that very soon nearly everyone would be in a union. This was early during the reign of Blago The Foul Mouth. It soon became reality.

    Of course PSA salaries are unbelievably high. Once in the union they showed that they had more duties and responsibilities than those they supervised so they needed to be paid more. Because they had not received raises in so long it took lots of $ to get their pay above that of their subordinates.

    Heck in my old agency SPSA’s were allowed to unionize. As more and more final decisions were sucked into the black hole of CMS nobody had power to hire, fire, discipline ect. so keeping them out of a union was pretty hard. Before anyone says the agency recommended and CMS only processed the paper work is full of you know what. I saw very solid recommendations on numerous occasions totally ignored and flipped 180 by CMS.

    I don’t have a good answer here because as soon as these positions are out of the union they will go back to pure patronage.


  34. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:35 am:

    - Unless you define “merit” as a willingness to break the law and undermine the stated goals of the employing agency. -

    Pathetic. You can disagree with Quinn all you want, but to insinuate that his administration is acting illegally is deranged.

    You think after having our last two Governors sent to prison the Feds stopped watching? Is Quinn just lucky? Get a clue.

    I believe in public sector unions, but there has to be a balance of management and union to make an organization work efficiently. No matter what you say the reasons are, well over 90% does not constitute balance.

    Perhaps you would rather move to Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin or Michigan? I hear the unions in those states are treated with overwhelming respect.


  35. - StayFree75 - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:36 am:

    cassandra’s right


  36. - Amanda Vinicky - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:44 am:

    FYI here’s Sen. Harmon on why he filed the motion: http://wuisnews.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/union-ejection-bill-placed-on-hold/
    “The Governor I believe is clearly entitled to assemble a management team that is responsive to him and pursues his policy objectives,” Harmon said. ”And on the flip side unions representing public employees should vigorously represent public employees who report to the governor’s management team. It’s a question of where we draw the line between so that both sides can do their job.”


  37. - phocion - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:49 am:

    Thanks Amanda Vinicky for posting Harmon’s “reason.” How does holding the legislation do anything to resolve the question of where to draw the line? Very disappointing failure of leadership and resolve on Harmon’s part. He’s becoming part of what ails the political leadership in this state: Delay any resolution of any issue that may offend Big Labor, regardless of the cost to the state.


  38. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:51 am:

    @uniongal and lincolnlover:

    Look up RC 63-24. The scale ranges from $77,844 to $109,248.

    Forgive me for being bitter.

    @cassandra:

    If enough people sign the union cards anybody can try and unionize. They attempted to include SPSA’s also.


  39. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 11:56 am:

    Thanks, Amanda!


  40. - Abe the Babe - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    “The Governor I believe is clearly entitled to assemble a management team that is responsive to him and pursues his policy objectives,” Harmon said. ”And on the flip side unions representing public employees should vigorously represent public employees who report to the governor’s management team. It’s a question of where we draw the line between so that both sides can do their job.”

    Harmon forgot to mention that filing the motion is just another chip for the Senate Prez. As the 97th GA winds down and a frustrated governor seeks to get as much done as possible, he may have to swallow something to get that bill to his desk. Some things never change.

    Its a sickining process but its the one we have.


  41. - Irish - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 12:15 pm:

    STL - Try to get a job at IDOT as a highway maintainer. If you don’t have to “visit” your Dem. County chairman or GA member I would be very much surprised. And these are Rutan positions.

    A little history for all you folks who wonder why state workers got into unions. Back in the early 70’s and before Governor Ogilvie gave state workers collective bargaining rights every four years right after the gubernatorial election everyone in my agency would get a layoff notice. ( I cannot speak for all agencies I just know this happened in mine.) Then after checking your political affiliation the powers that be would either rehire you or replace you with a “friend”. There was no concern for the facility you worked at, it would be without staff until they made sure all employees were from the right party.
    Up until the PSAs were given the ability to become unionized, once a year it would become known that it was time to buy your tickets. A supervisor would let it be known that he had tickets and it was time to pony up for the privilege of having your position. A known amount was expected and you could decline buying them but your annual raise might not be what you thought it would be.

    And for those of you who think merit has any bearing on promotions or evaluations or raises, you are wrong. Prior to PSA unionization, at the beginning of the year it would be made known what raise percentage might be attained by employees. Supervisors were given a maximum amount they could award in total raises. Then when your evaluation came around if you were a friend of the supervisor or Springfield you would get a high rating and the subsequent percentage that was tied to that rating. However if your evaluation came late in the year and/or if you were not a friend then you got a lower rating and a subsequent lower raise. I don’t know how many times I was verbally told I was doing an excellent job but my supervisor had to rate me lower because he didn’t have enough in his raise budget to give a higher rating. I was present once when a coworker was told he couldn’t get a superior rating because there wasn’t enough money. He was told to pick the area he wanted to be marked down.
    Without unionization all you have is patronage pure and simple. So if you want to go back to where your taxpayer supported facilities are being cared for by people who’s only training or knowledge is that they are a friend of those in power, then please keep working to get rid of the unions.


  42. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 12:22 pm:

    Irish - I’ll repeat, since it seems you failed to read it the first time: I’m all for public unions. However, ~95% union to management ratio is too much.

    I’m sorry you were treated poorly back in the day, but the answer isn’t for ~95% of the state workforce to be unionized.


  43. - cassandra - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 12:25 pm:

    Demoralized–

    I know that. But I don’t think getting a majority means they can automatically unionize. It depends on the job duties, not only those in the job description but what they are actually doing.

    The problem I see is that management functions are so highly centralized in Illinois state govt that I’m not sure this can be reversed-we (taxpayers) could be doomed to employing hundreds of six figure assistant associate deputy directors and line supervisors who are confined to routine tasks, not permitted to make critical decisions, and thus fully union-eligible. Not a good prospect.


  44. - horseracer - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 12:28 pm:

    Irish: Ask a county chairman how many highway maintainers he’s placed in the last 3 years. You will be ‘very much surprised’ by the answer. 0


  45. - Makandadawg - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 12:31 pm:

    Hey - Formerly Known As…Who wrote this article?, There is no byline.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-13/news/ct-edit-union-0613-jm-20120613_1_union-membership-nonunion-workers-union-representation


  46. - Crime Fighter - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 12:35 pm:

    Irish - Thank you for interjecting reality. Those of us who know can readily counter the bogus arguments that management employees are expected to act in the best interest of the state.(See STL, LBM,Cassandra, RC63) While I agree that management positions should be merit-based, the reality is often the opposite. This is especially true given the number of high-level Rezko/Blagojevich appointees relied upon by Quinn.

    In the Quinn/Blago management construct, those who are most willing to break the rules are retained, promoted, and viewed as “leaders”.

    In the unethical environment perpetuated by Quinn,
    union protection would help managers who want to follow the law, the rules, and act ethically. Those who are not in the union are easily coerced into participating in the administration’s wrongdoing. If they resist, they are demoted or or fired.


  47. - uniongal - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 12:37 pm:

    Cassandra, Don’t forget. We pay taxes, too. We work hard like everyone else, pay our bills ON TIME, pay our mortgages, feed our kids, etc., etc. I invite you to join us in facing reality. Non-union positions are patronage positions, often filled by individuals who are woefully unqualified.

    If patronage is OK with you, argue for a lower ratio.


  48. - Irish - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 12:41 pm:

    STL - Sorry if my response was confusing. My response to you was the first three sentences. The part after “A little history” was just some general information regarding why unionization is not necessarily a bad thing for anyone interested.

    horseracer- If the designee for my state rep were honest he would answer 2. And that is just the ones I know about.


  49. - Abe the Babe - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 12:43 pm:

    @Irish: So is there any acceptable number of “at will” managers or should the only non-union employees in state government be the five constitutional officers?

    Unions are def. necessary and stories about past abuses are probably true. But what we are discussing here is the proper level of unionization. Not whether unions should exist.

    So with a state employee base of about 55,000 and if all the pending applications at the Labor Relations Board are approved (which they will be because they have yet to turn any down) then the state will be left with 2% non-union managers. Thats 1100 employees or roughly 1 manager for every 55 employees.

    You can argue about who those 1100 are or who they should be but you have to admit there is a point at which state agencies become ungovernable if everyone is in the union.


  50. - STP - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 12:58 pm:

    The only reason I want to be in the union is to get a raise - 14 years is to long - I would love to have been able to get in - even for a couple of years


  51. - uniongal - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 12:59 pm:

    Raise your hand if your agency has become ungovernable due to union membership. Mine’s fine.


  52. - Anyone Remember? - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 1:20 pm:

    Two points to ponder.

    First, excluding DOD and the Post Office, the President has roughly 1.4 million civilian employees. The number of paid “Rutan exempt” jobs (not “Term Appointments”) is roughly 3,500, or 0.25%. With 50 thousand employees under the Governor, that would mean 125 Rutan Exempt employees. The President has roughly 4,500 what in Illinois would be “Term Appointments” or 0.33% or 165 employees.

    This means if Illinois could run a Civil Service system like the Federal Government, any Governor would have 290 appointments, not the 3,500 figure that seems to have been around since the Edgar era. Please note that at the Federal level the head of the Federal Bureau of Prisons is a career appointment. Contrast that with Illinois prison wardens.

    Second, in police departments, “first line supervisors” (and usually their supervisors) are unionized, but belong to a different union. (State Troopers are Fraternal Order of Police, Master Sergeants are Teamsters.) Following that methodology, most of the people being ejected from AFSCME could join … SEIU? Teamsters? Hasn’t anyone thought of this?


  53. - StayFree75 - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    There is no way to improve efficiency or provide anyone with constructive criticism in my agency or management is flooded with frivolous complaints of a hostile work environment. The last thing anyone better do is hurt someone’s feelings or identify mistakes in their work.


  54. - Irish - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 1:28 pm:

    Abe - Yes there should be at will employees.

    However frontline, non-decision making managers should not be included in those at will employees.

    And if the taxpayers want the best employee in the non-union jobs those jobs should be based on knowledge of the job, ability to do the job, and promotions and raises should be solely based on merit.

    The agencies under the Governor have tremendous impacts on real families, resources, and infrastructure. Should the responsibility of management of those agencies depend on ability or how much you donated? Folks should be more concerned about the impact that pure patronage has on state functions.


  55. - Frenchie Mendoza - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 1:44 pm:

    The problem is that every agency has unionized employees that will file a grievance for everything they disagree with — literally everything. Moreover, they use the grievance as a threat — as a way to get out doing work they’re supposed to do but don’t want to do. It’s state sanctioned whining — especially when the grievances are without merit.

    The fact that union members can’t grieve against other union members means that mangers (in the union) can actually manage staff (also in a union) and not fear constant, unending retaliation. This is a good thing — especially when you have staff abusing the grievance process. This happens in (I suspect) most agencies. Staff uses grievances as a way to (a) get out of work they don’t want to do and (b) threaten managers into silence.

    In some cases, this is good — silent managers. But it’s not conducive to getting work done — especially when the grievance is used frivolously and as a way to avoid work and bully people. This happens. I know it happens. I’ve seen it happen.

    I hope whatever negotiating AFSCME and Harmon do over the next few days consider the fact that — as one poster posted above — most agencies run fine now that the majority of the staff is unionized. It means people actually have to sit down and talk through their issues face to face instead of using some byzantine, formal process as a shield (and as a way to waste a lot of $$$ and time).

    What actually (I think) is going on here is that because so much of the workforce is unionized, a strike would be (in many cases) an ultra-effective tool to literally halt government. I suspect what’s going here — and why Quinn will be leaning hard on Harmon before Wednesday to let this thing go — is that Quinn hopes that this will dull AFSCME’s very real threat to strike — or at least show AFSCME that, okay, most of you are on strike — but I’ve got 3500+ people working hard to keep agencies running despite the strike.

    AFSCME is crazy to give an inch on this — especially if means those PSAs impacted will be forced to take a *reduction* in pay and essentially give up the raises (most agencies) have gotten. Quinn not only wants to remove union rights — but he also wants to take back the pay raises those members earned *while in the union.*

    And Quinn’s a democrat? Come on. This is crazy. Hurry for Harmon for at least putting the brakes on this for at least the time being.


  56. - StayFree75 - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 2:04 pm:

    Frenchie, thanks, that was what I was trying to say. Union members I work with, and which I am also, use frivolous grievances to harass and bully anyone they don’t like, who points out their mistakes, or tries to make them do work they don’t want to. They can’t grieve fellow union members, so they file grievances against management for allowing a hostile work environment for anything they don’t like, including truly petty things (cell phone/voice/etc.)

    State government is so removed from the real world. I worked in the private sector and 3/4 of the union members I work with at my agency today would be fired within the first year for negligence in a private sector job, if they could even get one. Union members I work with can literally not transcribe a tax ID number from a computer screen to a piece of paper and get it right. They feel protected by the union and empowered to use the grievance process to harass anyone who gives them a hard time, even when its for not doing their job right, or heaven forbid, ask them to do more than they’ve been doing.

    There are better and more qualified people who are unemployed than the current rank and file the State has. Thanks AFSCME! Nothing anyone can do once they’re hired by the Employer of Last Resort.

    That’s why when AFSCME strikes it will be business as usual for me and just another day at work. Good riddance!


  57. - Casual Observer - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 2:29 pm:

    I’m confused. When these “management” positions were unionized they 1st had to petition the respective unions who then had to argue their case(s) to the Labor Relations Board and the administration made their counter-arguments. If this legislation passes, doesn’t that mean the process will have to play out again hoping for a different conclusion from the LRB? I don’t think you can simply un-unionize a title without the ok from LRB.


  58. - Crime Fighter - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 2:32 pm:

    =”Union members I work with, and which I am also, use frivolous grievances to harass and bully anyone they don’t like, who points out their mistakes, or tries to make them do work they don’t want to.”=

    Usually the ones that complain that everyone else is the problem is usually the problem.


  59. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 2:49 pm:

    @cassandra:

    I seem to remember the process of unionizing being made easier when Blago was Governor, but I could be wrong.

    @Casual Observer:

    The process would play out in court. The law would prohibit these individuals from being in the union, thus the LRB would not play a role. But, you are right, this bill doesn’t end anything. The union isn’t going to sit back and let people be taken out of the union without a fight.


  60. - In_The_Middle - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 2:49 pm:

    I’m reminded of this comment Gov. Quinn made on Feb. 18, 2011- [Quinn] says the Wisconsin Democrats are welcome to stay here until Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, in Quinn’s words, “comes to his senses.”

    There were rumors a group of senators were holed up in McCormick Place, site of the Chicago Auto Show, holding strategy meetings. The have said they may stay away for weeks if necessary.
    “We welcome them to the Chicago Auto Show,” said Quinn, who was touring the show on Friday.
    “In Illinois, we always believed in working together as a team and not kicking somebody in the shins,” Quinn added. Public employees, like teachers, “deserve some respect.”
    Governor Walker, Quinn says, need to take another look at the legislation. (back at ya Gov)
    (not sure where the original quote came from but I saw it posted here at Capitol Fax)


  61. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 3:04 pm:

    In_The_Middle - There’s a difference between trying to get a reasonable ratio of union to management and completely ending the collective bargaining rights of public employees.

    If you can’t see it, you’re blind.


  62. - Generation X - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 3:27 pm:

    - There is a difference between trying to get a reasonable ratio of union to management and completely ending the collective bargaining rights of public employees-

    No one has done more to attack collective bargaining rights of public employees than Quinn. You cannot ignore a legally bing labor contract without effectively destroying the collective bargaining process


  63. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 3:41 pm:

    - You cannot ignore a legally bing labor contract without effectively destroying the collective bargaining process -

    Then why are they currently negotiating a new contract? If it’s meaningless, why bother?


  64. - Generation X - Friday, Jan 4, 13 @ 3:49 pm:

    To show good faith on labor’s part. Those negotiations have no chance of success with the environment created when the previous contract was violated.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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