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This just in… AFSCME’s Henry Bayer retires

Friday, Jun 27, 2014

* 9:59 am - From AFSCME Council 31…

Yesterday Henry Bayer announced his retirement from AFSCME Council 31 and submitted his resignation as executive director (effective July 31) to the union’s executive board.

The board unanimously elected longtime deputy director Roberta Lynch as the union’s new executive director. Roberta is a tenacious champion for workers and a veteran union leader who has served AFSCME for more than three decades.

Henry retires after 39 years with AFSCME to fulfill a longstanding commitment to his family. To ensure a smooth transition, he will continue to work for the union through the calendar year, with a special focus on the fall election in which the progress our union has made is at stake–not just for public-service workers but all working people in general and every Illinois resident who depends on the essential public services AFSCME members provide.

Few people have had more of an influence on Illinois politics than Henry Bayer. Love him or hate him, you have to agree the guy is a giant.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


24 Comments
  1. - Norseman - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    Good luck Roberta. You’re going to need it. There are a large number of tough challenges facing your organization.


  2. - PublicServant - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    Thanks for everything you’ve done Henry. Roberta, good luck. Just ask yourself WWHD, and you’ll be fine. What would Henry do?


  3. - WOODSMAN - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    CONGRATS HENRY! YOU ARE ONE OF THE BEST ADVOCATES FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEES


  4. - Ahoy! - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    He is, although I feel sorry for his successor since the pendulum has to swing back the other way. He was a political giant, but in the end he worked for unsustainable contracts and benefits.


  5. - iThink - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    ==but in the end he worked for unsustainable contracts and benefits.==

    Please. Public pay ain’t that out of whack with private pay (including bennies). The problem is and was one of revenues compounded with politicians with no spine. If we had Iowa’s tax structure (or hell even WI) we wouldn’t be in this mess.


  6. - A guy... - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    The kind thing to do is wish him well. So I do.


  7. - Raising Kane - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Henry was simply the BEST. Roberta is great and I wish her the best in her new role…..but there is no replacing Henry.


  8. - Bird Man - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    Does anybody know Henry’s ending or Roberta’s starting ED salary?


  9. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    If we had Iowa’s tax structure (or hell even WI) we wouldn’t be in this mess.

    Never underestimate the power of Illinois legislators and governors to misappropriate resources, no matter how generous or meager. The other side of the equation is fiscal discipline and paying the bills that need to be paid when they need to be paid.


  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    ===Never underestimate the power of Illinois legislators and governors to misappropriate resources===

    Amen.


  11. - Black Ivy - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    Bayer’s retirement may impact the gubernatorial race more than we presently know…I wish him well.


  12. - Curmudgeon - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    Enguiring AFSCME members want to know —
    “What does Henry know that we don’t?”


  13. - Tante Kathie - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    Nobody deserves retirement more! Enjoy, Henry!


  14. - dogboy - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 1:00 pm:

    Henry is giant alright, a damn fool of giant. Fact is, Henry set back AFSCME 100 years. He leaves his members alone and in shambles. The reason he left is because he was about to be bounced! My advice, never hire a fool to lead a one car parade. Local members out to tar and feather this clown. Typical labor leader. He wins a huge pension and his members are owed millions. Congrats I guess.


  15. - Bobbysox - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    Wow. Can’t a person, after a long and meaningful career fighting for what he believes in, retire in peace at retirement age without getting bashed about his life’s work? Geez.


  16. - Jan Bradley retired state worker - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    25 years I saw firsthand the immense knowledge and dedication this man had for our membership. I am forever grateful for his leadership and compassion for the masses. Roberta has always been a respected leader. She’ll carry on the mission without skipping a beat.


  17. - Anon - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    “in the end he worked for unsustainable contracts and benefits”

    Henry worked for the people who paid his salary, AFSCME members. He was quite good at his job.

    “Henry set back AFSCME 100 years”

    AFSCME was found in the 1930’s, check your math.

    “He leaves his members alone and in shambles.”

    Lol, have you compared the pay and benefits of Council 31 members to those of surrounding states?

    “The reason he left is because he was about to be bounced!”

    “Local members out to tar and feather this clown.”

    Source?

    “Typical labor leader. He wins a huge pension and his members are owed millions.”

    Yeah, because Henry controls the executive, legislative, and judical branches of government here in IL. If it wasnt for Henry, state workers wouldn’t be owed anything except the meager pay and benefits that existed before AFSCME unionized state workers. Do you forget there is still a lawsuit pending reguarding the pension cuts?


  18. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    ===The reason he left is because he was about to be bounced! ===

    LOL

    He was recently re-elected.


  19. - Loop Lady - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    Wishing him all the best…power to the people indeed…


  20. - Nonplussed - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    Maybe he is leaving before Harris v. Quinn comes out Monday and starts the slow death of public employee unions.


  21. - Thankful Union Member - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    I for one am very thankful for the dedication Henry has put in for the 39 years! My excellent salary, benefits and working conditions are a direct result of Henry’s outstanding leadership! Congrats on your retirement Henry and thank you for everything! Good Luck Roberta and hopefully the membership works as hard for you as Henry did for us!


  22. - Afscme member - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    Good bye thank god maybe now Afscme leaders in Illinois will wake up and quit backing il democrats


  23. - Responsa - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    I’ll defer to the members to analyze how good a job he did for them. I think new ideas and new approaches after a long career stint are almost always therapeutic and rejuvenating for any organization. I hope Henry enjoys his retirement and really and truly gets away from all this.


  24. - Anon - Friday, Jun 27, 14 @ 7:29 pm:

    “Good bye thank god maybe now Afscme leaders in Illinois will wake up and quit backing il democrats”

    Rofl, some should tell Topinka, Poe, McCann, Johnson, Dillard, etc that AFSCME should stop endorsing them. /sigh, do you people every pay any attention facts? Never mind I know the answer to that.


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