* The setup…
Workers represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees say contract proposals by the governor’s office would hurt them and the public they serve.
Thousands of union members joined Unity Pickets at about 36 offices, nursing homes and prisons around the state on Thursday, from far-south Anna to Waukegan, where protesters circled and chanted in front of the Ann M. Kiley Developmental Center, 1201 Dugdale Circle.
Marvin McBride, president of AFSCME local 785, which represents 351 employees at Kiley, said the one-half percent pay raise offered by the state would amount to a pay cut when factoring in a proposed 50 percent increase in health insurance deductibles, co-payments and pension contributions. […]
Overtime is also an issue in negotiations. Cuts in staffing have caused a shortage of technicians who work directly with Kiley’s 222 mentally disabled residents.
* The question: If the union’s contract expires without an agreement, should the workers strike? Explain.