* This is from an e-mail from AFSCME to its members…
Negotiations for a new state contract are at a virtual standstill as the Quinn Administration continues to press for massive concessions that would take thousands of dollars out of union members’ pockets.
Governor Quinn’s position is an insult to every state employee, demonstrating in no uncertain terms how little he values the vital services that state government provides to citizens.
The administration’s proposal would move every employee down two pay grades in the first year of the contract, then freeze wages and steps for the remaining two years. It would also drastically increase employee health care costs.
For many employees this would represent a $10,000 pay cut next year.
Here’s what the health insurance changes that Management has on the table would mean for you:
First year CHP Family Premium increases–$3,245 per year; Managed Care Family Premium increases–$2,940 per year
In the second and third year, the premium costs would increase even more because the employee’s share of health care costs (now specified in dollars per month in the contract) would be determined by a fixed percentage of costs.
For the Quality Care Health Plan (QCHP), Management would more than double annual hospital admission deductibles, coinsurance, and annual out-of-pocket limits.
Prescription deductibles and copays would be increased.
Managed Care Plan (HMO or OAP) co-pays for everything (office visits; hospital admissions, surgery, emergency room, etc.) would double, as would the Rx deductible.
Dental Plan deductibles would increase by $275. Vision Plan co-pays for exams, lenses, and frames would also more than double.
The current contract expired on June 30, but the parties agreed to extend it pending the involvement of an independent mediator in the bargaining sessions. Management refused to participate in the bargaining scheduled for Sept. 10-12 because a mediator would not be present. The next bargaining session is scheduled for Oct. 1-3. However, there is still no agreement on a mediator and one may not be available for that session either.
The continuing deadlock at the negotiating table makes crystal clear that the only way state employees will gain a fair contract is through direct action at the worksite and in the community.