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Rauner increases attack on state workers

Monday, Feb 2, 2015

* Gov. Bruce Rauner just sent this memo to state legislators…

TO: Members of the General Assembly

FROM: Bruce Rauner, Governor

DATE: February 2, 2015

SUBJECT: The Attached Slides

Good Afternoon:

As you know, I have been delivering a number of speeches detailing many of the structural challenges confronting Illinois. Before our joint session on Wednesday, I wanted to share two additional slides with you. I hope you are able to review them soon.

The first slide is a summary of the federal rules regarding U.S. government employees. The rules were codified in 1978 under President Jimmy Carter and a Democratic Congress. The pension system changes were enacted under President Ronald Reagan in conjunction with a bipartisan legislature. We too can achieve common-sense bipartisan reforms to our employment rules that are fair to both state workers and taxpayers.

The second slide shows a few examples of spending levels inside Illinois government. These levels are unsustainable and unfair to working families, small businesses and other taxpayers in Illinois. They limit our ability to grow our economy and to fund much needed social services. We do not intend to propose government salary reductions, but it is critical that we make structural reforms that prevent any future imbalances and unfair practices. It is also abundantly clear that we must make major reforms to eliminate conflicts of interest and to achieve dramatic economic growth in order to properly fund the operations of our state government.

I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday and working with you in the weeks and months ahead.



Emphasis added by request.

* From Slide One…

Federal Government Employee Structure
(Federal Service Labor –Management Relations Statute 1978)

• Employees have the right to organize and collectively bargain over work conditions including work hours, grievance procedures, work assignments

• Employees are prohibited from strikes, work stoppages, slowdowns, picketing, etc.

• Employees cannot bargain over wages, benefits, pensions, personnel decisions and managerial rights (prohibits bargaining on mission, budget, organization, number of employees or internal security)

• Government can not force its employees to participate in or fund labor union activities that they do not support

• No automatic mandatory arbitration provision or injunctions in aid of arbitration for collective bargaining impasse

• Prior to 1983, pension was defined benefit plan with no Social Security. Since then, the retirement system was reformed to become a hybrid system including a defined benefit annuity, Social Security and a 401(k)

Sounds like he wants the same for AFSCME and the teachers.


* Slide Two…

I think most of those barbers work in prisons. They probably deserve the pay bump.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - very old soil - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 3:48 pm:

    I am so glad i retired.

  2. - Anon. - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 3:48 pm:

    Are those state employee salaries historic amount, or projected amounts based on the assumption that he’s going to raise everyone’s pay commensurate with the “raises” he gave his staff over Quinn’s staff?

  3. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 3:48 pm:

    ==The second slide shows a few examples of spending levels inside Illinois government. These levels are unsustainable and unfair to working families, small businesses and other taxpayers in Illinois.==

    So in order to grow the economy you want to work to reduce wages. Good plan. Bring everybody DOWN to get the economy going. Our solutions obviously shouldn’t be to work to improve the wages of all; it should be to reduce wages so that everybody is in line at the bottom of the scale. Great plan. Way to go.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 3:49 pm:

    If you ate a state worker, and you think Rauner is looking out for you…yikes.

    State workers are chattle. They have a price. They at weighed and measured, and collectively, state workers are overpaid.

    That is what the governor, who takes selfies with you state workers during visits, is saying.

    You aren’t worth your pay.

    Sobering, eh?

  5. - Momo - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 3:51 pm:

    What the heck does “Average Illinois Working Family Salary” mean? I assume he means “private sector.”

    This is a dangerous double-down by Rauner. There was a fair amount of coverage given to the inflated salaries his staff members are getting. They might be better off changing the topic.

  6. - JS Mill - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 3:51 pm:

    = we must make major reforms to eliminate conflicts of interest =

    You know, like not being able to hire campaign contibutors and stuff like that. Right?

  7. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 3:51 pm:

    Does anybody think the salaries of those correctional officers and highway workers are really too high? What is putting your life on the line worth? Apparently $49K is too much.

  8. - Politix - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 3:52 pm:

    The comparisons don’t match up.

    We deserve better enemies.

  9. - How Ironic - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 3:52 pm:

    “If you ate a state worker, and you think Rauner is looking out for you…yikes.”

    Literally…I think Rauner is going to eat some state workers.

    To the post, to bad Ranuer didn’t use “Illinois, we need to pay everyone less to do better” as a campaign slogan.

  10. - PublicServant - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 3:52 pm:

    And you close the 9 billion dollar deficit, how? I realize Bruce and his crowd gets juiced by bashing middle class public employees, but won’t he need both the legislature and constitution to go along with and allow the things Ge asks for in his two slides?

  11. - Walter Mitty - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 3:54 pm:

    It’s so easy to get state workers in positions already.Many departments have been decimated over the years. Especially teachers. Yeah, when those bright eyed bushy tailed teachers realize they are in something called tier 2 in a few years… They will be happy to have jobs. Fat can be trimmed. We get it. The reality is, there is not a ton out there gang…

  12. - OPP - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 3:54 pm:

    Brucie came to my agency last week, told me how much he appreciated all my hard work and fired me via e-mail 2 days later. Super classy.

  13. - Wordslinger - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 3:55 pm:

    Look out for the Two Bobs and be prepared to answer the question:

    What, exactly, would you say you do here?

  14. - Walter Mitty - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 3:55 pm:

    Oh… And add Correctional Officer to overpaid… Wow… I look at that number and think… Maybe, if it’s doubled.

  15. - Shadrach - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:01 pm:

    Why the red meat? He’s in office. He won the election. Time to start talking serious solutions. State workers wages accounted for 8% of state agency spending in 2014. Unless he’s going to zero out their wages, don’t see a lot of budgetary help in this. Maybe some relief on the pension fund, but that won’t be realized until decades from now.

  16. - ChiTown Seven - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:01 pm:

    Two more rows are needed:

    General Counsel to Governor Rauner: $185,000 per year…….. General Counsel to Governor Quinn/Average Illinois Working Family: $125,000 per year.

    CFO to Governor Rauner: $187,000 per year. . . . . . . . . CFO to Governor Quinn/Average Working Family: $135,000 per year.

  17. - There is a price... - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:03 pm:

    Your union bosses went all in against Rauner, independent expenditures in the primary, open checkbook in the general…

    You thought there wasn’t going to be a price paid for that? They went all in and they lost…

  18. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:03 pm:

    - How Ironic -


    Welp, if Rauner likes you, he will hide you in an agency, give you a 10% bump in salary, and pad you pension and kept the benefits going…

    If you are a garden variety state worker, you will have plenty of time to work IN your garden, cause…

    “…look to your left, look to your right, one of you three of YOU state workers… will be gone soon”

    State workers, make sure you pose for your selfie with the governor before you don’t have that chabce…

  19. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:04 pm:

    Wonder how quickly, if not already, all those Correctional employees who bought that Rauner was on their side, will regret that vote. They all wanted Tamms reopened because they are overloaded at other prisons. Now he wants to cut their pay by almost half. Talk about a poke in the eye.

  20. - Juvenal - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:08 pm:

    He forgot to compare the salaries for a personal assistant in the private sector and in the Office of the First Lady.

  21. - Andy S. - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:08 pm:

    There are probably methodological issues with his numbers that result in his reporting far larger differences than really exist. Having said that, however, most reputable studies have found that blue collar workers in government (and the occupations he cites are all blue collar) are overpaid with respect to the private sector, while generally white collar folks like managers, lawyers, accountants make less than in the private sector. While much of this probably stems from the dramatic decline in private sector wages for occupations requiring less education in the last 30-40 years, it is legitimate, in my opinion, to at least ask why the State of Illinois should pay higher salaries than necessary to attract qualified candidates for blue collar positions. But if he is serious in saying that he does not intend to propose government salary reductions, how will this issue be addressed?

  22. - chi - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:09 pm:

    =You thought there wasn’t going to be a price paid for that?=

    I’m pretty sure you’ve got the cause and effect mixed up there, There is a price.

    Team of Rivals this is not.

  23. - Stones - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:10 pm:

    It’s always nice to hear that lowly State workers are overpaid from a guy who made $53 million last year.

  24. - I Don't Get It - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:11 pm:

    What does Bruce think he is going to save by going after state worker salaries? How much exactly do they contribute to the state budget? I think Bruce needs to get his priorities straight and tackle the real issues this state needs to take care of instead of wasting time with this nonsense.

  25. - the koala - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:11 pm:

    is the data cited to the comptroller publicly available? if so, anyone have a link?

  26. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:12 pm:


    Read and check over what you type before you hit submit. Your credibility just went out the window.

  27. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:13 pm:

    Rauner could quit re-hiring fired Blagojevich hacks in order to give them time to get pensions. Ours is now back in the office staring at the ol’ cell phone.

  28. - Stones - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:13 pm:

    Adding….so what exactly is a “compassionate conservative”

  29. - Wordslinger - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:13 pm:

    Andy S, layoffs. Big cuts coming unless there’s new revenue

    Absent that, I’m guessing you need a head count reduction to provide cover for cuts in education and health/human services.

  30. - Marty Funkhouser - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:14 pm:

    What kind of salary would you take to cut a murder’s hair with a sharp pair of scissors?

  31. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:15 pm:

    ==- Momo - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 3:51 pm:==

    If Arduin is part of this counting, it’s likely the working families number is just made up.

  32. - How Ironic - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:15 pm:


    Get a real handle. OW has been posting here for years, a few spelling errors isn’t going to sink his credibility ship.

    Although it does appear his volume of errors in this topic is rather high.

  33. - chi - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:15 pm:

    And for chrissakes, why do we want to pay our people what Iowans and Indianans make?

  34. - Tommydanger - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:15 pm:

    Bruce and others have really pulled off a Jedi mind trick of pitting working families against one another. They have some how managed to get non union workers to say and believe that state workers and union members make too much rather than realizing that they themselves should be paid more. A race to the lowest common denominator does not serve the interests of any working family in Illinois.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:16 pm:

    - Anonymous -,

    Pick a name, so you can have credibity to begin with…

  36. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:16 pm:

    Those non-government salaries are pretty paltry. Shouldn’t we find ways to raise the private sector’s wages?

    The optics are also terrible. Rauner the multimillionaire and his gazillionaire supporters want to push down middle class wages to get more in line with near poverty wages.

    Rauner might also be using high-end government salaries as examples. In other words, it’s not entry level pay but top step pay grade pay, after years of service.

  37. - Wensicia - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:17 pm:

    Rauner won’t be happy until every state worker qualifies for food stamps.

  38. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:18 pm:

    AFSCME and the other unions are fools if they do not educate their members and possible recruits that the only thing protecting them IS their union.
    Of course, that means that the unions will have to work to protect rights, but these speeches form the themes of the campaigns.

  39. - Kathryn - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:18 pm:

    I’d like to know the 5 states he used for comparison.

  40. - AnonymousOne - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:19 pm:

    The hatred is working both ways. It is created by talking about Illinois working families, as if public workers are not supporting families on their income. It is created by talking about taxpayers, as if public employees get off scott-free with no taxation. It is the implication that what you do is not worthy. There are so many people making more than 40K who don’t do squat and I can give you names. When someone said, what’s the beef? He’s been elected….get on with the work. Maybe this is his schtick. Maybe this is his whole reason for being put on earth. To denigrate and destroy the morale and livlihood of public workers.

  41. - Juvenal - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:19 pm:

    === it is legitimate, in my opinion, to at least ask why the State of Illinois should pay higher salaries than necessary to attract qualified candidates for blue collar positions. ===

    Illinois is budgeting with hard constraints. The private sector despite all of their preaching about fiscal conservatism budgets with soft constraints.

    When a private company pays someone $8 an hour, the state gets stuck with the bill for providing them with necessary child care, health care, college financial aid, nursing home care when they get old, and everything in between.

    The private sector sticks themselves with some higher training costs and other stranded expenses, but those are less noticeable to a beancounter than employee health care.

    For the state, it makes zero financial sense to pay an employee $8 an hour just so you can turn around and provide them with subsidized child care through DHS.

    Besides, just because the private sector undervalues occupations that do not require a college degree does not mean we should as a society.

    Think about that whenever you drive over a bridge.

  42. - Joe from Joliet - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:21 pm:

    4:13 Anonymous was me. I’m not critiquing your offerings, OW.

  43. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:21 pm:

    - How Ironic -,

    Yeah, apologies for the larger than normal spelling errors.

    My brain is preoccupied. I’ll do better.

    Spelling or not, the message, Rauner’s message, is pretty clear. I don’t need to spell that out.

  44. - AlabamaShake - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:23 pm:

    **Your union bosses went all in against Rauner, independent expenditures in the primary, open checkbook in the general…You thought there wasn’t going to be a price paid for that? They went all in and they lost…**

    LOL - you think that Rauner is going after Labor because Labor went after him? Come on…

    Labor went all in against Rauner because Rauner made it clear that he was going to go after Labor.

    And you know it.

  45. - Secret Square - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:23 pm:

    “I’d like to know the 5 states he used for comparison.”

    Neighboring states = IN, KY, MO, IA, WI. (Technically, MI is a “neighboring” state also since we share a border with them in the middle of the lake, but no one ever counts it as such.)

  46. - Millennial - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:24 pm:

    To be fair, if you look at the Comptrollers website, for 2014, you will see:
    1,208 correctional employees who earned > $100k
    1,002 state police employees who earned > $100k

    Of the employees who earned more than 100k their median income was roughly $125,000.00.

    More than 50% of the above employees live and work in Central and Southern Illinois where the cost of living is much cheaper.

  47. - Soccermom - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:24 pm:

    Yeah, Rich, my first thought was that cooking in a prison is probably a very different experience from working the grill at a local diner.

    And Bruce - if you want to bring down those average salaries at DOC, hire some new people and cut back on overtime.

  48. - How Ironic - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:26 pm:

    New Rauner Office Slogans

    “Illinois, where billionaires criticize thousandaires for making too much”

    “Why choose Illinois when you can make less elsewhere”?

    “Illinois, where getting paid in Trident Layers isn’t just a dream anymore”

  49. - Robert the 1st - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:26 pm:

    “It is created by talking about taxpayers, as if public employees get off scott-free with no taxation.” Can you name another group that chanted “Raise the Taxes!” in downtown Springfield? Or another group currently suing to ensure that 2 union bosses will get a TRS pension for substitute teaching a single afternoon?

  50. - Loop Lady - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:28 pm:

    If you are surprised by this you haven’t been paying attention for a long time. There’s this thing called patronage in politics but Bruce doesn’t consider this to be business as usual. Who did folks think he was going to hire, people from the Cook County regular Democratic committee?

    His bring back Illinois tactics are old news and tired ideas.

  51. - PAD 24 - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:31 pm:

    Looks similar to Wisconsin Public Act 10. Strongly suggest state employees (and even teachers) read Act 10.

  52. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:33 pm:

    ===If you ate a state worker===

    Best typo of the year so far.

    An unintentional twist on “Eat the rich.”

  53. - Honeybear - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:34 pm:

    Governor Saruman?

    The Public Employees “took your lands! They drove your people into the hills to scratch the living off rocks”!

  54. - Norseman - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:35 pm:

    I wonder if any enterprising reporter will FOIA his office for the calculations and all the factors that went into it. Rauner’s trustworthiness is lacking in my view.

  55. - SuburbsGreg - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:37 pm:

    Rauner’s mention of reforming the personnel code seems to me that he wants the legislature to do the dirty work. If the general assembly stripped the union of collective bargaining rights over wages and benefits, then it is relatively easier for Rauner to negotiate a new contract. In contrast, the general assembly will probably not pass most of these reforms. Consequently, Rauner will have to pursue changes to wages and benefits via the next contract.

  56. - Job Applicant - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:38 pm:

    ==He forgot to compare the salaries for a personal assistant in the private sector and in the Office of the First Lady.==

    Not to mention dog walker. Can’t wait to find out how much he’s–excuse me, we are–going to pay whoever it is who ends up walking his labs while he’s away from the mansion, which will be, I’m guessing, a lot.

  57. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:38 pm:

    Ah, the old memo and power point method. That will probably get the speaker on board.

    Wait until he sends the comparison with Liberian civil servants, it’s particularly compelling.

  58. - Fun with Numbers - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:39 pm:

    The small sample size makes it pretty obvious he cherry-picked the job titles used on this slide. Most of the difference in corrections officer salaries is due to overtime because DOC is so understaffed. I’m guessing most of the cooks are in prisons and SODCs and they probably need the higher salaries to recruit into those jobs.

  59. - AnonymousOne - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:39 pm:

    Robert, tell the tale. Who are these people substituting for one afternoon who are now eligible for a pension? And do you mean that the only people in the state who talk about raising taxes are public employees to the total exclusion of other humans in the state? Really? Sounds wide sweeping to me.

  60. - Robert the 1st - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:43 pm:

    Here you are AnonymousOne… I hope Rich doesn’t mind the link to Forbes.

  61. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:45 pm:

    Maybe my typo was subliminal.

    And frankly, I don’t need any help to look Dopey. As you can see, I can do it all by myself pretty well.

  62. - A. Nonymous - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:47 pm:

    Instead of comparing apples and oranges (private sector cook or barber to a prison cook or barber) why doesn’t he compare to other prison workers in states similar to Illinois?

    And do prison barbers earn tips?


    I’m sure the gal who cuts my hair wouldn’t even want to set foot inside the gates of a prison, let alone work there.

  63. - Finally Out (formerly Ready to Get Out) - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:48 pm:

    very old soil @ 3:48

    Me too!

  64. - no Longer A Lurker - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:48 pm:

    Here is some data regarding correctional officers salaries from neighboring states. I don’t know what figures are used above in his table and which are the five states he is using for comparison.

    In addition the following was sited by the above site.

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the 434,870 correctional officers working in the United States in 2011 earned an average annual salary of $43,550. Officers in the lowest ten percent of this profession earned up to $27,000, while those in the top ten percent earned salaries of $69,610 on average. Some 26,000 correctional officer jobs are expected to become available in the current decade ending 2020.

  65. - How Ironic - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:50 pm:


    Egregious to be sure, but certainly not the norm. Nor might we add, current to the conversation. The abuse happened in 2007, discovered in 2011, and legislation passed to prohibit such abuse shortly thereafter.

    Not sure what else to add.

  66. - Robert the 1st - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:53 pm:

    How Ironic- I brought that up as point why some taxpayers feel state workers are in a different class than themselves. This isn’t a feeling that comes completely without warrant.

  67. - Stuff Happens - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:55 pm:

    Those numbers mean nothing without context. What’s the ratio of correctional officers to inmate population? If they’re managing twice as many prisoners in Illinois it’s actually a bargain.

  68. - A guy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:03 pm:

    For the record, no one should eat State Workers. Or anyone else. Tough day at the Blog for Rauner…. Best to leave it alone and let things play out.

  69. - How Ironic - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:04 pm:


    So essentially we should form public policy around 2 anecdotal episodes of dubious policy, that was corrected 4 years ago?

    If that’s your basis for public policy, perhaps we should dig a little deeper into Bruce’s dealings with nursing homes. There was a lot more fraud and abuse there. Both fiscal and physical.

    Making broad assumptions on anecdotes is foolish, and dangerous. Think vaccines and autism. Totally debunked, but fringe elements keep pushing it because someone they heard about had a kid, who’s uncle knows a guy, who’s friends with someone in Pharma that told them ‘the whole truth’.

  70. - AC - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:05 pm:

    Hope all the union households that voted for Rauner got what they wanted. After, no one can be surprised, it is one of the few issues he spoke substantively about prior to the election, unlike pensions, the state budget, revenue distribution to local school districts or any solutions in general. His priorities exactly mirror those of Scott Walker in Wisconsin.

  71. - Southerner - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:13 pm:

    Wait until the Rauner team dig deeper in corrections and find those union prison presidents may have an acutual prison position title but it has been long custom that 100% of their daily job duties is to play union boss. Basically, the state is paying for the work that AFSCME should be paying. These same union bosses were backing Rauner over Quinn. Smart move, eh?

  72. - Mary Sunshine - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:14 pm:

    This is a red herring; this is less than a drop in the bucket. State employee salaries are NOT the problem in Illinois and anyone who knows anything about the state budget knows that. He’s still campaigning…

  73. - Bulldog58 - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:16 pm:

    I particularly enjoy Rauner’s jab that many correctional officers make more than wardens. A generalized statement that doesn’t take into account that MANY COs work hundreds of hours more each year than wardens due to staff shortage induced overtime.

  74. - Downstate AgMan - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:16 pm:

    State workers, you want to take some of the heat off, start paying for your own healthcare benefits. I am tired of hearing from STATE workers/teachers about what a travesty it is to have to pay a PORTION of their health insurance. The private sector employee pays most of their own healthcare costs and retirement. Since we can’t ask you to pay for your own retirement, then at least pay your healthcare. Bloated benefits not salaries are what differentiates the public sector from the private sector.

  75. - 7h4nkR*5 - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:17 pm:

    @no Longer A Lurker - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 4:48 pm:

    If we use those states and the BLS data from May 2013, the mean salary is 40,124. Substitute KY for MI and you get the 36220.

  76. - ash - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:18 pm:

    Pretty clear Rauner is in bed with the IPI. Their jobs “study” neglected to include public sector attorneys, doctors, chemists, etc. Any job that made more in the private sector was conveniently left out. These are the people providing the governor with information? We are doomed!

  77. - Anon2 - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:18 pm:

    Wonder what the numbers would be if you compared Illinois salary numbers above to New York or Cali instead of Iowa or Indiana. Why should we be in a race to be like Iowa or Indiana anyway?

  78. - truthteller - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:21 pm:

    Rauner says he wants right to work in order to empower employees. Does his rhetoric and his plan empower them? Are federal employees whose bargaining statute prohibits their unions from negotiating over wages more empowered than state employees whose unions can do it?
    He can throw away the jacket and the $18 watch. We don’t need them to remind us he’s a phoney.

  79. - walker - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:22 pm:

    No one in his administration would produce numbers as weak as these, they’re probably from IPI — Oh wait!

    Why on earth would Rauner think these two little nugget are worth a separate letter to legislators to help make his case? There are studies available with fairly robust attempts to compare private sector and public sector pay and benefits by job function — way beyond these cherry picks.

    Does he think legislators are that stupid? Most of them, on both sides, are already much better informed on these issues than Rauner assumes in his slides.

  80. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:25 pm:

    Higher salaries? Seems more like something to be proud of. Nope, not when you’re a wierdo governor. What we need to jumpstart this economy is to take discretionary income from the middle class. Whoa.

  81. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:26 pm:

    Rauner does think a lot of himself to actually put to paper this trashing of state workers, with the optics as they are…

    - A Guy -, impressed by your restraint. I can meet with a half a loaf with that restraint…

  82. - Norseman - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:27 pm:

    AFSCME will have it’s work cut out for them. Regardless of the trumped up data, unless Rauner eats a state employee or two I see Madigan supporting most of the collective bargaining proposal.

  83. - Gem I am - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:49 pm:

    @Oswego Willie. New to the blog so please be patient. My question is. Are the union contracts agreements soley the governors discretion or do the legislators have a say in them. So if he decides with the swipe of a pen to cut wages in half, or employee health care contribution to double. Can he do that?

  84. - NotYetRetired - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 5:50 pm:

    interesting that they chose titles with fewer positions in state govt to compare. Why not look at the average salary for other titles that are more common in state govt such as accountant or office assistant. Doing so would include more positions and would not skew the averages and would show they are not as overpaid as he, or the IPI, thinks.
    Another point to consider is many state government titles are not comparable to the private sector. For example, PSAs and SPSAs can actually be accountants or social workers (among other titles). If you rely on the data from the Comptroller’s website, you aren’t always comparing apples to apples.

  85. - How Ironic - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 6:02 pm:

    @Gem I Am,

    This blog here is an ‘informed then debate’ blog. Meaning, fire up Google, type in ‘does the governor negotiate union contracts in Illinois’.

    Figure it out, then try again. Literally…it’s that easy.

  86. - Joe M - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 6:04 pm:

    If Bruce wants to compare us to our neighboring states, then he should be looking at the progressive individual tax rate structures that Wisconsin (top rate 7.75% — Iowa (top rate 8.85%) — Missouri (top rate 6%) — and Missouri (top rate 6%) have, and be pushing the GA to pass a Constitutional amendment for Illinois to have a progressive tax rates.

    He also fails to point out that Illinois’ total state expenditures per capita are already considerably lower than those four neighboring states - and also in the bottom quarter of all states.

  87. - Henny Penny - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 6:04 pm:

    Where’s the chief of staff column in the box?

  88. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 6:11 pm:

    State workers are on rauner’s menu.

  89. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 6:13 pm:

    - Gem I am -,

    Here is my take on the question;

    The negotiations can go down the road of a lockout/strike… “shutting down the state…so Rauner can achieve his own Union goals.

    As you find those answers, the discussion then turns to “How far will the Administration push the Union? To shutting down Illinois?”

    There are far smarter people around these “parts” that can speak chapter and verse, and dollars and “sense” to the negotiations. Rauner won, the Unions had two tries to beat him. That’s also true in all this too.

  90. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 6:14 pm:

    State workers are clearly overpaid…but we don’t plan to cut their pay…and, we need to pay our admin hires a competitive salary…OK, then, what’s your take home message? These folks need to get their messaging straight. As it is, they go ahead and insult all of their workers then promise not to follow through on the core insult.

  91. - How Ironic - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 6:24 pm:

    Rauner must be a pleasure to deal with at the auto dealership.

    “I’d like to buy this BMW. Before we start, I’d like to say that Kia’s, unicycles and particularly imported hairdryers are substantially more expensive in Illinois than Indiana and other states”.

    “Furthermore, I just hired a bunch of staff with HUGE salary increases over their last jobs, many of similar nature”.

    So please cut the price of this car, based on the above information I’ve provided for you. Seriously, it’s clear that you’re overpriced.

  92. - ILL-a-nnoyed Tier II - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 6:28 pm:

    Why is the media not calling these him out on these “slide”?

    Also, does he not see how his plan and propaganda is going to run any future talented employees out of wanting to work for this state? There are a lot of young people, like myself, trying to make things better with the state and it feels like we have a target on our back now.

  93. - Union boss - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 6:37 pm:

    Union salaries have steadily increased through annual pay raises alone. Then add in any overtime that is worked and you end up with shift commanders making 170 grand a year while working in medium and minimum camps. County jailers make way less and watch the same people. The pay scales for union employees are way out of bounds.

  94. - The Whole Truth - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 6:44 pm:

    Looking at the searchable data base for State salaries, the Highway Maintenance Worker average above looks to be low by $15-$20k. They may have included part time seasonal help in computing the average shown.

  95. - Independent - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 6:51 pm:

    Stop comparing Rauner staff salaries to what Quinn paid his playground group of kids with NO PREVIOUS job experience! A large number of Quinn staffers had no previous work experience except that they went to Fenwick, worked on his campaign, or knew his kids! Ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars!

  96. - chi - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 6:54 pm:

    If too much overtime is the problem, hiring more workers is the solution, not the ‘pay scale’.

  97. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 6:59 pm:

    - Independent -

    I compare dollars to dollars…

    Just like Bruce Rauner does.

    See, state workers are overpaid.

    Rauner’s staff compared to Quinn’s staff are overpaid.

    See how THAT works…

  98. - Archiesmom - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 7:00 pm:

    =How Ironic= I really like you today.

  99. - This One Guy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 7:01 pm:

    A. I am a state worker.

    B. I am part of a working family.

    Is he suggesting that, because I’m “A” that “B” is suffering?

    How will he suffer? Will he forego his wealth and become one of the common folk?

    I suggest not. Lasso that dogie, legislature.

  100. - anon - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 7:13 pm:

    So those cooks, barbers and guards are making too darn much. I wonder if this campaigned will be joined by downstate GOP legislators who have enjoyed AFSME endorsements?

  101. - Louis G Atsaves - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 7:13 pm:

    Seems like Rauner has ignited a huge debate of who is paid how much and how those salaries compare to other states. I also noticed this: “We do not intend to propose government salary reductions.”

    Nice to see our state finally having this conversation.

    More slide presentations, please!

  102. - lost in the weeds - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 7:14 pm:

    Feed a family of four on the Cook’s salary of 22000 a year. Also live in a house, own a car and pay all other expenses. Good Luck.

  103. - The Whole Truth - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 7:17 pm:

    IDOT’s site lists full time Highway Maintainers as starting at $55,680. Overtime is on top of that. A full time Civil Engineer with at least a 4 year degree starts at $53,400. Seems a bit odd.

  104. - anon - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 7:19 pm:

    Billionaire says cooks, barbers and switchboard operators are overpaid.

  105. - underpaid - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 7:34 pm:

    Switchboard Operators….with those titles disappeared long ago with this new fandangled technology called voice mail.

  106. - Hhood - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 7:39 pm:

    If state workers are so overpaid we would not have to sign revolving door policies to stop us from jumping ship. It is hard to tell what Bruce will be able to achieve, lots of log jams in the way. Will not be an easy Union contract due 7/1/2015.

  107. - Conservative - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 7:43 pm:

    5 state average?

    Well ofcourse Mr Rauner, our state employees have to make more do to the fact that Illinois is much more expensive than the 5 states surrounding us. Taxes are also much higher so NO that is not a fair comparison. Nice try….

  108. - up2now - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 7:45 pm:

    Rauner is right: State workers ARE overpaid, and if their salaries were cut, I could keep more of my own money in my pocket because I could pay less state tax. Come to think of it, if the lady who works at the checkout at the corner grocery store would take a pay cut, I could keep more of my own money in my pocket because I could pay less for groceries. And if the local dentist would charge less, I could keep more of my own money in my pocket. And if the attorney down the street would charge less, I could keep more of my own money. Why stop with professors, snow plow drivers, prison cooks and office clerks? Pay cuts for EVERYBODY, and we’ll all be better off. Right?

  109. - Gem I am - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 7:46 pm:

    Is the Civil Engineer on call 24 hours a day during the summer, and depending on your winter shift assignment 24 hours a day in the winter. We cant be more than 45 minutes away from our assigned maintenance yard in the winter. We have 45 minutes to arrive for a winter call out. You miss 3 call outs, terminated. No questions ask. That means holiday’s with family, if they are more than 45 minutes away. You cant go. A beer with friends on the weekends, during winter hours. Nope your on call. None of us expect anyone to shed a tear. After all they told you the rules when they hired you. So for the discussion that we are over paid. What’s someone’s leisure time worth?

  110. - small town frank - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 7:49 pm:

    I wonder how the GA will respond to things like this, powerpoint presentations and interpretations of the law. Does Rauner remember he has not hired the current legislature, and they are not his employees? 4 years and 20+ mil later he may have more “employees” who will obey, but as of now IMO his attempt to educate may not be well appreciated.

  111. - The Whole Truth - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 7:56 pm:

    Apparently its worth $55680/year plus overtime to start. What’s your point? Should we talk about the responsibility an Engineer has for design safety, traffic control design, bringing a project in on time and on budget notwithstanding outside factors beyond his control with his name and reputation on the plans? Never mind the 4 years of math, physics, chemistry, and expense of an engineering school.

  112. - RNUG - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:00 pm:

    === I could pay less state tax ===

    The truth is that tax increases are coming regardless of what salaries and benefits Rauner manages to cut.

  113. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:06 pm:

    Rauner Crew, and even - Louis G. Atsaves -,

    You want to sell wages are too high for state workers, ok.

    Which state workers are about “right”?

    Which state workers are underpaid?

  114. - Just Sayin .... - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:09 pm:

    Again, the Governor needs to learn he need every GOP vote in the Senate and House and can’t take them for granted. With all this state/university employee salary talk, will GOP legislators whom represent University towns, prisons, mental health centers, nursing homes, community colleges, etc. will want to follow the “party line” with the GOP Governor??? Better yet, they gotta be wondering what he will do with his $20 million? Will us the $ to find his own tea-partiers to run against them in the GOP primary?

    How many will be clapping on the Republican side for the State of State Message now?

  115. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:09 pm:

    Here’s what I do know - Louis G. Atsaves -,

    The Rauner hires are getting raises. Those jobs are underpaid.

    I know they are underpaid, Rauner himself is showing they are by paying thise hires…more.


  116. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:12 pm:

    - Just Sayin …. -

    The GOP Caucuses don’t exist anymore.

    The Durkin/Radogno silence is telling us that.

    The 67 GOP GA votes will be Rauners, or they will find themselves on the wrong side of $20 million(?)

    Scary times.

  117. - Louis G Atsaves - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:16 pm:

    “===You want to sell wages are too high for state workers, ok. Which state workers are about “right”? Which state workers are underpaid?===”

    OW, what is wrong with having this conversation? When was the last time this State had an honest conversation about this?

    This comment section today is filled with facts and figures gleaned from other states, what the Comptroller salary lists show and other data that to me, are important to this discussion.

    And to me that is a good thing for all concerned.

  118. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:17 pm:

    Let’s remember, the civil engineer has a path to upward mobility. 20 years in and you are probably 5 or 6 pay grades higher than where you started as a result of promotions. The 2 year Highway Maintainer makes the same pay as the 30 year Highway Maintainer. And yes, some of the Highway Maintainer salary consideration is likely for availability on a call out. My brother works in private industry in an outdoor job where he is subject to 24/7 call outs in the elements every other week in addition to his 40 hr., and his pay is comparable to the Highway Maintainer if not more.

  119. - The Whole Truth - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:17 pm:

    A little review of the seachable database and CMS listings tend to give some credence to the thought there may be some overpaid positions in the state workforce, especially when the retirement and health care benefits are factored in. For instance, highway maintainers are in the same retirement system as State Police troopers.
    Rauner says he is not intending to reduce salaries, but leaves open the possibility of slowing down the rate of growth. The conversation is worth having, and he is at least willing to start it. Nobody else seems to want to.

  120. - FacelessStateEmployee927 - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:20 pm:

    =Looks similar to Wisconsin Public Act 10. Strongly suggest state employees (and even teachers) read Act 10=

    Wikipedia notes, regarding Wisconsin Act 10: “Collective Bargaining: The bill would make various changes to limit collective bargaining for most public employees to wages. Total wage increases could not exceed a cap based on the consumer price index (CPI) unless approved by referendum.”

  121. - The Whole Truth - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:23 pm:

    The engineer will have to work 30+ years to retire, while the maintainer may work as few as 20. Pension rates as a percent of pay are different, with the maintainer significantly higher. The whole picture needs to be evaluated, and hopefully the dialogue is being opened.

  122. - Gem I am - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:26 pm:

    Did the engineer not do research in annual salary expectation, and job responsibility before investing his time and money into the career? My brother works under a civil engineer for a small city in Illinois. The engineer makes 120,000 a year. As to my point. If you want someone to put there life on hold, then they should be paid for it.

  123. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:27 pm:

    - Louis G. Atsaves -,

    We are going, and having, the conversation. When Rauner won, it was all but pre-destined.

    Hiring a CoS for the First Lady, giving a 10% bump, and she gets pension years added and benefits…

    You tell Union workers they make too much with that Optic. Yikes.

    Unions lost. Elevtions have consquences, but don’t tell me Rauner new hires were underpaid before, and the rates now for Union workers are too high. The optics are brutal.

  124. - lost in the weeds - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:30 pm:

    Let’s say the deficit is 1.5 billion dollars this fiscal year and 9 billion next fiscal year.

    Let’s say there are 50000 state employees.

    1.5 billion dollars divided by 50000 employees = 300,000 dollars per employee

    So if state workers would just give $300,000 a piece to the state for working for the state this year and 1.8 million a piece for next fiscal year the budgets would be balanced. Problem solved.

  125. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:32 pm:

    In a true salary survey comparing what can be reasonably compared, I think we’ll find some are overpaid, some are underpaid, some make less than their subordinates, and that pay rates sometimes overpay those where cost of living is low and underpay some where cost of living is high. I know there is a theory that public salaries should reflect the same level of attrition (voluntary job changes and retirement) as the private sector, but this has its disadvantages also. The public sector does tend to attract those who desire stability over opportunity, except at the policy-making level where turnover is higher.

  126. - Louis G Atsaves - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:35 pm:

    === We are going, and having, the conversation. When Rauner won, it was all but pre-destined.===

    Then why all your belly aching?

    So if the personnel code and other codes out there call for hiring of personnel at certain wages for certain tasks, tell me, has anyone bothered to check to see if this applies to Diana’s Chief of Staff? I’m willing to bet it does.

    If that is the case, then the poor “optics” isn’t the hire, but the entrenched rules that may have caused the hire at that price or salary. If they wanted a COS for Diana for only $50,000.00, would this have been possible or would it have violated something in the personnel code and all those job descriptions that have fossilized within our State Government. And maybe all that should be part of the discussion. It seems like our new Governor wants to include it as part of the discussion.

    It depends on which “optics” you are looking at.

  127. - The Dude Abides - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:40 pm:

    The Democratic legislature will have to decide if the Union movement in this country, which came into being years ago after years of poor working conditions, is worth saving. Rauner and those who threw the big dollars into his campaign want to kill collective bargaining in this country once and for all. The Democrats have a chance to remind the electorate that they are indeed the party that stands with the working middle class. It will be a long hot summer.

  128. - The Whole Truth - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:41 pm:

    I think everyone does an analysis when looking at careers that includes family responsibilities, geographic preferences, education requirements including scholastic and financial, compensation, job requirements, retirement, health care At the time that analysis is made, many if not most of those factors are at least partially unknown and understood, and most change over time. If one is not happy with how decisions panned out, changing them as you can is a lot more productive than sour grapes. As for maintainers, as you noted, all job requirements were on the table and really haven’t changed. Same for the engineer. As the employer, the State, and ultimately the tax payer, should decide if and when adjustments are needed. It’s a discussion long overdue, and the reasons why are evident here today.

  129. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:52 pm:

    - Louis G. Atsaves -

    === And maybe all that should be part of the discussion. It seems like our new Governor wants to include it as part of the discussion.===

    lol. Seems like Rauner’s Crew doesn’t like the optics OR the discussion;


    ===In response to AP questions, Rauner’s spokesman Lance Trover wrote Thursday in a one-sentence email that the governor’s overall payroll is “currently less than under Gov. Pat Quinn.” But he did not provide specifics, and he did not answer specific questions about the salaries of individual staff members.===

    You better get your talking points down.

    Lance ain’t saying much.

    ===f that is the case, then the poor “optics” isn’t the hire, but the entrenched rules that may have caused the hire at that price or salary. ====

    Maybe you could write the response to AP next time.

    It’s horrible optics.

    If I were a “Union Boss”, I would “compare” every Exec Staff salary, no matter what agency they draw it from, and have that discussion, but it appears you - Louis G. Atsaves - are the only one wanting to talk about it, lol.

  130. - Wordslinger - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:55 pm:

    So when does the governor show the slide on the haircut his friends The Docs need to take on workers comp?

    Did it get jammed in the old View Master slide projector, like The Docs jammed comprehensive reform last time out?

    I imagine some House GOP members can’t wait to see that slide. Same with the Chamber and IMA, who always talk about workers comp, but never right to work.

  131. - A Non-Mouse - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:55 pm:

    i keep remembering that post that said someone making minimum wage would have to work 3,088 years of 40-hour weeks to equal rauner’s yearly income. a man with that much financial power doesn’t share any interest in common with the rest of us. that “overpaid” prison cook costs less than half of rauner’s yearly wine club membership; how can his opinion on salaries be valid?

  132. - mythoughtis - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 8:59 pm:

    Since one of the other articles on today’s blog discussed the winter storm made a special note that the states’ IT systems were up and stable… the IT staff must be considered important and necessary? Why didn’t this charg compare IT pay to surrounding states/private sector? Why only discuss blue collar jobs?

    Let’s see that chart vs the risk of death or injury - for the highway maintainers, and the prison staff? Will these spots still be overpaid when you see the percentage of people that take that kind of risk?

  133. - Insanity - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:02 pm:

    Dear Gov: your attack on state employees is misguided and misdirected. They work hard and pay taxes just like private sector workers. If you take money out of their pockets, you will be damaging an already fragile economy. There are other things to cut that really need to be cut. For example, no more copper doors on the capitol building. Stop giving able bodied people SNAP, housing, and cash welfare when they refuse to work.

  134. - Norseman - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:04 pm:

    === … what is wrong with having this conversation? When was the last time this State had an honest conversation about this? ===

    Rauner is not looking for a conversation. He definitely can’t handle an honest conversation.

  135. - farmers are people too - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:05 pm:

    I am a current state employee…We need this guy to fix these problems. We all know this is going to be painful. Pull off the band aid and lets get to fixing stuff. Bruce did not make these problems. I appreciate the fact that he appears to be attempting to make a difference. History will judge his motives and results. I for one am hopeful that this guy is half the fixer that he has proven himself to be in the past. There are no easy answers here. I would like to see people set aside the immature, easy shots and try to be constructive and helpful.

  136. - Emily Booth - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:06 pm:

    This is all he’s got? He wants to turn us into Indiana? Rauner is grasping at straws.

  137. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:08 pm:

    === I for one am hopeful that this guy is half the fixer that he has proven himself to be in the past. There are no easy answers here.===

    What did he fix before?

    What jobs did he create in the private sector businesses?

    So, please explain…

  138. - Samuel - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:28 pm:

    In other states barbers are often inmates who’ve learned skill/earned privilege. They don’t make $70,000 a year plus pension plus benefits.

  139. - Louis G Atsaves - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:35 pm:

    OW: Your non-response was breath taking in the number of pivots it took on your part. I still look forward to an intelligent conversation on these topics. Too bad you have decided not to participate, but pivot instead.

  140. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:38 pm:

    - Louis G. Atsaves -,

    I’m here, what do you want answered?

    Whike you’re at it, Rauner pointed out the overpaid Illinois workers, who are underpaid, who are about right?

  141. - NovMan - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:41 pm:

    A full-scale Highway Maintainer’s base salary is around $72,000. That is way higher than neighboring states. Some neighboring states have privatized some highway maintainer duties. It is time for Illinois to follow.

  142. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:41 pm:

    ===So if the personnel code and other codes out there call for hiring of personnel at certain wages for certain tasks, tell me, has anyone bothered to check to see if this applies to Diana’s Chief of Staff? I’m willing to bet it does.===

    Why didn’t Trover say that when asked?

    ===If they wanted a COS for Diana for only $50,000.00, would this have been possible or would it have violated something in the personnel code and all those job descriptions that have fossilized within our State Government.===

    Again, no one stopped Trover from citing that…

    What am I not answering?

  143. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:44 pm:

    - Louis G. Atsaves -,

    You say that Rauner wants a discussion, I cited that Rauner’s Crew wants no part of discussing their own hires at a higher rate…

    What am I not answering?

  144. - Louis G Atsaves - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:46 pm:

    ===Why didn’t Trover say that when asked?===

    Ask him. Not me. All your wisecracking, so little discussion.

  145. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:49 pm:

    -,Louis G. Atsaves -,

    You seem to have answers. You want to talk about it. You should ask why the Rauner Crew won’t talk about it instead of having answers that they won’t give.

    What am I not answering? Where were the pivots?

  146. - Bibe - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:51 pm:

    I won’t expect ‘union bosses’ to waste too much time focusing on high Governor’s executive staff salaries, because unlike the Governor they are looking for real solutons. If laying off every state worker won’t close the budget hole and more revenue is needed then focusing on front line salaries or inflated policitcal hack salaries misses the point either way.

  147. - Obama's Puppy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:56 pm:

    And Brucey does not think he is anti-union, what would he be proposing if he was pursuing an anti-union agenda?

  148. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 9:57 pm:

    - Bibe -,

    Agreed, it answers nothing but the optics issue. That’s all.

    It would take an intern about 2 hours to look up 100 or so Gov. employees and compare them to Quinn’s.

    Two hours wont be enough for $9 billion in debt-solving solutions, be they from Unions or Rauner or the GA…

    They all need to find answers besides memos and slides…

  149. - scott walker - Monday, Feb 2, 15 @ 10:21 pm:

    It is ok people of the state of Illinois and especially you state employees. I personally appreciate those republican unions members who voted for Rauner. Just look to the north in red Wisconsin it only gets better. Look at Michigan and Missouri for comfort to. The pain subsides once it is over. So relax it will be ok :)

  150. - AnonymousOne - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 7:34 am:

    1) Teachers do not receive free health care premiums. They especially do not get free health care in retirement.

    2) It’s working just as planned! While we are ripping each others’ throats out, fighting about who makes more, gets more, we have taken our eyes off those who have billions more and are hoarding every penny from us. They want all of us to take pay cuts while they reap the benefits of more for themselves. When will working people realize what’s being pulled off here?

  151. - Aldyth - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 7:34 am:

    I repeat, why would anyone in their right mind go to work for the State of Illinois? Excepting those that are Rauner hires with nice salaries?

  152. - Yatzi - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 7:45 am:

    How much of those salaries came from overtime since there is such a staffing shortage. Union members must receive pay which they should. Illinois is on the bottom of the states in per capita employees. Professionals may not have received raises in over 10 years -

  153. - The Equalizer - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 7:51 am:

    Unless I overlooked it, there’s a simple question I haven’t seen asked. Presuming Rauner’s numbers are correct in his slides, instead of reducing the wages of state workers, why isn’t he fighting to increase the lower salaries? Surely a billionaire could do something about that?

  154. - Carhart Representative - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 8:01 am:

    So prison barbers make more than barbers with their own private shop? This is an outrage. I also wonder how much inmates generally tip.

  155. - Carhart Representative - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 8:02 am:

    By all means, we should have the people who bring sharp objects into prisons paid much less than people who work in salons on Michigan Avenue.

  156. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 8:55 am:

    “To denigrate and destroy the morale and livlihood of public workers.” Just like Blago.

  157. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 9:01 am:

    I wonder if this isn’t mostly posturing to serve two purposes:

    1. Stake out the Administration’s negotiating position in the upcoming contract talks. Ask for far more than you expect to get, then “settle” for something closer to what you really expected.

    2. Lay the groundwork for eventual new taxes or higher taxes by first “proving” that everything possible was done to cut costs first.

  158. - Mason born - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 9:06 am:

    Secret Square

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Especially #2 do the run up blame the GA for not going along then state that unfortunately I cannot balance the budget W/O increasing Taxes.

  159. - Del Clinkton - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 9:07 am:

    I think spending $20,000.00 per person, per year to imprison someone is a great way to spend taxpayer dollars.

    Lets cut the wages of prison barbers to save money.

    Bruce has it right.

  160. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 9:15 am:

    If you listened to Rauner, and read the slides…

    This is more than posturing. This is laying the groundwork for a believed position, and making the case to follow through.

    You also don’t send a “memo” like that, without knowing it will get out.

    The silence of Radigno and Durkin is very telling too. If this was staking out a start, you get others to help with the narrative. Nothing like that here.

    Cullerton and MJM said, publicly, they are waiting and watching, and are thrilled Rauner will have green lights that are Republicans on these ideas. Radogno and Durkin own part of this too(?)

  161. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 9:29 am:

    “Just look to the north in red Wisconsin it only gets better. Look at Michigan and Missouri for comfort to. The pain subsides once it is over. So relax it will be ok”

    Well, apparently the sky did not fall in WI because Walker has been reelected twice since then (recall vote + end of 1st term). While Walker’s measures may not have brought about the prosperous free-market paradise some had predicted, they don’t seem to have been the end of the world either. Expectations on both sides of the issue seem to be rather inflated.

  162. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 9:31 am:

    After the last 10 days or so , I have to wonder how many of the people who voted for the new governor because he wasn’t Quinn are truly happy with what he has decided is the most important issues for the coming year (”employee empowerment zones” and non-stop bashing of union employees, both public and private). I am very happy that Quinn is no longer running the state into the proverbial ditch, but the daily attacks using extremely cherry picked statistics against the vast majority of hard working individuals doing mostly thankless jobs for the citizens of Illinois has very little to do with fixing the root cause of the state’s deficit problem. As has been pointed out many times- eliminate ALL state employees and the deficit, although smaller, is still in the billions (and if you did somehow fire everyone you would have those little problems like who guards the prisoners, who issues the drivers licenses, who clears the snow, etc).

    That said, there are still far more people in this state that can tell you which songs Katy Perry “performed” at halftime Sunday than those who know what The Gov. has been propagating in his college PowerPoints and emails to the legislature. Until the media decide to really call him on his “facts” its to his advantage. All we can do here in the peanut gallery is watch it unfold and see if the average citizen sees what he is doing is for the benefit of him and his wealthy friends at the rest of our expenses, and if the supposed Democrats who can stop him do so, or if the minority Republicans go along with him at the detriment of their own political future.

    As it’s been said- it will be a very interesting few months ahead of us.

  163. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 9:35 am:

    SS, then what was the point of Walker’s efforts to bust public unions if it didn’t give the economy a bump? He didn’t cut taxes, either, despite four years with a GOP legislature.

    Probably will help him with some sugar daddies for his presidential run, I guess.

  164. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 9:39 am:

    Oswego Willy- The silence of Radigno and Durkin is very telling too. If this was staking out a start, you get others to help with the narrative. Nothing like that here.

    I also find it unusual that neither has said a peep about The Gov’s “ideas” (can’t call them proposals, because proposals would have solutions spelled out ). Surly they agree with him on this, or wouldn’t one or both come forward to a reporter with their views? Or is it they are so used to not having to actually come up with ideas that they are content to let The Gov carry their load for them?

    Soon enough it will be time to stop campaigning and to actually do the work of governing. If not, we are all in for a rough 4 years (2, if Rauner really does plan on joining the 2016 presidential campaign).

  165. - Carhart Representative - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 9:39 am:

    It did fall in for a lot of Wisconsin teachers. Just because the state is still standing, doesn’t mean people didn’t take huge pay cuts and need to find new employment. As for Wisconsin, a lot of the election results can be blamed on the Democrats. Harry S. Truman said it best:

    “I’ve seen it happen time after time. When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the fair Deal, and says he really doesn’t believe in them, he is sure to lose. The people don’t want a phony Democrat. If it’s a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat.”

  166. - Urbana - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 10:43 am:

    Just out of curiosity, the “I think most of those barbers work in prisons. They probably deserve the pay bump” comment was sarcasm right? I mean, I agree a slight pay increase, but 3x the average doesn’t seem a little excessive?

  167. - Mason born - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 10:52 am:


    Those barbers are actually supervisors tasked with supervising inmates who cut hair. They really aren’t comparable. The only hair cuts the “barber” does is if he cuts a staff members hair for obvious reasons.

  168. - Carhart Representative - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 11:16 am:

    Plus I always tip my barber $5 on a $15 haircut. What do inmates tip?

  169. - Captain Jack - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    I thought the State of Illinois was in fiscal crisis?? I understand that there is money for Illinois Lottery Director to take a vacation to London on the taxpayers dime (dollar). Shame on you Governor Rauner (Blagojevich). Really shaking up Springfield.

  170. - blankster - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 1:28 pm:

    I just looked up my neighbors salary who is a mechanic for the Tollway Authority. Per ITAP $85K! I’m on Rauners side on this one.

  171. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 2:26 pm:

    - blankster -,

    Which is why I am embarrassed for your childish jealously.

  172. - scott walker - Tuesday, Feb 3, 15 @ 9:34 pm:

    Hey, Secret Square. You are misunderstanding my point. State employees were stripped of everything even their humanity. My reelection was easy because the Democrats put up a horrible candidate. Who I beat twice. So it was easy. Then general assembly are all UW red republicans. So it was easy to destroy the unions and make their wages and benefits go way down. My goal is to lower the middle class and push them all into the lower class. So now in Wisconsin I love the rich republicans. Come on, why do you think your newly elected Governor Rauner LOVES me and wants to be me… He also wants to diminish the middle class and make the lower class much bigger. Just like me :) Come on get used to hearing get to the back of the line for your food hand out!! You to kids if you want to eat. God bless Illinois and looking forward to all you people to move up to Wisconsin. Again, relax it will not be bad….:)

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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