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*** UPDATED x3 - AFSCME responds *** This just in… Rauner works around Munger refusal

Friday, Feb 13, 2015

* 4:41 pm - From the governor’s press shop…

The governor’s office consulted with the Comptroller’s office, and the governor’s office developed an operational solution.

State agencies under the control of the governor’s office will withhold unfair share fees when processing payroll. Additionally, agencies will retain an amount of money equal to the withheld unfair share fees until the legal issues are resolved.

The fact that the Governor pro-actively took steps from the beginning to segregate the unfair share funds shows his respect for the legal process underway. Whether it’s the Comptroller or the individual departments that keep the ‘unfair share’ funds in reserve, the Governor is making sure that he is able to carry out his obligation to protect the constitutional rights of the people of Illinois while recognizing that this important issue will ultimately be decided by the courts.

So, instead of ordering the comptroller to violate state law and state contracts, the governor’s gonna do it himself.

Sheesh.

…Adding… To be clear here, the comptroller has no say-so or choice in this matter if Rauner’s agencies deduct the fair share dues before submitting payroll to the comptroller’s office.

*** UPDATE *** Earlier today, a commenter posted this…

There has been a surge in AFSCME locals for those with fair share status to convert to full union membership.

So, is this true? Is a backlash building? I asked AFSCME’s spokesman about it…

That’s what we’re hearing from our local unions – and there are more than 70 locals that represent state employees – as well as anecdotally on social media, etc, but we won’t have any hard numbers until membership cards come in.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Dan Webb is now officially off the case

On Friday, Webb told the Sun-Times he could not represent the state on Rauner’s behalf in court due to conflicts. Rauner had said in his announcement on Monday that Webb’s involvement would be conditional on obtaining waivers.

“Like most major law firms, we have private clients with disputes with the state of Illinois. I could not work out the waivers,” Webb said. He told the Sun-Times he “reluctantly” had to call the governor’s office to decline. “I was grateful that they wanted to have me involved.”

Rauner has since tapped another high-profile attorney: Phil Beck. Most famously, Beck represented President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney in the Florida recount trial versus Democratic nominee Al Gore.

Beck’s involvement is destined to make some heads explode.

*** UPDATE 3 *** From Roberta Lynch at AFSCME Council 31…

“The comptroller is right to refuse to implement Gov. Rauner’s unlawful Executive Order regarding Fair Share. The governor’s response shows the lengths he’ll go to in his crusade to undermine unions.

“Clearly his mission is not to build up Illinois but tear down the institutions that provide a voice for working families in our state. He seems offended by the idea that workers who protect children, care for veterans, ensure safe prisons and provide other essential public services earn a decent living and have a voice on the job.

“Our state faces real challenges, yet Gov. Rauner devotes his time and energy to bizarre and illegal schemes to scapegoat workers and weaken their morale. His combative approach offers no path to work together for the common good.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

61 Comments
  1. - Anon - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 4:46 pm:

    Ridiculous!


  2. - Kippax Blue - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 4:46 pm:

    All this guy needs is a hairbrush, and he’s got the schtick down.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 4:47 pm:

    Insane.

    “You won’t break the law for me, I’ll just show you. I’ll do it!”

    This is called “Making it personal”

    Sonny made it personal. “Just sayin’…” - No “G”


  4. - Demoralized - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 4:50 pm:

    “Unfair” share fees. What is this, 3rd grade? This is like the moronic “Freedom” fries craze of the past.

    And, the “solution” isn’t a solution. Agencies don’t retain money. They don’t have their own little bank accounts that they can just stash this money away in. Do they have anybody with any sort of clue whatsoever advising them here or are they just making this crap up as they go along?


  5. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 4:51 pm:

    So the agencies are simply not processing the fair share payments? They are going to lapse money or try to deposit the money in some account. Sounds pretty sketchy to me. If Munger is ok with this charade I’m withdrawing my kudos.


  6. - Federalist - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 4:51 pm:

    Just what we need, both a President and a Governor who just love to issue EO’s of doubtful legality and tell everyone to ’stuff it’ if the don’t like it.


  7. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 4:52 pm:

    ===If Munger is ok with this charade===

    She has no choice if they deduct it at the agency level. It’s not that she’s ok with it, it’s that they worked around her.


  8. - Arsenal - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 4:53 pm:

    That’s just going to be a nightmare for the agencies to figure out. So much of their payrolls are automated programs , and the fiscal offices don’t really have the acumen to mess with their guts. He’s really screwing his own people at this point.

    I mean, he was before, too, unless you argue that union members weren’t “his people”. Which would be a legit argument!


  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 4:54 pm:

    ===If Munger is ok with this charade I’m withdrawing my kudos.===

    Understood.

    I will wait for Munger’s Shop to say what they’re going to say.

    Munger & Crew have followed the law up to now, now let’s see the response.


  10. - Demoralized - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 4:54 pm:

    ==She has no choice if they deduct it at the agency level.==

    You can’t deduct it at the agency level. The only solution at the agency level would simply be not to take it out of paychecks.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 4:57 pm:

    Munger should(?) respond?

    I just would like to see/hear the position as Rauner is going, per the “view”. Munger may not be able to do anything. I would like to see Munger stake a claim


  12. - anon - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 4:57 pm:

    Rauner’s agenda and top priority is becoming clearer by the day.


  13. - Arsenal - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 4:58 pm:

    You know what this does to fix the state’s budget problem?

    Nothing at all.


  14. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:02 pm:

    “You can’t deduct it at the agency level. The only solution at the agency level would simply be not to take it out of paychecks”

    Sure you can. All payroll deductions happen at the agency level first. They get placed in “buckets” and then paid out when due to govt agencies for tax withholding, courts for wage garnishment, unions, etc…


  15. - Wensicia - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:02 pm:

    Rauner thinks he can ignore the law protected by the state constitution? What does the AG’s office say?


  16. - Politix - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:03 pm:

    I don’t I’ve ever seen anything more childish or petty from a pol. This is really embarrassing. Bruce: Is this the REALLY the most critical issue facing the state right now? Get a grip.


  17. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:03 pm:

    This is outrageous. This should put an end to whether Rauner’s union stripping is a charade. He is deadly serious about it. The billionaires and multimillionaires who want to put their boots on the throats of workers’ rights are not going to stop until they absolutely can’t do it.

    Who is Rauner, a multimillionaire who profited immensely from unionized public workers’ pensions, to speak for the free speech rights of workers? Let the workers themselves file suit if they think fair share fees are unconstitutional.


  18. - AC - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:03 pm:

    It’s amazing what can be accomplished without being constrained by laws or contracts. It’s one of a growing number of fine examples for “taxpayers” to follow in their own lives.


  19. - Courser - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:05 pm:

    Also note how the state’s new CEO is referring to “unfair” share fees in an obvious attempt to sway the uninformed by renaming something that it’s not. If this is what the first four weeks look like, god help us for the next four years.


  20. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:05 pm:

    Then there is no escrow. Money lapses. Demoralized seems to agency accounting procedures. I take it that they will simply send over a tape with data on everything except fair share. I don’t think they have the authority to transfer the money to another account.


  21. - Sangamo Sam - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:08 pm:

    From the current AFSCME contract, Article IV, Checkoff/Fair Share: “The [fair share] amount so deducted shall be remitted
    semi-monthly to the Union.”

    It doesn’t say it may be withheld, it says it shall be remitted to the Union. This is anything but “respect for the legal process”.


  22. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:09 pm:

    I expect my local will be 100 percent full membership within a week.


  23. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:11 pm:

    === Sure you can. All payroll deductions happen at the agency level first. They get placed in “buckets” and then paid out when due to govt agencies for tax withholding, courts for wage garnishment, unions, etc… ===

    My understanding is that agency does the calculations. The buckets are handled by Comptroller or Treasurer are the not. Certainly any disbursements have to go through the Comptroller and Treasurer.

    If they’re creating reserves, reserves lapse.


  24. - Wordslinger - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:11 pm:

    Where exactly do agencies “retain” money? Shoe boxes?

    They’re just violating the contract.

    This is akin to stopping legislator’s paychecks.

    The Rauner people know that was a stunt for election purposes, right?

    And they know Rauner’s next election is nearly four years away?

    You can stop campaigning now.


  25. - Amalia - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:12 pm:

    oh Bruce, your sunny personality, we hardly knew it.


  26. - Politix - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:13 pm:

    “From the current AFSCME contract, Article IV, Checkoff/Fair Share: “The [fair share] amount so deducted shall be remitted
    semi-monthly to the Union.”

    So he’s breaking the contract and AFSCME should sue.


  27. - GraduatedCollegeStudent - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:13 pm:

    Umm…Bruce, if Walker does get the GOP nomination in 2016, they aren’t going to take a clone of him as the Veep.


  28. - Wordslinger - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:14 pm:

    This will get another harrumph harrumph from the WSJ edit board, which is probably the real goal.


  29. - B4L - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:16 pm:

    I would think the affected employees would have a claim against the state for withholding funds for services rendered, but then failing to remit the funds for the services. (They probably had that claim even with the escrow.) If I were an affected employee, I’d be concerned that services I was paying for would be rescinded, and would, therefore, become a member. I would definitely expect a substantial number of fair-share employees to become new union members.


  30. - tired - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:16 pm:

    I do payroll for a state agency. The Gov obviously has no idea how the process works. This is bigger than me simply deleting the dues from employees withholdings. To my knowledge, we don’t have an escrow account to hold the funds. The money will stay in the fund and then lapse at the end of the fiscal year. If an employee wishes to continue paying fair share, do they have that option? Our payroll closes Tuesday. Hopefully agencies are given concrete steps to take soon. At this point, his work around is pie in the sky.


  31. - Paul Powell - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:19 pm:

    I have some extra shoe boxes for the money


  32. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:22 pm:

    Let’s just jump to the triple dog dare and stop wasting time.

    He doesn’t like to lose that’s for sure.


  33. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:23 pm:

    Sometimes “Institutional Knowledge” means knowing how to follow the law.

    Seriously, this is Sonny Coreleone style of “do it first, worry second”.

    For the record- Rauner is choosing this. No one is making this choice for him.

    Rauner is choosing.


  34. - Sangamo Sam - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:25 pm:

    @ tired Friday @ 5:16 pm: 
== The Gov obviously has no idea how the process works. ==

    You hit the nail on the head. Everything from procurement to payroll is the way it is for good reasons. There are lots of moving parts and there are no quick fixes. This is a really dumb move.


  35. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:25 pm:

    ===Seriously, this is Sonny Coreleone style===

    Not a bad observation. Sonny was always going off half cocked and over the top. Didn’t end well.


  36. - tired - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:26 pm:

    I love that agencies are now being ordered to violate the Publoc Labor Relations Act and a CBA. Classy.


  37. - How Ironic - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:28 pm:

    @Rich Miller,

    It would be interesting to get some comments on today’s action from the GOP Caucus. Do they support this action? I’d like to know on the record if they support their Gov, attempting to do an end run on the comptroller, who already said his previous action is unlawful.

    Strange times are coming.


  38. - Macbeth - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:30 pm:

    For Rauner’s union busting to be effective, he’s going to have to fire — literally fire, not lay off — thousands and thousands of workers.

    I’ve said this before — and I’ll say it again: Rauner is not as smart as he thinks he is. He’s a business guy. He’s not a government guy. He doesn’t get it — and he won’t get it.

    If he’s gonna bust the union, he’ll have to bust the state.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:33 pm:

    - How Ironic -

    We all need autonomous GOP Caucuses, specifically for these types of actions that can be disastrous if played out.

    I love My Party. I want Illinois to succeed.

    There is good reason the branches are seperate and Co-Equal.

    It woukd be more than nice to hear the GOP Leaders say what might need to be said.


  40. - How Ironic - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:37 pm:

    @OW

    “It would(sic) be more than nice to hear the GOP Leaders say what might need to be said.”

    And that would be roughly….”This guy’s gone off the reservation!”?


  41. - Macbeth - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:45 pm:

    20 million in the bank?

    The GOP will remain silent. Even spotlight dopes like Barickman will avoid comment on this.


  42. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:45 pm:

    - How Ironic -,

    Here is the “out” for the Leaders, and Comptroller Munger;

    “The Governor is choosing a path that isn’t following the agreement that was made with the employees of the state. We would hope the Governor would work with all of us to find splatoons that fall within his agenda goals, and not overstepping his role as the state’s Governor.”

    Bringing Rauner back from where he’s at is the goal.


  43. - DuPage Dave - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:45 pm:

    This won’t work and can’t work. It’s time for Governor Queeg to ease off his crusade against unions and start trying to fix the state’s real problems.


  44. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:46 pm:

    “solutions”


  45. - How Ironic - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:48 pm:

    @OW,

    So roughly what I said, just a little more polished? BTW what is a splatoon? Or has your spelling hex still not subsided?


  46. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:51 pm:

    - How Ironic -

    My phone thinks we are in 1870 Cal-eye-Forn-eye-A!

    You are on it, no doubt, but attacking Sonny Corelone, friend or foe, isn’t changing Sonny’s mind.


  47. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:52 pm:

    It’s been awhile, but I think that tired @ 5:16 has the facts spot on as I recall them.


  48. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:55 pm:

    ===. The money will stay in the fund and then lapse at the end of the fiscal year.===

    I’d bet a dollar that a judge will intervene at AFSCME’s request before June 30.


  49. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 5:55 pm:

    Wonders never cease with this Governor. This is just the tip of the iceberg with this man. Rauner’s late Friday press releases hace eclipsed Quinn’s. Nobody gets to Happy Hour early on Friday’s any more!


  50. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 6:01 pm:

    ===Nobody gets to Happy Hour early on Friday’s any more! ===

    Yeah. It’s six o’clock, for crying out loud. I need my Friday nap!

    Gonna shut it down soon, campers. Ten minute warning.


  51. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 6:03 pm:

    All of a sudden Rauner loves trial lawyers.


  52. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 6:03 pm:

    Suckers bet Rich. Maybe one of the Raunerbots will take you up on it.


  53. - Really - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 6:04 pm:

    Rich. Was my comment removed for using the words one term and impeachment? Just want to know so I can be careful what I say in the future. thanks.


  54. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 6:07 pm:

    Aha, a new pinstripe patronage player enters the field.


  55. - Kasparov - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 6:08 pm:

    Who said Winter Rules?

    MULLIGAN!!


  56. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 6:11 pm:

    “Ten minute warning.”

    I’ll try to slip this in. Rauner is subverting democracy. If workers don’t want fair share, they’ll nominate contract negotiators who will eliminate fair share from the contract. Workers don’t want to get rid of fair share dues or the unions. If they did, they would organize and vote within the unions.

    This is outsiders trying to bust unions. Let’s hopefully never fall for “employee empowerment zones” and concern over employee’s First Amendment rights. That’s some concern for employees, there–pushing down their pay and benefits and weakening their organizations–against the democratic process, since workers ratify contracts and vote in unions.

    Creating free ridership is really the First Amendment violation, since workers voted in unions and ratify contracts.


  57. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 6:13 pm:

    === Most famously, Beck represented President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney in the Florida recount trial versus Democratic nominee Al Gore.===

    …and a Budget Address is yet to be made.

    This all doesn’t need to be done. Rauner is choosing this.

    No one is making Rauner lawyer up and continue this. No one.


  58. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 6:13 pm:

    Re: the Beck appointment.

    Remember Fast Times at Ridgemont High? When Mr. Hand tore up Jeff Spicoli’s schedule? How Spicoli responded?

    Yeah, that captures it.


  59. - New Guy - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 6:14 pm:

    What if the agencies refuse the EO on the same grounds as the Comptroller and the AG? Granted they are under control of the Governor, would it result in disciplinary actions? Like was mentioned in an earlier post, it is not in the ability of the actual fiscal section to edit an automated program more so an IT/IS section that would have to edit the program. Probably not that hard to edit, but what if IT/IS refuses to edit the code?


  60. - Wordslinger - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 6:15 pm:

    Tired makes a good point. Who is the governor to say that an employee doesn’t want the fair share remitted?


  61. - zonz - Friday, Feb 13, 15 @ 6:48 pm:

    following Tired’s thought and somewhat to Demoralized:

    Comptroller is paying Joe Blow his $1,000 salary less the lawful deductions. Each deduction goes into a bucket - - a legally authorized bucket - - to be paid out. Comptroller would need a new bucket for escrowed fair share fees. No such thing exists absent a legislature specified or court ordered escrow “bucket.”

    The second problem has been highlighted: employee’s expression of choice to have his/her fair share fee held in escrow rather than remitted to the union. I do not see how an Executive Order can mandate the escrowing of Joe Blow’s fair share payment without Joe’s consent. It IS Joe’s $$$ after all, and Joe may WANT his fair share fee paid to the union.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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