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AFSCME: Rauner memo “riddled with misinformation”

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015

* From AFSCME Council 31’s Anders Lindall, regarding a post from earlier today…

Rich –

As you know, AFSCME believes in bargaining at the table, not through the news media. But the letter of Jason Barclay leaked to you is riddled with misinformation that requires correcting.

Among many other false or misleading statements, the Administration claims it has told the union it will not lock out state employees. Aside from the terms of the time-limited, specific terms of the “tolling agreement,” the administration has never made any such commitment—and to the contrary, has actively recruited retired state employees as strike breakers and failed to deny considering the mobilization of the National Guard to break a strike. Our union has been clear that state employees don’t want a strike and in fact have never been forced to strike in more than 40 years of collective bargaining. If the Rauner Administration shares our commitment, why are they planning for a strike, except because they intend to force one?

With respect to the list of our union’s supposed contract proposals, in reality, the union has made very few and very modest proposals. A number of the examples listed are current policies, misleadingly presented. Among them, the “five weeks of vacation” cited by Barclay is current policy available only to employees with 25 or more years of service. The union has proposed no change. Likewise, the state’s step plan is longstanding practice and common among public employers nationwide, and here too the union has proposed no change. More generally, it is misleading and incendiary to suggest that we have “refused to move”. All proposals mentioned by Barclay are economic issues, while the parties have mutually agreed to resolve non-economic issues first. Because those non-economic talks continue, there has yet been no opportunity for us to exchange counter-proposals on economic matters.

In general, the union’s proposals are focused on improving public services, keeping those services under public control not contracted out for private profit, improving workplace and public safety, protecting the rights of public service workers to have a voice on the job, and ensuring that they can afford health care for themselves and their families while keeping pace with the rising cost of living.

Regarding the administration’s claimed “healthcare [sic] savings”, they have proposed no savings at all—only massive, unaffordable cost hikes for state and university employees, retirees and their families. The Rauner Administration’s extreme demands could increase out-of-pocket costs for health care by 500% and leave Illinois state workers with the worst health plan of any state workforce in the nation.

Finally, with respect to the list of 12 supposed “concessions” Barclay claims the administration has made, only two are accurate. After insisting for more than five months on a radical, unconstitutional demand that state employees voluntarily cut their own pensions, the administration finally dropped that demand only yesterday. And we have tentatively agreed to language defining ‘working supervisors’. The rest of the administration’s proposals remain on the table and have not been withdrawn.

I hope these facts are helpful to your readers.

Anders

- Posted by Rich Miller        

111 Comments
  1. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:48 pm:

    Anders Lindall, don’t worry. We knew Indy was fudging the facts.


  2. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:50 pm:

    After insisting for more than five months on a radical, unconstitutional demand that state employees voluntarily cut their own pensions, the administration finally dropped that demand only yesterday. And we have tentatively agreed to language defining ‘working supervisors’. The rest of the administration’s proposals remain on the table and have not been withdrawn.

    I’d have led with that.

    – MrJM


  3. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:50 pm:

    Someone get this guy a bowl of Cocoa Puffs.


  4. - The Captain - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:51 pm:

    Perhaps Mr. Barclay should have heeded the immortal words of Mr. Goldberg.

    “No matter how many times you repeat a false claim, the claim does not become any less false.”


  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:53 pm:

    They both can agree, that brevity isn’t either’s forte.

    To the Post,

    ===…and failed to deny considering the mobilization of the National Guard to break a strike.===

    This should never have been used against the governor, but… “ck” had every opportunity to stop this. Ugh.

    This letter and the letter referenced indicate to me… They all need every day from now until September 30th to get past all these words and “confusions”


  6. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:53 pm:

    ==the Administration claims it has told the union it will not lock out state employees==

    Well, it’s on record now regardless of who was being honest.


  7. - Triple fat - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:53 pm:

    Extreme agendas breed extreme obfuscation!


  8. - Anon2U - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:54 pm:

    If you’re respondin’ you’re losin’.
    Are we going to see this now escalate into a messaging war?
    That could be fun *pops popcorn*


  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:54 pm:

    - @MisterJayEm -,

    They buried the lede.


  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:54 pm:

    ===If you’re respondin’ you’re losin’.===

    Oh, please.

    This ain’t a political campaign.


  11. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:55 pm:

    …Plus, the governor’s memo was a “response” to AFSCME.

    So, he’s losing?

    Sheesh.


  12. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:56 pm:

    Rauner response: Who are you going to believe; me or your lying eyes?


  13. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:56 pm:

    MrJM, I’d have led with “Because those non-economic talks continue, there has yet been no opportunity for us to exchange counter-proposals on economic matters.”

    But that’s just me.


  14. - Federalist - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:59 pm:

    If it is true that Rauner has proposed massive health care cost for retiree by increasing out of pocket costs by 500%, how does that square with no diminishment and the recent ISC case?

    I can understand such an increase in costs to retirees to the extent that it matched their AAI but that is about it. Of course, I realize that there will be a concerted effort to ignore that sensible approach. But if so, this could head back to the ISC again. Otherwise, this becomes a sham decision.


  15. - AC - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:01 pm:

    ==parties have mutually agreed to resolve non-economic issues first==

    This is how it’s typically been done, and it makes sense because it simplifies negotions. I don’t know if Rauner’s continued repeating of AFSCME’s wage proposal in light of this important fact is due to inexperience, done for propaganda purposes, or both.


  16. - Federalist - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:06 pm:

    • An 11.5% pay increase at a cost of over $1.25 billion over 4 years;
    • A 29% pay increase for some employees who receive a general and a “step” increase over 4 years;
    • A 25% increase in longevity pay for Step 8 employees;
    • A 37.5 hour work week;
    • 5 weeks of fully paid vacation;
    • Full health insurance benefits to laid off employees for up to 2 years;
    • Full health insurance benefits to intermittent employees;
    • Full health insurance benefits to part-time employees;
    • A new more expensive health insurance package that covers new procedures such as oral surgery (which is currently covered by the dental plan) and orthodontics for those over 18, without any additional employee contributions;
    • Allow laid off employees to move to a lower employee position but keep their same wage rates indefinitely;
    • Pay lawyers in the union time and half for any time over 37.5 hours per week and pay for them to attend legal conferences;
    • Impose a penalty by doubling wage increases anytime agreed increases are delayed because of budget constraints; and
    • Increase overtime pay at DOC to double time after 6 overtime sessions every 3 months.

    This was from a previous post on CF. It would have been nice to see AFSCME address each of these points.


  17. - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:08 pm:

    Can someone please tell me what this means?

    • Agreeing to a thorough listing of which bargaining unit employees are “working supervisors” and therefore subject to discipline for not enforcing the collective bargaining agreement on behalf of management.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:08 pm:

    - Federalist -

    I think AFSCME didn’t … out of brevity.


  19. - Federalist - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:10 pm:

    @Oswego,

    You are probably right but they need to do this and fast to have credibility that they are presenting the whole picture.


  20. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:11 pm:

    === It would have been nice to see AFSCME address each of these points. ===

    He did. Learn to read.


  21. - Triple fat - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:16 pm:

    Federalist, I’m not worried… You only have to point out a few inaccuracies to prove that the Governor’s office is being less than truthful..


  22. - Mouthy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:17 pm:

    - Federalist - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:06 pm:

    I’m guessing that’s AFSCME’s opining proposal which in the tradition of bargaining is always unrealistically high. The governor’s opening proposal would be just as unrealistic. If they haven’t gotten past their respective opening salvos in all these months that is clearly not a good sign. Usually, in my experience, both parties would keep quiet about the negotiations simply to avoid chaos in the ranks. This is stuff that should be kept in the bargaining room..


  23. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:18 pm:

    ===You are probably right but they need to do this and fast to have credibility that they are presenting the whole picture.===

    He answered. It was long enough, so going point by point didn’t make much sense.


  24. - Triple fat - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:20 pm:

    Federalist- yep that is the norm out of respect for the other party. Frat boys have a little problem showing respect to anyone other than the Governor.


  25. - Federalist - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:25 pm:

    - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:11 pm:

    === It would have been nice to see AFSCME address each of these points. ===

    Know he did not. Learn to read.

    No he did not. Learn to read.


  26. - Chicagonk - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:27 pm:

    Well the governor now says he won’t lock-out state employees and what is said in public are a lot harder to take back than what is said in private.


  27. - Triple fat - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:27 pm:

    Sorry I meant to respond to Monthly’s post about keeping quiet during negotiations.


  28. - Politix - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:31 pm:

    It’s terribly frustrating to read Rauner’s and Barcaly’s lies, especially as they are fed to our agency directors. However, I think even they can see through this garbage.


  29. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:36 pm:

    ==Rauner’s and Barcaly’s lies==

    Lying? Seems to be contagious and bipartisan around the statehouse.


  30. - Anon2U - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:39 pm:

    @Rich,
    Apparently snark is only snark when you /snark
    :)
    Droppin’ G’s not a strong enough clue?!
    All in fun.


  31. - Triple fat - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:39 pm:

    I wonder though, if all these half truth press releases issued by the Governor’s Office will be construed by the Court as evidence of his Office bargaining in bad faith??? Thereby making it impossible for them to declare an impasse and impose their final offer. Once again demonstrating to the general public that his superstars are not worth their exhorbanent salaries.


  32. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:40 pm:

    Messy, but progress.


  33. - MJB - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:41 pm:

    Federalist-The ISC ruled that retiree health insurance is benefit that was contracted for when the employee hired on and can’t be reduced, taken away, or require premium increases. As long at the state provides insurance there is no diminishment; the ruling says nothing about the quality/types/out of pocket costs, etc. of insurance provided. Also, from the way I read it, the 500% increase applies to everyone.


  34. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:44 pm:

    So a quick summation: AFSCME is claiming there is no assurance from the Governor’s office that their membership would not be locked out. In the meantime, Barclay, IN WRITING, assures department heads there will be no lock out.

    Hello? Talking past each other much or just not paying attention?


  35. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:45 pm:

    If Madigan can pretend that foregoing GA pay raises was a gift to Rauner, Rauner can pretend that foregoing Tier 2 was a gift to AFSCME.


  36. - 13thone - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:56 pm:

    - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:48 pm:

    Anders Lindall, don’t worry. We knew Indy was fudging the facts.
    Noreseman - fudging the facts? Just like being a little pregnant?


  37. - Federalist - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:10 pm:

    @MJB,

    I am mot certain that as long as they provide any health insurance no matter the premiums or out of pocket costs that there is no diminishment. If so, this ISC was potentially a joke. I am certain you understand why.

    What specific language did the ISC use that makes you think that out of pocket costs can be raised to whatever for those already retired? To me this is left up in the air. Courts don’t like to rule that specifically but in this case they may be eventually forced to do so.

    If the increases are modest I do not see another lawsuit. It they are much larger than the AAI then the ISC will see this case again.

    Furthermore it is quite questionable that AFSCME and Rauner can negotiate for those already retired. Who gave the union power to do so? Retirees have never authorized them to do that.

    Yes, this is quite murky.


  38. - CharlieKratos - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:11 pm:

    The only good thing about this horrible situation is that everyone is learning how Rauner plays the game.

    In short, don’t trust a thing he says and CYA at all times.


  39. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:12 pm:

    I think you have individuals on both sides, (administration and Union) who are not expert in the art of communication and negotiation. Unless you can get a good arbitrator involved in this dispute I am skeptical of a desirable outcome.


  40. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:14 pm:

    I’d have led with “Because those non-economic talks continue, there has yet been no opportunity for us to exchange counter-proposals on economic matters.”

    Yes. Yes, that also would have been better.

    – MrJM


  41. - Politix - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:23 pm:

    He won’t lock state employees out but his admin is PRAYING for a strike. C’mon.


  42. - Omega Man - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:28 pm:

    From what I remember about the last contract negotiations, AFSCME won the right to negotiate healthcare matters on behalf of the retirees in the last contract. Before that, retirees were basically on their own (hiring their own lawyers). If the union loses this battle, many retirees will be surprised to learn that they will be responsible for paying the first 40% of all future healthcare costs before the State pays a dime. Just having your (worst in the nation Bronze-level) premium paid by the state won’t mean much.


  43. - Waldi - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:31 pm:

    Sadly I think the both the Governor or Madigan will throw State workers under the bus if it somehow benefits them. State workers are just pawns in the political game - and to be honest I don’t think the union is all that much better.


  44. - anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:32 pm:

    - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:08 pm:

    Can someone please tell me what this means?

    • Agreeing to a thorough listing of which bargaining unit employees are “working supervisors” and therefore subject to discipline for not enforcing the collective bargaining agreement on behalf of management.

    ====

    A different ‘anon’ but, I was curious about that as well.

    - Mouthy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:17 pm:

    - Federalist - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:06 pm:

    Usually, in my experience, both parties would keep quiet about the negotiations simply to avoid chaos in the ranks. This is stuff that should be kept in the bargaining room..

    ===

    I understand what you are saying, but, as an afscme member, I feel like I have a right to know what my union’s demands are, what concessions they’re making, etc… The whole ‘fight for your rights, be angry, get fired up, make a lot of noise’ because we said so’ without any details of what I’m supposed to be fired up about just doesn’t do it for me.

    I appreciate the union but, don’t always agree with them.


  45. - thoughts matter - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:33 pm:

    Are we at all sure that Rauner intended his letter to the department heads to be public? Because I can see that he might think it would be an internal management communication. Doesn’t work that way, but they haven’t seemed to learn regarding all the other letters they have written to legislators that they obviously didn’t think would be made public. I would also wonder that whatever they say outside of the bargaining table doesn’t count as having been communicated to the union negotiators.

    I think Anders referenced all the points. Several of them pertained to one area - step increases.

    Given Rauners track record for truthfulness, I believe the union.


  46. - anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:36 pm:

    Sorry…I meant to cut out the Federalist line above.


  47. - Mouthy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:42 pm:

    How do you negotiate with a guy that starts by proposing to gut the language and benefits negotiated over decades? Usually the non economic are classic give and take issues. What’s the union to say, “If you don’t gut this we’ll let you gut this and that”? This is impossible to negotiate let alone the money issues. They will never come to an agreement as long as one side wants to destroy the rights of another. This won’t be solved in two months.


  48. - Mouthy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:52 pm:

    - anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:32 pm:
    If you want to know what the demands are you should be on the negotiating team. The reason you don’t get informed about specifics is that both sides usually start out with unrealistic proposals. Then you get serious and give and take until you have whittled down everything to a tentative agreement. You can’t bargain with management while at the same time trying to deal with everybody’s two cents worth at the same time. You have to have faith in your bargaining team to bring you the best proposal they can come up with and then you can discuss it and vote.


  49. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:52 pm:

    One of the reasons Rauner has been slowly losing ground is his failure to control the message. He’s constantly caught out on false information and outright lies with everything he’s tried to control so far. The waiting game is more about waiting for him to self-destruct than coming to resolution on anything.


  50. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 7:12 pm:

    == The ISC ruled that retiree health insurance is benefit that was contracted for when the employee hired on and can’t be reduced, taken away, or require premium increases. As long at the state provides insurance there is no diminishment; the ruling says nothing about the quality/types/out of pocket costs, etc. of insurance provided. ==

    == What specific language did the ISC use that makes you think that out of pocket costs can be raised to whatever for those already retired? To me this is left up in the air. Courts don’t like to rule that specifically but in this case they may be eventually forced to do so. ==

    True but … there was substantial discussion during the oral arguments, raised by questions the Justices posed, about at what point does reduced health insurance benefits or increased co-pays reach the point of diminishment. They were clearly concerned about this possibility. It was never really answered, but the IL SC sure left the door open to another Kanerva type lawsuit over the health insurance.


  51. - Just Me - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 7:40 pm:

    For AFSCME to say they don’t want to bargain through the public is laughable! Absolutely laughable!!! How can they possibly say that?!?!?!

    AFSCME is always the first one to run out of a negotiating session and complain to the media about what the management side is proposing.


  52. - Curmudgeon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 7:41 pm:

    “• Full health insurance benefits to intermittent employees;
    • Full health insurance benefits to part-time employees”

    Unless things have changed drastically, what that means is that the intermittent/part-time employees get access to the same healthcare benefits as full-time employees, BUT they have to pay a percentage of the full premium cost of the benefits that is equal to the percentage of time during the month that they’re not working.

    In other words, if an intermittent employee worked 25% of a given month, they would have to pay 75% of that month’s benefit cost.


  53. - foster brooks - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 7:52 pm:

    Rauner should have kept the tier 2 option, hey a ton of state employees voted for him you never know they might follow him to his pension plan


  54. - Triple fat - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:09 pm:

    Anon, do you know how many people are witnessing the negotiations on AFSME’s side? You are well represented by diverse group of people at negotiations… You will also be able to cast your vote… Sorry that is all any of us get. What you want is just untenable. If you want in on the day to day get on the negotiating committee. Just sayin.


  55. - sal-says - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:22 pm:

    == Hello? Talking past each other much or just not paying attention? ==

    Any chance this is a timeframe issue that Mr. Barclay ‘forgot’ to mention? Like the first part is good only thru end Sept?


  56. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:26 pm:

    True but … there was substantial discussion during the oral arguments, raised by questions the Justices posed, about at what point does reduced health insurance benefits or increased co-pays reach the point of diminishment. They were clearly concerned about this possibility. It was never really answered, but the IL SC sure left the door open to another Kanerva type lawsuit over the health insurance.


  57. - Federalist - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:27 pm:

    @RNUG

    True but … there was substantial discussion during the oral arguments, raised by questions the Justices posed, about at what point does reduced health insurance benefits or increased co-pays reach the point of diminishment. They were clearly concerned about this possibility. It was never really answered, but the IL SC sure left the door open to another Kanerva type lawsuit over the health insurance.

    That is my impression/opinion also.


  58. - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:44 pm:

    Anybody have a clue what they mean when they say we have come to agreement on what a working supervisor is. Are they trying to boot them out of union again


  59. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:50 pm:

    == Anybody have a clue what they mean when they say we have come to agreement on what a working supervisor is. Are they trying to boot them out of union again ==

    They’ve already done that to some PSA’s … and I suspect they want to remove more of them from the union.


  60. - Anonyrick - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 9:08 pm:

    Rauner’s timing seems to be designed to block an override of his veto. He presented AFSCME as unreasonable and hopes the general public will side with him, and not support the legislature to override. If he really didn’t want a lock out / strike, you would think he would not have vetoed the bill. The power to strike is the Union’s strongest weapon. The concerns Rauner raised about binding arbitration go both ways. The arbitrator could side fully with Rauner. Why would Rauner be so afraid of binding arbitration? Perhaps he knows an unbiased person will likely find his demands unreasonable.


  61. - jwscott72 - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 9:14 pm:

    Most PSAs at my agency suspect they’ll be out of the Union by the end of FY16 (if it ever actually begins). Both the AFSCME and the Governor memos are nothing but cherry picked tidbits designed to make the other side seem extreme. The games continue. There was a sense of relief at work today when word of the two month agreement came across CapFax, which has become the blog of record for nearly everyone in my building. We’re burning through our data plans but Rich is keeping us informed. Keep up the good work Rich!


  62. - sickandtired - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 9:24 pm:

    negotiations always start with language before finances are addressed. of course afscme comes to the table with demands so that they have things to give up…it’s called negotiations. when they finish the contract language which will still be a big obstacle because of rauner’s union busting wants, they will talk about finances. i think most of us employees understand the state has an issue. instead of increasing taxes to pay for the out of control spending, they stole our retirement money. i for one, just want to keep what i have…i don’t expect any type of financial gain on this contract.


  63. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 10:02 pm:

    Based on actions to date, I seriously doubt the governor would take the heat for a lockout.

    He might like a strike, but I’m not so sure. By definition, you cant control chaos.


  64. - Omega Man - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 10:34 pm:

    Everyone in this forum (including me) keeps trying to figure out how Rauner expects to accomplish any of these “goals” of his. I have decided that he is proceeding like Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb - “I haven’t failed 500 times. I’ve succeeded in finding 500 ways that don’t work!”. The trouble is, his time is running out.


  65. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:29 pm:

    As to negotiating at the table, not publicly, the union sends updates to their members, and somehow those updates end up in the media, and everybody is then informed how reasonable AFSCME is being and how extreme the administration’s positions are. Administrations traditionally honor the agreement to not comment publicly, and are therefore put at considerable disadvantage in terms of media reporting and public opinion.

    I can simply tell you, having been thru it myself multiple times, that the unions “updates” are frequently disingenuous in their reporting of “facts” regarding demands and counter-offers, ranging from misleading to outright untruths. The one time I really pushed back hard, I did it the wrong way and was remarkably unsuccessful. I think Barclay’s letter is the correct strategy: fight fire with fire. Both sides will lay out their best case to the public. I know of no other way to counter AFSCME’s tactics in this regard. And this comment doesn’t represent animosity toward the union on my part. It’s simply a description of what happens.


  66. - Which side are you on? - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 11:49 pm:

    Steve, it’s called messaging. The union isn’t lying (your “untruths” claim, which should be stricken since you don’t even attempt to provide anecdotal evidence), they are communicating to their members, and the public, in a way that is stark and direct. Does not Rauner’s every press release just ooze with disingenuousness?


  67. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 12:02 am:

    As I said, both sides have now laid out their positions in the best possible light. It’s just nice to see that the administration is pushing back on this AFSCME tactic tit for tat


  68. - Mason born - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 5:24 am:

    Steve

    Always thought that was AFSCME’s way of managing expectations. It doesn’t matter how much you dislike the deal we put in ront of you it could always be as bad as we have told you the last few weeks. Even if management hasn’t proposed that in months.


  69. - Georg Sande - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 6:10 am:

    – “Oh, please. This ain’t a political campaign.” –Lol, O.W.! You are truly a funny guy.

    For those interested in the merits of this on-going political fight, see Steve Schnorf’s 101 about dealing with public sector unions.


  70. - Sarcastic - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 6:48 am:

    If the governor and the union can’t find common ground then the governor can get his teamsters type deal by extending the union contact month by month thereby effectively freezing pay and benefits. That is one of his goals, isn’t it?


  71. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 7:30 am:

    Um - Georg Sande -

    That was Rich Miller who said that. K?

    Please, keep up.


  72. - CapnCrunch - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 7:34 am:

    -steve schnorf-

    Your comments fly over the heads of the Greek Chorus commenting here as indicated by the first response to your comment.


  73. - Daniel Plainview - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 8:01 am:

    - It’s just nice to see that the administration is pushing back on this AFSCME tactic tit for tat -

    It’s nicer to see that Schnorf has really embraced AFSCME bashing now that he’s a Rauner appointee to the EEC.


  74. - Touré's Latte - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 8:24 am:

    ==This ain’t a political campaign.==

    Somebody tell Bruce.


  75. - Dissapointed - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 8:36 am:

    “Rauner memo riddled with mis-information”

    We all know that AFSCME never exaggerates, spins, or cries “the sky is falling” in order to whip the troups into a frensy.


  76. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 8:43 am:

    @CapnCrunch - Just an FYI, while I can’t speak for everyone, I can say that your attempt to lump every commentator here under a single label or group shows a decided lack of knowledge of the workings of this blog or your part. When Steve Schnorf speaks, I, and many others, respect his positions.


  77. - Anon - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 8:57 am:

    Paranoid much, AFSCME? I guess with no strike fund, they should be. But preparing for a worst-case scenario is prudent in the business world AND in government, although it’s much more unusual in the latter. I don’t blame the governor’s office for exploring options now rather than being caught unprepared. But, that’s probably way to logical for this state’s insiders/talking heads.


  78. - Anon - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 8:58 am:

    Too. Hate that.


  79. - Triple fat - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:02 am:

    Steve,
    It’s never too late to supply the instances you spoke of where AFSME messaging was untruthful? And I’m just dying to hear about the details of your heroic pushback that was to no avail.


  80. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:05 am:

    - Triple fat -

    With respect,

    Mr. Schnorf is one whose words carry enormous weight, not just here, but in governing the state of Illinois, and those who follow state givernment.

    Keep that in mind.


  81. - Mouthy - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:16 am:

    If both side are truly negotiating then they should consider going dark on the ongoing back and forth process of bargaining until they have a finished product. If they aren’t negotiating, or one side isn’t, then all the time in the world won’t make a difference.


  82. - Triple fat - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:21 am:

    OW I hear what you are saying; however I feel when people disparage my Union their words cannot go unchallenged…


  83. - Stones - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:24 am:

    It is disturbing that both sides have now resorted to publicizing their negotiating positions. There are obvious statements on both sides that do not give a true picture of what each negotiating point truly is. I am guessing if you cut through all the rhetoric that this deal is mostly about insurance and how much of the cost Union members will be expected to pick up in the future.

    Now that both have publicly stated their positions I expect the rhetoric will increase. Not a good sign.


  84. - Say It Ain't So!! - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:31 am:

    “Finally, with respect to the list of 12 supposed “concessions” Barclay claims the administration has made, only two are accurate… The rest of the administration’s proposals remain on the table and have not been withdrawn.”

    Apparently the administration has now publicly made ten more concessions that the bargaining unit can now hold management to in negotiations. If management doesn’t stick to them, then the public will see Rauner not bargaining in good faith.


  85. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:31 am:

    - Triple fat -,

    You say what you think you need to say, but I’d just keep that in mind…


  86. - Lkwd Res - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:37 am:

    If a strike does happen, can someone explain how this will hurt John Q. Taxpayer? I will still wake up, hop on a train, work downtown, put gas in my car, buy groceries, ect. A strike would have virtually zero impact on my life.


  87. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:39 am:

    @Lkwd Res - Some of us apparently have a bit more compassion towards the plight of others than you seem to evince.


  88. - Lkwd Resd - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:42 am:

    Compassion = Fund PublicServant Pension.


  89. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:42 am:

    ==A strike would have virtually zero impact on my life.==

    Good for you. People who have interactions with the government might disagree with you. And whether you realize it almost everyone has an interaction with the government every day. Get on an elevator? Registered with the government and inspected by somebody licensed by the government. Pump gas in your car? Pump inspected by the government. Those are just two small examples in your every day life.


  90. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:48 am:

    @Lkwd Res - What, no thanks for keeping my taxes artificially low? I’m crushed.


  91. - Triple fat - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:49 am:

    Okay OW….
    Steve. With respect. All this push back in comparing AFSME messaging to their members and Barklay’s blatantly misleading letter an indication that the Administration is concerned that the letter may be considered bargaining in bad faith? Personally I feel it is. What are your personal thoughts?
    Thank you.


  92. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:50 am:

    “But preparing for a worst-case scenario” I was wondering this morning, what would American Airlines do? Would they contact retired pilots? Retired mechanics? Contact temp agencies? Or would they plan on using only their own employees? (I really hadn’t paid attention to any strikes they have dealt with so I don’t know.)


  93. - Huh? - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:55 am:

    There is very little that we do that is not in someway touched by the government.
    Seek medical treatment, get a hair cut, talk to a lawyer - government licenses. That bridge you drove over, train went over - inspected by government trained inspectors either employed by government or hired by government.
    Took a shower, brushed your teeth - water systems operated and/or inspected by government.
    The restaurant where you are going to eat lunch or dinner - government inspected.

    The list is endless of how government interacts on an invisible basis in our lives.


  94. - Juice - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:57 am:

    Lkwd Resd, well, a couple of things. If there’s a strike, Weights and Measures at the department of Ag would no longer be able to inspect gas pumps to ensure they are pumping properly or the quality of motor fuel, meaning you could be paying the the same price for less than quality products. Also, the RTA relies very heavily from both subsidies from the State as well as revenues collected by the State. If the workers are on strike, no one will be there to submit the vouchers to make sure payments are being made. Which over time would result in a reduction of service or an increase in fares.


  95. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:58 am:

    “The list is endless of how government interacts on an invisible basis in our lives.” Strange that other states can do all this without janitors making over $70k/year with pension at 55 worth millions with compounded 3% annual raises.


  96. - A Jack - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:59 am:

    @Lkwd Res, let’s hope you don’t catch something bad from uninspected groceries, or crash in an uninspected train or your employer is forced to shut its doors because it’s license expired because those are all government functions that may cease in a strike.


  97. - cez - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 10:03 am:

    Mouthy…..good accurate points.Also if they are in fact negotiating ..much of it is done by the point persons from both sides (including CMS) in private and not at the negotiating table..we’ll see.


  98. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 10:04 am:

    PublicServant- Love the irony of your name. You always claim the taxpayers owe you “thank-you” for our “artificially low” taxes. What is it you’ve given up? Nothing to date. You’ll get your fat pension if it breaks the state.


  99. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 10:07 am:

    Sorry for the Dr. Seuss rhyming words on that last one.


  100. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 10:07 am:

    “pension at 55 worth millions” You’re being snarky, right? Because that’s not close to reality.


  101. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 10:14 am:

    Skeptic- No not at all. If a state employee retires at 55 with a starting pension of $40k they will collect over $2 million in pension alone if they live to 85 (math is hard as others on this blog say). I’m friends with a now retired CO who just retired at 50 with a starting pension of $85k. He’ll collect closer to $5 million if his health holds out.


  102. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 10:15 am:

    He’ll collect $5.378 million if he lives to 85 to be exact. All for a high school diploma or GED.


  103. - Triple fat - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 10:40 am:

    What if they die the day after they retire? Robert the 1st . If you are so jealous of my pension, I suggest that you organize your fellow workers to unionize your work area and then bargain with your employer for defined benefit plan. Envy of what we have is so undignified.


  104. - Triple fat - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 10:46 am:

    Oh and Robert quit trying to instigate class warfare on those with less than a four year degree. Engaging in this sort of tactic is also unseemly… You seem like an angry envious soul…


  105. - HangingOn - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 10:58 am:

    ==No not at all. If a state employee retires at 55 with a starting pension of $40k==

    I can’t retire until I’m 67 and I’m looking at maybe 20k a year if I live that long. Not every state worker gets a higher pension, and not all can retire at 55. I thought that was for jobs such as fire and police.


  106. - Triple fat - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 11:08 am:

    Me too hanging on - Me too.


  107. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 12:43 pm:

    @Robert the 1st - I’m willing to give up all that is asked of every taxpayer in this state, and not a penny more. Everything else, has been earned.


  108. - Triple fat - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 12:51 pm:

    Right on public servant… As tax paying citizens we have nothing to apologize for in regards to what we have earned. As ISC stated we are under no obligation to shoulder the State’ s funding crisis as a class alone… It is a burden to be shared equally.


  109. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 7:22 pm:

    3f, if you don’t know, you ain’t been around long. Ask Roberta.


  110. - Triple fat - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 10:02 am:

    Mr. Steve Schorf,
    With respect - please address the first part of post and share with us the times an AFSME press release or a negotiation update contained untruthful information. My experience has been that the Union is very vague in their updates taking great care not to suggest a hint of bargaining in bad faith.
    Speaking of bad faith negotiations. I feel that the Administration’s messaging the false portrayal of TheLetter as merely being tit for tat indicates that they are concerned,as I am, that Barclay’s letter release will be found as bargaining in bad faith? What are your personal thoughts?
    Thank you
    Triple Fat


  111. - Triple fat - Friday, Jul 31, 15 @ 10:15 am:

    Please ignore the question mark east of faith.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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