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Rauner vetoes no-strike bill

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015

* From the governor’s veto message…

Today I veto Senate Bill 1229 from the 99th General Assembly, which would amend the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act to replace collective bargaining with binding interest arbitration.

For many months, I have advocated that local governments should have the right to determine which subjects are collectively bargained with their public employees. The response from some union officials is that my proposal would “gut” the collective bargaining rights of those public employees. Those same union officials proposed Senate Bill 1229, which goes far beyond my simple proposal. It removes every subject of labor negotiations from the bargaining process and allows unelected arbitrators to impose billions of dollars of new costs on our taxpayers without any involvement of the Executive Branch, the General Assembly, or those taxpayers. This legislation is undemocratic, it is bad for our budget, and it is unconstitutional.

Senate Bill 1229 is also based on a false premise that our Administration has been unreasonable in labor negotiations and wants to lock-out employees or prompt an employee strike. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have negotiated in good faith with AFSCME since shortly after I took office. We came with our proposals ready on day 1, and we made significant concessions from our initial proposals, including revising our proposals on management rights, dues collection, holidays, subcontracting, layoffs, and employee pensions. We asked AFSCME to schedule more frequent weekly negotiating sessions (which they declined), and we voluntarily agreed to extend negotiations even after the current collective bargaining agreements expired on June 30, 2015. At my request, those “tolling agreements” contain express provisions that prohibit a strike or lock-out during our negotiations. Today our Administration signed a new tolling agreement that extends negotiations until at least the end of September. We are working diligently to reach an agreement with AFSCME.

Our proposals have also not been unreasonable. In fact, the proposals we offered to AFSCME are similar to those recently adopted by state employees represented by the Teamsters. It took only two weeks from the time our Administration first met with John Coli, the President of the Teamsters Joint Council 25, to reach agreement with the Teamsters. The Teamsters, to their credit, were realistic about the State’s dire financial condition. They cleared their calendars to negotiate around the clock. They made no outrageous financial demands for large pay increases or new health benefits. They had no problem agreeing to a 40-hour work week. We similarly sought to build a strong partnership with the Teamsters in exchange for their concessions. We agreed to a large monetary bonus pool to reward employees for their exceptional performance. Rather than have an unlimited subcontracting provision, we agreed to allow the Teamsters to bid on any project offered to a private sector company and share in the savings achieved by the State. We also agreed to fund an educational program for their employees, a top priority for our Administration.

Given time and reasonableness, we can reach a similar agreement with AFSCME. This legislation, however, prevents our Administration from doing so. Many are unfamiliar with the concept of interest arbitration that replaces collective bargaining in this legislation. It is not the same as arbitration in civil law, business, or other contract disputes. Interest arbitrators are not allowed to fashion a compromise that Illinois taxpayers can actually afford. Presented with the State’s and the unions’ proposals, arbitrators will be picking winners and losers by accepting either side’s proposal in its entirety. Because they are unelected and unaccountable, arbitrators can decide to impose on the State the unions’ proposals without regard to the dire impact those proposals will have on our fiscal stability. As I write this message, if AFSCME seeks to impose its current proposal, it would cost our taxpayers an additional $1.6 billion in salary and pension costs and would eliminate $500 million per year in healthcare savings that were part of the overall healthcare savings included in both Democrat and Republican budgets. If an unaccountable arbitrator awards AFSCME’s contract, the clear losers will be the State’s taxpayers. And the already-difficult task of balancing the State’s budget in a constitutional manner will become insurmountable, hurting the beneficiaries of State programs and services that would no longer be possible. We cannot afford Senate Bill 1229.

Finally, if enacted into law, Senate Bill 1229 would violate the United States Constitution by retroactively impairing contractual obligations. In the last round of negotiations, the State and unions entered into collective bargaining agreements that spanned the period from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015. Negotiating those contracts in 2012, both sides knew, and bargained with the understanding, that any contractual obligations the parties undertake would expire on June 30, 2015. Senate Bill 1229 changes that bargain by extending the terms of expired agreements beyond June 30, 2015. The United States Constitution forbids the State from enacting a law that changes contracts retroactively. Senate Bill 1229 is therefore unconstitutional.

Senate Bill 1229 would cede major financial decisions to unelected, unaccountable arbitrators. This legislation is bad policy and would derail our efforts to honestly balance the State’s budget and enact meaningful government reforms.

Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 1229 entitled “AN ACT concerning State government”, with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.


Bruce Rauner

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Chicago 20 - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:18 pm:

    “False premise”

    Isn’t that how Rauner was elected?

  2. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:20 pm:

    Well, my timing on the post regarding the two month Rauner-AFSCME truce was impeccable…

  3. - Colin O'Scopey - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:21 pm:

    Override motion filed in 3,2,1…..

  4. - thunderspirit - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:21 pm:

    == Isn’t that how Rauner was elected? ==

    No, I don’t think so. I thing Governor Rauner was elected to not be Pat Quinn.

  5. - DuPage - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:22 pm:

    Another day. Another false premise by Rauner.

  6. - 3rd Party Needed - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:22 pm:

    So he is concerned with what the constitution says now?

  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:23 pm:

    What do the cowardly “7″ HGOP members do on THIS?

    The table is set, the extension exists till September 30th, so here’s the window?

    Counting noses, commencing?

  8. - IllinoisBoi - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:24 pm:

    Wow. It seems like the logjam might be starting to break…next comes the disastrous flood.

  9. - phocion - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:24 pm:

    Governor Rauner has made an exceptionally cogent and compelling argument in support of his veto. And he finally told the administration’s side of the story with respect to AFSCME negotiations. The Governor will win the war of public opinion on this one. The Democrats will be putting some vulnerable members in a very tough spot if they push for an override of this one.

  10. - walker - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:26 pm:

    Okay then. His position is clear.

    His supporting statements have some holes, but also some positive intentions. He doesn’t go out of his way to make the union the enemy.

    We’ll see who’s got the goods in the GA, and who is trusting whom.

  11. - The Colossus of Roads - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:27 pm:

    Some of these are unfair comparisons. Teamsters already work 40 hours a week, teamsters have a separate health insurance fund which when combined with the states payment, will be no change to their health care. How can a state employee bid on a state contract?

  12. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:28 pm:

    Is this the first instance where the Gov was literally concerned about the constitutionality of something?

    Because usually, that’s an afterthought, right before he sends out the attorneys.

  13. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:31 pm:

    ==We similarly sought to build a strong partnership with the Teamsters in exchange for their concessions.==

    Exactly the point I have been making in comments. It is harder to tag Rauner as the problem when he and the Teamsters worked things out.

    Insisting state employees get paid, protecting their right to strike, refusing to lock them out. Down is up and up is down.

  14. - WeeblesWobble - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:39 pm:


  15. - Chicago 20 - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:40 pm:

    = Isn’t that how Rauner was elected?=

    Rauner didn’t run on a turn around agenda platform before a budget and the elimination of collective bargaining agreements.

  16. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:40 pm:

  17. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:40 pm:

    -It is harder to tag Rauner as the problem when he and the Teamsters worked things out.-

    Umm wow, the only similarity between the TEAMSTERS and the AFSCME contracts are the fact that they are both unions and that’s it. 350 teamsters vs 36,000 afscmes. You can’t compare these apples and oranges. Sorry you just can’t. I will hand it to Rauner though, that man’s got some stones. “Our proposals have also not been unreasonable” Wow.

  18. - Nick Danger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:43 pm:

    It appears that AFSCME now only wants to bargain with a Governor they paid to help elect. Elections have consequences.

  19. - Anon2U - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:45 pm:

    love to see the dichotomy of non-union Dems and pro-union Repubs on this one. Both are squirming. Who caves?

  20. - Greyhound - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:46 pm:

    If the arbitrator has to pick one of the two proposals as is, it would seem to be a great motivator for everyone to stop being ridiculous and offer something fair. The union can’t ask for the heavens and thereby make the governor’s proposal seem less extreme by comparison.

  21. - Bulldog58 - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:46 pm:

    No surprise here, we knew the veto was coming, it was just a matter of when he would issue it.

  22. - Liberty - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:48 pm:

    For a guy who lacks specifics on most topics, he sure is long winded on this one.

  23. - CrazyHorse - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:50 pm:

    ==Finally, if enacted into law, Senate Bill 1229 would violate the United States Constitution by retroactively impairing contractual obligations.==

    So it’s similar to all of your pension proposals Bruce? Ah. Got it.

  24. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:54 pm:

    ==350 teamsters ==

    You need to add a zero to that

  25. - Concerned - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:54 pm:

    CrazyHorse, you nailed it!

  26. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:00 pm:

    I call BS on this. First day of union negotiations he signs an executive order banning fair share dues. Then he has these “hearings” to use the pension crisis to strip collective bargaining rights from all government employees. Also, he made remarks in a 2014 YouTube video, “If I have to shut down the state, and pull a Ronald Regan, you know a do over…unions are a financial tumor” Finally, he fails to realize many unions in other states give up the right to strike and management gives up the right to lockout employees in exchange for binding arbitration. You talk about representing tax payers when you can’t even explain double digit salaries in the Gov’s office when compared to the average state employee? Also, you pretty much stop all federal funded programs especially to those who are severely disabled? This is like the Twilight Zone!

  27. - #5 - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:02 pm:

    Anonymous @ 3:54

    According to this very blog, you are the one who is wrong. From CapFax, “The new contract covers nearly 350 workers at IDOT, CMS, IDES, and DHS in Cook County.”

  28. - Mason born - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:05 pm:

    Okay I have to hand it to him he is presenting an interesting dilemma to Madigan. He could probably whip the vote to override the veto with every member however it sinks the 500 mil MJM counted on as well as possibly adding 1.6 billion. I am not agreeing with the governor mind you but he is framing his arguement to his benefit. So if MJM gets the override the Rauner blames him for any increased cost and the inevitable tax increase to pay for it. If he fails then a wedge is driven between AFSCME and MJM and 10/1 Rauner can impose his final offer all while using this time to paint the union as out of control while he humbly looks out for the citizens interest.

    Did he get a new superstar?

  29. - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:07 pm:

    Don’t believe everything you read. As we all know, Rauner we condemning Cullerton’s press conference before it even ended. Is this a glimpse into the mental processes his superstars don’t want us to see?

  30. - Mason born - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:08 pm:

    As for violating the u.s. constitution by his logic you coyld never change the personel code.

  31. - Black Ivy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:09 pm:

    Favorable court orders on State pay. An extendion of the Tolling Agreement. Veto of SB 1229. Legislative leaders publicly softening. Polls, schmolls! Well-played, Governor, well-played!

  32. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:10 pm:

    It’s clearer now. Quit moaning and get back to the table. The parameters are out there for everyone to see.

    On the pension front, perhaps some who are commenting here need to direct their ire toward the folks who proposed it and passed it. It’s a hollow argument, so the “now he cares about the Constitution” baloney should abate. Also do distinguish between the US Constitution cited in this letter and the Illinois Constitution.

    It’s time to shut up and get to the table for all sides.

  33. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:13 pm:

    ==350 teamsters vs 36,000 afscmes==

    Politically for Gov Rauner it makes no difference if it was 10 teamsters or 100,000. He has been able to reach an agreement with labor and negotiate productively, which is a point he will repeat any time AFSCME or someone else accuses him of being ==extreme==.

    OT possibly resume your naval references as Gov Rauner and Speaker Madigan, or even commenters, fire at each other? Those caused an lol whenever comments got too agitated.

  34. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:17 pm:

    He is not bargaining in good faith. Example: Including pensions in regard to AFSCME contract bargaining. Contract has no pension provision to bargain over. Including unreasonable health insurance proposals. Will go to interest arbitration anyway due to unfair labor practices or he will have to drop demands unrelated to contract being bargained for.

  35. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:18 pm:

    ==I am not agreeing with the governor mind you but he is framing his arguement to his benefit.==

    @Mason born gets it.

    Many of us here do not agree with everything Rauner, Madigan and others do, but can tip our hat to a savvy move even without liking it.

  36. - Me too - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:25 pm:

    Guy, both are constitutions and the only time one isn’t sacrosanct is when the federal one contradicts it. Don’t rush to defend the gov so quickly. This was a good release. No need to explain his sudden appreciation of the Constitution.

    In general also, you should also stop searching for arguments after the fact.

    I kid. I kid.

  37. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:33 pm:

    ==Anonymous @ 3:54

    According to this very blog, you are the one who is wrong. From CapFax, “The new contract covers nearly 350 workers at IDOT, CMS, IDES, and DHS in Cook County.”==

    Actually, according to this very blog, the immediate previous post in fact, I’m not. Teamsters represent a lot more employees than the agencies referenced, and things have changed since 7/1. Per the below letter in today’s post:

    ==It is also far out of line with what other unions have proposed, and which we recently agreed with the Teamsters, who represent over 3,000 state employees across state government, including the Master Sergeants in the State Police.==

  38. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:42 pm:

    === Monique Garcia
    Spokes for Sen. Pres. Cullerton says they will move to override veto of arbitration bill next week. Rep. Smiddy says House likely to follow. ===

    The override is a done deal in the Senate, we’ll see in the House. The Dems don’t have the votes to override by themselves (I believe Mautino is unavailable) even if they can switch the no’s from the original passage. So they will need GOP votes. I’m sure this will be put into the “#*$(&*# problem” category for the House purchased. It will be entertaining to watch the cowardly lions scramble during the override vote.

  39. - MyTwoCents - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:45 pm:

    Considering AFSCME deals with health insurance for State employees, retirees, university employees, and other unique issues like holidays, and insurance seems to be a major stumbling block any comparisons to the Teamsters is apples to oranges and only useful for driving wedges between unions to advance Rauners agenda. It really isn’t relevant to any useful discussion.

  40. - Mason born - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:47 pm:

    The thing I wonder about is the current level of vitriol between the two sides. If your a house dem sick of the blame for Rauner’s demands here is a f’ing golden way to stick it to him.

    Have to wonder how Poe and other pro AFSCME r’s excuse a no or present vote especially if a strike or lockout is the ultimate outcome.

  41. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:49 pm:

    Nullifying the right to strike, despite the protections already in place and AFSCME support, would be ==historic==.

    And potentially hazardous long after Rauner and Madigan are gone.

  42. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:54 pm:

    Lord Admiral Rauner: Secure from quarters! Disengage the enemy.

    Mr. Goldberg! Please stand ready at the long nines for ranging fire if they attempt the weathergage again.

    Schmipf! Signal Captains Radogno and Durkin to repair aboard the flag at eight bells in my cabin. Blasted Madigan is the Devil to pay and no hot pitch! Set watch and beat to quarters if that whoreson so much as sets a pennant!

  43. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:30 pm:

    lol thank you Honeybear! Superb work. Comment of the day.

  44. - anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:07 pm:

    “The United States Constitution forbids the State from enacting a law that changes contracts retroactively. Senate Bill 1229 is therefore unconstitutional.”

    I wish they would take the same stance with regards to pensions.

    I am an afscme member, but, have never liked the idea of SB1229. I’m glad this one got vetoed, I hope they don’t over-ride it.

  45. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:09 pm:

    ==The override is a done deal in the Senate, we’ll see in the House. The Dems don’t have the votes to override by themselves (I believe Mautino is unavailable) even if they can switch the no’s from the original passage. So they will need GOP votes.==

    My prayers go out to Mautino. Of course they need him but everyone can fully understand his absence due to his illness. Franks is another Dem who will likely not vote to override. I’m thinking they’ll need at the very least 2 Republicans to flip. I’m doubting they’ll get them but we’ll see.

  46. - Original Rambler - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:11 pm:

    FKA has it. This is a baaaad bill just for the precedent it sets. Interest arbitration for police and fire has been killing municipalities for decades.

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

    whether you like Rauner or despise him- no one can argue that delegating the contract negotiations outcome to an arbitrator would be good policy- An arbitrator has virtually no review or oversight and could easily deliver an opinion the State can ill afford

  48. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:30 pm:

    Regarding Rauner blaming Madigan for a tax increase resulting from the loss of $500 million in savings on health insurance costs:
    There will be a tax increase regardless of how these negotiations with the Union end up. The $500 million represents at most, about one eighth of the budget shortfall. One other point, it was irresponsible for the Rauner administration and anyone else to factor in those savings before a bargaining agreement was reached.

  49. - thoughts matter - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:39 pm:

    Someone please explain the retroactive argument to me. He, himself, signed an extension first to July 31,and then to Sept 30 of the contract that ended June 30, 2015. How can agreeing to an arbitrator for the contract being currently negotiated be retroactive - the new contract would take affect after arbitration.

  50. - thoughts matter - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:42 pm:

    I also agree with Dude - the $500 million is savings is smoke and mirrors. It’s no more recognized savings that the $2.2 billion in pension ’savings’ than he included in his Feb. budget. Until the contract is ratified, you can’t determine what the health care and insurance costs are. Therefore you can’t determine if there are any savings. He had no right to set down savings that hadn’t been determined yet.

  51. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:51 pm:

    Thanks, @Original Rambler.

    Others are starting to realize the problems here as well.

    Pension ==holidays== received plenty of support in their time as well. Now everyone can see how disastrous that was.

  52. - Mason born - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 6:54 pm:

    You know it occurs to me that if a lockout is off the table by the Governors own hand then sb1229 should be a Godsend. After all it won’t restrict the gov since he won’t do it anyway but will keep AFSCME from striking. Unless of course he intends to make a draconian demand neither the union or an arbitrator would accept? Of couse he would never do that.

  53. - Mason born - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 7:03 pm:

    Also as to consequences the bill sunsets at the end of Rauners first term. Doesn’t make it a great bill but does reign in the damage.

    Let’s call a spade a spade this bill disarms both parties for this contract and this contract only. If Rauner is half the Governor he claimed he would be in October he will have more R’s to prevent any repeat. Let’s not forget elections have consequences cuts both ways.

    It is probably a moot point I am remain unconvinced MJM will pull out all the stops to override.

  54. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 7:12 pm:

    If Rauner claims that he’s the one being reasonable and compromising, while he claims the union is “operating in the extreme”, then why veto this bill? The arbiter would clearly see that his proposal was the most reasonable, and obviously implement it. Since he’s vetoed the bill, it lends credence to the union’s contention that Rauner’s proposals aren’t bargaining in good faith.

  55. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 7:41 pm:

    Interesting argument that a bill that sets up a process to resolve an impasse over the negotiations of a new contract somehow violates the contracts clause. I don’t buy it, but it is probably a moot issue. I’d enjoy watching the court battle.

  56. - Enviro - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:03 pm:

    ==The Governor will win the war of public opinion on this one.==

    The public is thinking about their plans for the last weeks of summer and not about union contracts. But if they do start watching this drama they will side with the workers not with these unreasonable proposals to end collective bargaining and hurt middle class workers.

  57. - Amazing - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:41 pm:

    I agree with the Rayner veto (1st time for everything) not because it’s unconstitutional (I don’t know), but because it’s wrong, only le/emergency services should have this option. It costs govt enough in those areas (see preckwinkle 10% raises and accompanying tax increase).

  58. - Sarcastic - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 10:17 pm:

    I am always humored when I hear the governor talk about how the union is hurting taxpayers. Apparently the governor doesn’t realize union members are taxpayers too. Ergo union members must be masochists.

  59. - anon - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 9:05 am:

    Sarcastic, those employees can certainly be taxpayers without being in the union. Ergo, the Guv’s position.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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