Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 - IEA responds: “Shameful” that Rauner is “unwilling or unable to govern” - IFT responds, says Rauner engaged in “fanatical game” and “forcing chaos” *** AFSCME responds: “Rauner is wrong to walk away”
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*** UPDATED x2 - IEA responds: “Shameful” that Rauner is “unwilling or unable to govern” - IFT responds, says Rauner engaged in “fanatical game” and “forcing chaos” *** AFSCME responds: “Rauner is wrong to walk away”

Friday, Jan 15, 2016

* From Council 31…

AFSCME and the public-service workers we represent have worked hard to reach a fair agreement with the Rauner Administration, and we’re prepared to continue to do so. We reject the claim that the bargaining process is at an impasse.

It’s regrettable and damaging to the public interest that the governor has chosen a confrontational path. Just as Gov. Rauner is holding the state budget hostage, his “my way or no way” demands of state employees are the obstacle to a fair agreement. Rauner’s demands would force workers and their families pay double to keep their health care—making the Illinois state health plan the nation’s worst for any state workforce—while getting zero wage increase for four years. Instead of fairly compensating all workers, he wants to base bonuses on unknown criteria open to political favoritism. And the governor wants to wipe out protections against irresponsible privatization of public services. These are just some of more than 200 extreme demands the administration has made during this process.

Although we have serious disagreements with the governor’s positions, we reject the administration’s charge that we have not been “seriously negotiating.” The members of AFSCME’s rank-and-file elected bargaining committee have consistently responded to the administration’s demands with fair counterproposals. We’re committed to continuing to do so, and we don’t want disruption of the public services we provide. That’s why last summer we supported the option of both sides going before an independent arbitrator if our differences couldn’t be resolved by bargaining.

Unfortunately, the administration’s ongoing campaign of false claims about these negotiations makes compromise that much harder to achieve. Among their many misleading statements, the administration has never offered AFSCME the same terms as other unions. Some unions received vastly better terms on health insurance than those offered to AFSCME. Many others did not agree to a four-year pay freeze. We know of none who agreed to change hours of work or reduce overtime or holiday pay for employees who go above and beyond to serve. In any event, no union can be forced to accept the terms of other unions that have different circumstances and concerns.

The administration claims to want innovation, yet it has rejected our union’s proposals to work together to improve inmate rehabilitation programs in state prisons, rejected our proposals to ensure nondiscrimination in the hiring of women and minorities, and rejected our proposals for labor-management collaboration to improve public services.

Governor Rauner is wrong to walk away and try to end negotiations. Public-service workers who keep us safe, protect kids, respond to emergencies and care for the most vulnerable want to keep serving their communities, and they want to do their part to reach a fair agreement, but we can’t do it alone.

*** UPDATE 1 *** From the IFT…

100,000 IFT workers stand with AFSCME

WESTMONT, IL – In response to Governor Rauner’s move to declare impasse in negotiations with workers represented by AFSCME, Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) President Dan Montgomery issued the following statement:

    “Governor Rauner’s actions today prove once again that his priority is forced conflict, not progress. The 100,000 workers of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, some of whom are also state employees, are proud to stand with AFSCME as we face a deceptive and irresponsible Governor willing to use middle-class families, the most vulnerable, and our students as a wager in his fanatical game. Make no mistake: this isn’t in service of financial savings for the state. This is an ideological obsession unfit for a state leader forcing chaos to enact a reckless and unpopular agenda. Our members go to work each day trying to help others, trying to resolve conflict, trying to educate our children. Governor Rauner could learn a thing or two from them.”

In addition to teachers, school staff, and higher education faculty at community colleges and universities throughout Illinois, the IFT includes thousands of public employees under dozens of agencies and statewide officeholders.

*** UPDATE 1 *** From Cinda Klickna, President of the Illinois Education Association…

“The 130,000 members of the Illinois Education Association support the members of AFSCME as they try to negotiate a fair contract with a governor who seeks confrontation instead of compromise.

Rather than negotiate a fair contract, Governor Rauner seems focused on picking fights with the hard-working men and women who provide services to the people of Illinois.

It is shameful that, as he enters his second year as the state’s top constitutional officer, Gov. Rauner remains either unwilling or unable to govern. The people who elected him deserve much better service than they have received from Gov. Rauner.

We urge Gov. Rauner to return to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair contract with the public service workers who keep us safe, protect kids, respond to emergencies and care for Illinois’ most vulnerable. It is what he was elected to do.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Trolling Troll - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    Maybe AFSCME and the CTU can go on strike together. Might make for an interesting “pressure point”.

  2. - Groucho Marx - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:32 am:

    Is there anywhere where could see the actual proposals from the State and counter-proposals from the Union. Basically, I have no more faith in the union telling the truth as I do Rauner.

  3. - Wensicia - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:33 am:

    This is a good statement, without the more extreme hyperbole we’ve seen elsewhere. Not one use of the word vehemently!

  4. - Man with a plan - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:34 am:

    AFSCME: “Ruh roh.”

  5. - Honeybear - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:34 am:

    You know I almost don’t care anymore. I’m tired of the perfidy of this administration. I’m tired of having to fight the misinformation that they sow. Believe our version if you want too or not. I just don’t care at this point. Maybe after lunch I’ll have found my mojo again.

  6. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:37 am:

    Pot, meet kettle.

  7. - RNUG - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:39 am:


    This too shall pass …

  8. - RNUG - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:41 am:

    Or maybe this is more apt:

    Yea, though I walk through …

  9. - northsider - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:43 am:

    Has Labor Board Chairman Hartnett been reappointed? His term expires January 26 2016.

  10. - Cassiopeia - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:44 am:

    AFSCME has provided virtually no details concerning the Governor’s offer except they over the top rhetoric about “doubling the cost of health care”.

    If they push for a strike I believe a majority of their members will show up for work and that will be the end of AFSCME.

  11. - There is power in a union... - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    Thank you IFT. Solidarity forever…

  12. - Politix - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:50 am:

    With everything else going on, I imagine this is all just a big ol’ sideshow created to divert attention from the budget, impending SOTS, and FY17 budget address.

  13. - Huh? - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:51 am:

    What part of 2 fold increase in health insurance premium is not doubling?

    Read the words. 2 fold increase = double

  14. - RNUG - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:52 am:


    The State admitted the health insurance cost would double for the same level of coverage. It’s in the letter to employees. They try to obscure that fact with talk about choosing to keep paying the same premium (for a lesser plan).

  15. - Politix - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:54 am:

    “If they push for a strike I believe a majority of their members will show up for work and that will be the end of AFSCME.”

    Is there some basis for this belief?

  16. - Skeptic - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:55 am:

    From Governor Rauner’s email:
    “AFSCME also claims we are doubling health insurance premiums. That’s misleading at best. […] Only employees who choose the state’s expensive, platinum health plan will see twofold increases to help cover a fraction of the cost of this plan.” In other words, Rauner himself says premiums will double to maintain the same coverage. That’s not Union hyperbole.

  17. - Honeybear - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:57 am:

    Oh HELL YEAH! IFT just gave me my mojo back! Teachers stand with us!!!!!!Woooooooo!!!!!!
    LET’S GET SOME!!!!!

  18. - Anon2U - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 11:59 am:

    AFSCME and IFT via CTU on strike at the same time? A Rauner dream come true! Sorry union folks, most of the public will be against you no matter your cause. Any union strike will play right into Rauners hands…

  19. - Anotherretiree - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:03 pm:

    Man With A Plan “Ruh Roh”

    for some reason I always heard it as Rut Roh George. I googled it and consensus agrees with you. The things you learn on CapFax!… Rauner is Mr Spacely…”Jetson…..your fired !”

  20. - Captain Illini - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:06 pm:

    Strike will not work, but a forced lock-out will, so my advice would be to keep working, trying and providing alternatives in negotiations when all the while the Gov & Supes cry foul and obfuscate their true intentions of chaos.

  21. - Mama - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:12 pm:

    Have any of the other state unions responded as to whether they will stand with AFSCME or not?

  22. - Wensicia - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:20 pm:

    ==Make no mistake: this isn’t in service of financial savings for the state. This is an ideological obsession unfit for a state leader forcing chaos to enact a reckless and unpopular agenda.==


  23. - Honeybear - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:21 pm:

    Captain Illini, I agree that a lockout would be preferable. That’s not how it works though. ILRB says “impasse” Pharaoh gets to issue his “best, last, and final offer”. Then the union votes to choke on it or strike. Now I’m not sure about the timetables for all this but there is no forcing a lockout. Rauner has the weather gage (a term from the age of fighting sail, meaning upwind from the opponent. Meaning he controls the engagement). Thus when he formally declared impasse he put things in motion. AFSCME has options to counter and I’m sure they will but we are liable to see the labor battle of the century. These are two ships of the line maneuvering to pummel the living crap out of each other. Speaking of which as the officer of a gun crew I’ve got work to do. Run em out 1805’s and FIRE AS YOU BEAR!

  24. - Anon - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:22 pm:

    Oh, please. AFSCME hasn’t shown any more interest (other than in meaningless press releases) in negotiating a real agreement than the administration has. The only people that won’t admit there’s an impasse are the Administration and the Union. Everyone else in the state could see the impasse months ago.

  25. - Kankakeeguy - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:23 pm:

    The cost is clearly double for insurance and all members will see the states offer and then know the Governor is not truthful.

  26. - My New Handle - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:30 pm:

    Springfield business owners will love this.

  27. - Mytown Chitown - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:30 pm:

    Tell us what you really think of him, IFT. Strong response. Especially true on financial savings that Rich posted about here yesterday. A whole year of chaos for 1.5% savings? Are mainstream media going to cover that?

  28. - Sue - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:35 pm:

    Chevy- when the State has given away the store over a lengthy period- declaring an impasse and imposing a final offer is the only way the State has to rebalance the terms of the collective bargaining relationship. The union is unlikely to strike but will probably challenge whether a true impasse exists- and they have to do that in front of Rauners Board- I may be in a minority here on this blog but most fellow taxpayers probably will applaud the Governor’s actions

  29. - Honeybear - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:42 pm:

    Hey folks just a reminder, I’m a taxpayer too. There are 40,000 AFSCME taxpayers. There are 100,000 IFT taxpayers. Umm Sue, let’s stop making assumptions about what “taxpayers” would want or who they would agree with. You live in a BLUE state sister.

  30. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:45 pm:

    What might hurt Rauner is that he lied twice, when he said impasse wasn’t called at negotiations and when he said he wants to continue negotiating.

    Rauner did this today on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. I wonder if this was intentional.

  31. - Wensicia - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:53 pm:

    ==What might hurt Rauner is that he lied twice==

    I doubt his hand-picked labor board would hold that against him.

  32. - Anon2U - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    =Hey folks just a reminder, I’m a taxpayer too. There are 40,000 AFSCME taxpayers. There are 100,000 IFT taxpayers=

    THIS! 140,000 that are .01 percent of the 13.1 million in the state demanding that they get whatever they want. An increase in paying a greater portion of their healthcare? No! They scream. Strike. Please strike. The other 12.9 million in the state have no palate for your demands.

  33. - Harvest76 - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:58 pm:

    =I may be in a minority here on this blog but most fellow taxpayers probably will applaud the Governor’s actions=

    Probably. Consider this, when you remove millions of dollars from the spending-class, the ripple effects of that arequirement multiplied and felt widely among the community. It’s basic economics and it will not only be an assault of the taxpayers who are state employees, but all taxpayers in the community.

  34. - Harvest76 - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 12:59 pm:


  35. - Honeybear - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:04 pm:

    –The other 12.9 million in the state have no palate for your demands.–

    My bad- I thought I lived in a democracy with elected representatives. I didn’t realize I lived in your kingdom Anon2u since you speak for all 12.9 million Illinoisans.

  36. - Honeybear - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:07 pm:

    Oh and BTW anon2u we aren’t trying to get “whatever we want”. We were negotiating a fair contract. You and Pharaoh just want to shove ruin down our throats in the form of a contract.

  37. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:07 pm:

    This one goes out to Bruce Rauner. Love, AFSCME…

  38. - Allen D - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:08 pm:

    Yes we are a minority, let’s get this impasse started and get our vote on, AFSCME has ruled the roost for far too long and taken the state to the cleaners of the years… it is time to stop this now.

  39. - Anon2U - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:12 pm:

    =Run em out 1805’s and FIRE AS YOU BEAR!=
    Just go ahead and turn broadside and fire away. Your attacking rhetoric is exactly why many have little concern for union thuggery. The pendulum has swung way to far in the favor of unions and it needs to change. It will.

  40. - Allen D - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:13 pm:

    - Honeybear -
    What AFSCME is proposing may seem right and fair to you, however it is the same greed that over the years has stripped the state clean to the bone and the past governors allowed it… What the Governor has proposed is just and fair for the times it is in no way “RUIN” in your words being forced down your throat in the form of a contract… it is just and fair.

  41. - Allen D - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:14 pm:

    - Anon2U -
    very good sir, I concur, the winds they are a changin.

  42. - BumblesBounce - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:15 pm:

    yep, it’s the union contracts that have broken this state /s

  43. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:20 pm:

    Allen D. Or should I say ck, you sure do have it in for the regular folks.

  44. - Robert the 1st - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:22 pm:

    Allen D has identified himself as a state employee many times. Does he have it in for himself or does he honestly believe Rauner’s approach to be reasonable? I think the latter. I know other state employees who agree with Allen.

  45. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:30 pm:

    ==either unwilling or unable to govern==

    Is it accurate to say this regarding labor negotiations when so many other labor agreements have already been ratified?

  46. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:30 pm:

    To both Updates;

    Labor, man, Labor.

    Y’all are in this together with Rauner; public sector - trades.

    March 15th is “Round 1″

    Don’t forget to “show up” Labor. Raunerites winning when and where they can be defeated sends your message.

    Don’t sleep on what this election really means.

    So far, lots of good signs for Labor, but March 15th will be the first real benchmark.

  47. - Wensicia - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:31 pm:

    When you cut wages, benefits and positions for middle class workers and replace them with minimum wage jobs, how do you raise revenue? More people will require government assistance, less people will be able to support a consumer driven economy, forcing more layoffs in the private sector and the elimination of many small businesses. Less revenue means fewer monies for services many now enjoy for free, resulting in current fee hikes and new fees for these services or their elimination. (it’s already happening with the elderly, disabled and college bound students) Meanwhile, the rich get richer. Is that what you union haters want for Illinois? We contribute to the economy, pay taxes, and provide others with the services and protection they need. In other words, bite me.

  48. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:35 pm:

    “Raunerites winning when and where they can be defeated sends a wrong message.”

    Sorry, phone

  49. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:35 pm:

    67 negotiating sessions. Just mind boggling.

  50. - HangingOn - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:36 pm:

    ==same greed that over the years has stripped the state clean to the bone==

    If you mean the greed of robbing the pensions blind while maintaining the status quo of lower taxes, I agree with you…

  51. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:38 pm:

    @Robert the 1st - It is much easier to agree with Rauner’s approach when you are close to the top of the pay scale with little to lose. It is a different story for those who recently started with the state and are at the bottom of the pay scale and are looking at no increase in pay for the next 4 years. In our department, that difference from bottom to top is around $50,000. Not a small amount. I’ve seen very little regarding promotions. Will there be promotions, but no increase in pay with increased responsibility. That hardly makes sense.

  52. - HangingOn - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:39 pm:

    ==67 negotiating sessions. Just mind boggling.==

    Keep in mind, many of those sessions were when Rauner was still insisting AFSCME bargain away the pension, which they legally can’t do, among other items it took him months to give up on.

  53. - but dont forget... - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:39 pm:

    In 2014 (most recent numbers I could find), 16% of the workforce - public and private - was represented by a union. And that 16% has spouses, family, neighbors, and friends. Those numbers add up, not to mention all the people working for the nonprofits that are being gutted by Rauner - they may not care about the union’s stance per se, but they are united by a common enemy.

  54. - Allen D - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:44 pm:

    - but dont forget… -

    but don’t forget many of the union member also agree with Gov Rauner, and they have spouses, family, neighbors, and friends. Those numbers add up too.

  55. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:48 pm:

    ===but don’t forget many of the union member also agree with Gov Rauner…===

    Which shows a great deal about someone who will cut off their nose to spite their face… again, lol

    Rauner despises Labor, if you are a member of Labor and you support a Raunerite currently sitting in the GA , and up for election, that’s about as foolish as foolish gets.

  56. - Trolling Troll - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:49 pm:

    Honey Bear.
    Don’t fret. All the bad will from those trolls is one of two things. They are either jealous or paid by the tea party to further their narrative. Always look for the keywords, taxpayer, status quo, over paid, or any other hot button words.

    Real people don’t relish in others misery.

  57. - A Parent - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:53 pm:

    “The pendulum has swung way to far in the favor of unions and it needs to change.” Not sure what fight you’re watching but fair share will be a memory in just a few months. Blaming one condition in a complex situation is a great way to never fix the problem.

  58. - Triple fat - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:57 pm:

    Now there you go Louis G Atsaves… You know that economic issues aren’t negotiated till the very end. Since you have inside information please share with us how many of the 67 sessions dealt with economic issues.

  59. - Allen D - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 1:59 pm:

    - A Parent -
    In one way you are correct, however, fair share needs to go, no one should be “Required or Forced” into a Union just for the have the Job.

  60. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 2:03 pm:

    Allen D:

    So you are ok with having your health insurance costs doubled? You really are an odd duck. I think it’s odd that you seem to not have a care in the world for anybody that you work with and that you don’t seem to be the least bit concerned about the negative effect some of this will have on your finances. You may be ok with it. Many of us can’t afford it. I shake my head in amazement every time you comment.

  61. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 2:05 pm:

    Robert the 1st:

    I know of no state employee who thinks it’s “reasonable” to have their health insurance costs doubled.

  62. - Anon2U - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 2:06 pm:

    @Trolling Troll,
    Actually I’m one of those evil small business owners. My business is small and I only employ eleven people that I do my best to take good care of. Middle to lower upper class jobs held by salt of the earth genuinely good people.
    Here’s the reality of it, unions are not the defenders of the middle-class no matter how much you claim them to be. I will concede that unions did a lot in the past with regards to working conditions, time off and safety but the incessant upward pressure on wages and benefits has driven many businesses right out of business. Manufacturing in Illinois is damn near gone due to wage pressures and massive amounts of regulations and red tape. Most of the jobs that left are exactly the middle-class manufacturing jobs that used to be held by union members. There is no doubt that the middle-class is shrinking and anyone who doesn’t see that unions helped shrink it are simply turning a blind eye to reality. Unions as champions of the middle-class? In Illinois? Please.

  63. - Honeybear - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 2:07 pm:

    Okay, I admit I get juiced up and start talking smack. Maybe that’s unbecoming but it made me feel better. Given what’s happening I think folks on this blog will, roll their eyes, and cut me some slack.

    To your point Allen D and Anon2u, what we think about fairness is quite irrelevant, as is my trash talk, to the reality at hand. Here’s the reality I see it. The State of Illinois has one of the smallest workforces in the country per capita. Pharaoh (come on, just a little trash talk) got rid of many if not most of the competent senior management state workers, as is a new administrations right. He then through bullying has driven off a huge percentage of the senior union workers. We’ve lost 30% in my office alone. People are leaving in droves. Now he’s going to force people on strike (for his 1.4%)which will push more good people to leave state service. The upshot is that what he is doing to the states social service agencies he is doing to state government, degrading and destroying capability. Who would want to work for state government? With you two and all the other Raunerites delighting at the labor horror about to be unleashed who wants to do the vital and necessary work of the state? What is happening right now is that the functions of the state are declining and will soon be irreparable. Those who survive will not be able to bring the systems back on line. Same with the social services. They will not come back. So be gleeful all you want. Hoot about “taxpayers” and crisis and people leaving the state. You are right about the people leaving just wrong about who it is. It’s state workers leaving and getting another job or leaving the state. It will take a while but wait until the wave catches up to the private sector. A collapsed state serves very few people. Hmmm, I wonder who it serves? It certainly won’t serve the likes of you two Allen D and Anon2u. It’s all of us regular folk that are going to go down. (actually I shouldn’t say that. I don’t know anything about either of you.)
    The crisis in government will be infinitely worse than what we have now. We shall soon see what happens when you institute what Reagan wanted “less government”. You can’t run a government with just management and merit comp folks. I’d love to see our government workers per capita ratio right now. Think about it. And again, I apologize for the trash talk. (except for calling Rauner Pharaoh) I live in “little Egypt” after all.

  64. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 2:10 pm:


    Given what you just said it seems odd to me that you would be so gleeful about seeing the finances of people in that very middle class you talk about destroyed.

  65. - Triple fat - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    Allen D or should I say Ted.,, most are members of the Union not many fair share ideologues left… By the way… I don’t think fair share is going anywhere. After all it is a State’s rights issue… And besides, haven’t you heard? Chief Justice Roberts is one of us now… Mwahaha Mwahaha!

  66. - Anon2U - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    Sorry, last post actually meant for Wensicia.

  67. - Triple fat - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 2:25 pm:

    Louis please answer my post… How many of the mind boggling negotiating sessions dealt with economic issues? Boggled minds want to know!

  68. - Anon2U - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 2:27 pm:

    I do not take glee at all in seeing other people lose their jobs and/or have their wages and benefits negatively impacted. HOWEVER, When those wages and benefits are unsustainable as they are out of parity with the rest of the world they have to be changed. Very few if any employers offer a defined benefit retirement plan anymore. Same goes for employers paying most of the fright on healthcare. State union salaries, benefits and retirement plans are out of balance with baseline 2016. Adjust them and I will be less opposed to the increase in taxes/fees that I know is coming. Is that not reasonable?

  69. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 2:34 pm:

    @Triple Fat, I do find the number of negotiating sessions leading to what appears to be an impasse pretty mind boggling. 67 sessions?

  70. - Honeybear - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 2:34 pm:

    -but the incessant upward pressure on wages and benefits has driven many businesses right out of business.-

    No what drives more businesses out of business is poor management/owners who make incorrect decisions, don’t do their research, fail to plan. No business management has a much more significant effect on business success. And I’d like you to remember that business profits on the whole are through the roof. That being said and my snark fit over, I’m all about small business. Main street not Wall street. Your stock went up when you said you were a small business owner.(not that you care about what I think of your stock) My HUGE beef with DCEO is that they do nothing for you folks.

  71. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 2:42 pm:

    “I doubt his hand-picked labor board would hold that against him.”

    I know. I mean including this in messaging to union members and the public. Rauner lied twice, it appears. But he lied when he said going after unions was not a priority.

  72. - RNUG - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 2:44 pm:


    Actually, when you compare to large employers, the state is not out of line even today. Yes, certain jobs are and some of the work rules are, but the real big boys do pick up a lot of the health insurance and pension benefits. Now when you compare to mid and small companies, then yes, the State does seem out of line … but that is more an apples to oranges comparison. No argument, the state health insurance has been good … but there are better out there.

  73. - Kankakeeguy - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 2:44 pm:

    What do you consider a session

  74. - Agency Volunteer - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 2:53 pm:

    I am SO tired of hearing the untruth about State Worker pay and the supposedly astronomical increases we get. I have worked for the State since 2008. My base rate of pay increased by $100 from 2013 to 2014. Since 2014 the ONLY increase I’ve seen was when the IL income tax rate decreased abut $25. I am in a bargaining unit position (NOT merit comp) and it’s a position thar requires a college degree. After 8 years of employment I still haven’t earned past the $50,000 mark in a unit that is 2/3 depleted of the staffing level from previous years. During my tenure, I’ve worked through step and COLA changes that have been bargained away by AFSCME to HELP the dire financial situation of this State. I’ve done the work that three people used to do only to be told to tighten my belt more while I worry about my health insurance and pension future. I DON’T get overtime. I DON’T get private sector bonuses and perks. I DO WORRY about layoffs and staff reduction aND facidity closures. And I AM A TAXPAYER. I do my job courteously and efficiently and with respect to all the People of Illinois. AND I am typing this on my personal device while on my break for fear that I will be accused of misusing resources/time.
    The narrative that is replayed ad nauseum in the rally call of ‘Fire ‘em all’ ‘Starve ‘em all’ is disrespectful to 99% of the GOOD VALUABLE people employe in State government.

  75. - Agency Volunteer - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 3:00 pm:

    And my apologies for typos…my phone gets funky on this comment platform for edit/autocorrect purposes.

  76. - Athens - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 3:01 pm:

    You say you are a taxpayer and you are, but if you are in AFSCME you must work for and get paid by the government which makes you a tax eater on balance. Like me. Just recognize it.

  77. - Honeybear - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 3:04 pm:

    Athens, this is not directed at you personally

    I don’t have time to fight you on this. But maybe someone can tag in and help me correct this misconception. This whole “taker” and “maker” argument drives me insane.

  78. - ANONIME - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 3:05 pm:

    Anon2U @2:27
    I worked in the private sector for many years. For whatever reason, I decided to go to the work for the state and fix some of the things that don’t work right. I happen to work in IT. I’ve been trying my best to bring the state forward and offer more services. While I have been a state employee, I have managed to implement systems that allow the few line workers to process massive amounts of data. 6 people where there were 20. I could make much more working in the private sector but choose now to try to help the state dig out of the hole. I haven’t had a raise in 5 years and I come in early, work thru lunch and breaks and stay late all without more compensation. There are more people like me who work for the state. But…………. we will all be leaving if the bashing of state employees continues and people don’t think we deserve what we have. I have no problem staying close to what we have now, but there are many low wage people working for the state that won’t be able to survive.

  79. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 3:06 pm:

    - Honeybear -

    Trolls are gonna troll.

    Anyone using “taker” jargon in a drive-by ain’t making any points.

  80. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 3:07 pm:


    What does “out of balance” mean? “Out of balance” to what? Essentially what you are saying is “You’ve got it better than me and that’s not fair so I want to tear you down.”

    So, no, it’s not reasonable for you to ask that my family’s finances be destroyed so that you can feel better about yourself.

  81. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 3:08 pm:

    ==get paid by the government which makes you a tax eater on balance==

    Oh for pete’s sake. Go away with that nonsense already.

  82. - X-prof - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 3:11 pm:

    Athens, you and Honeybear are no more tax eaters than a private contractor who builds the state’s highways, or anyone who sells goods or delivers services to the state. I’m sure that Honeybear puts in an honest day’s work for his pay, it is wrong to label him with a pejorative term like tax eater. Do you apply the same to Lockheed or our troops serving overseas?

    Hang in there Honeybear.

  83. - Birdseed - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 3:16 pm:

    *Sigh* More “troll” accusations. Disagree with the majority around here and you are labelled a “troll”.

    ETA - the last time I remember the “troll” label being thrown around this bad, was when commenters were discussing a certain bill being “bricked”. Turned out the trolls were correct.

  84. - Kankakeeguy - Friday, Jan 15, 16 @ 4:06 pm:

    Durkin statement said 24 bargaining sessions, that is about right.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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