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Rauner lashes out at AFSCME

Thursday, Jan 28, 2016

* The governor went hard after AFSCME yesterday…

One of our biggest taxpayer protection initiatives is to take on the compensation costs of our state government. Most of our state employees are terrific, hardworking public servants. They deserve to be well paid, and receive higher compensation in the future. But it should be based in part upon higher productivity, and shared benefits in taxpayer savings, rather than just seniority.

Unfortunately, the compensation demands being made by AFSCME leaders are out-of-touch with reality. Adjusted for the cost of living, we already have the highest paid state employees in America. Undeterred and unashamed, AFSCME is demanding $3 billion more in overall compensation. That $3 billion should go into our schools and human services, not into government bureaucracy.

Our state employees are paid almost 30% more than Illinois taxpayers are in their own jobs for the same work. That is just not fair – and it’s time we restore balance between taxpayers and state government.

It’s not just the eye-popping price tag on these easy-to-see costs that’s hurting us, taxpayers are also losing from the hidden costs of work rules buried in previous contracts.

Because of these work rules, state government has seen AFSCME file grievances against volunteer campground hosts for educating visitors about a state park; against volunteers at a Veterans home who answered calls in the reception area; against a supervisor who pitched in to eliminate a backlog of tax returns. That’s not right.

And unfair work rules have allowed state workers to manipulate overtime policies to boost their pay, costing taxpayers tens of millions.

We’ve paid $22 million in overtime for the 15-minute roll call that occurs at the beginning of shifts. Our former Auditor General also highlighted, as ripe for abuse, the practice of so-called shift-swapping, where workers use sick time for a regular shift, but then get paid overtime to work a later shift that same day.

We need to install common-sense into our union contracts!

Some of the union’s grievances are pretty silly. And while I think corrections workers ought to get paid for attending a roll call (it’s part of the job, after all), paying them overtime for it seems a bit much.

* AFSCME Council 31 executive director Roberta Lynch rebutted some, but not all of the governor’s arguments…

“Once again, Gov. Rauner falsely attacked public-service workers in state government and mischaracterized our union contract negotiations.

“The state employees Governor Rauner is obsessed with attacking keep communities safe, protect kids, care for veterans and more. Like all working people, they deserve affordable health care and wages that sustain a family, but the governor is trying to double their health care costs while freezing their pay for four years.

“His claims about state employee compensation and our union’s proposals at the bargaining table are simply false.

“AFSCME has consistently sought to find common ground, but the governor relentlessly seeks conflict. The people of Illinois need stability and solutions, but the governor has terminated contract negotiations and walked away from the table, trying to force confrontation and disruption.

“It’s past time for Governor Rauner to stop making blatantly false claims, return to bargaining and work with us to reach an agreement that is fair to all.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

173 Comments
  1. - Homer J. Quinn - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:21 am:

    I would note that he’s undeterred and unashamed of the salary he’s paying his wife’s chief of staff.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:27 am:

    Elections have consequences, and AFSCME had 2 shots at trying to defeat Rauner and Labor failed at a 2 in 5 Union household voters voting Rauner.

    I have zero sympathy for AFSCME as a whole, while I feel for the members.

    Cut the best deal ya can, and in March, you have Dunkin to prove your point, some GOP primaries to make a point too.

    March 15th is Round One. Rauner bashing AFSCME is part of not doing what needed to be done 2 years ago.

    Cut the best deal, move on, March 15 is just around the corner…


  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:29 am:

    17 labor deals successfully ratified.

    Maybe AFSCME should be looking a little harder for that common ground.


  4. - mcb - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:30 am:

    Did the U of I study include benefits and pensions?


  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:32 am:

    ===17 labor deals successfully ratified.===

    Medical insurance?

    Get a handle, k? K.


  6. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:34 am:

    “17 labor deals successfully ratified” And how do you know that it wasn’t Rauner that caved to them? Apples/Oranges.


  7. - kitty - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:35 am:

    Mr. Rauner didn’t mention that Illinois ranks 49th or 50th in terms of State employees per capita, depending on the survey referenced. This results in greater overtime expenses in many agencies, notably DOC. Another variable which impacts average compensation is that over the last 20 years, Illinois has outsourced many lower paying jobs to community based not-for-profit organizations, notably (and ironically) those providing social services such as LSSI.


  8. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:36 am:

    ===17 labor deals successfully ratified.===

    And what percentage of state employees does that cover vs AFSCME and SEIU???


  9. - Nick Name - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:36 am:

    “17 labor deals successfully ratified.”

    Apples to oranges, for all sorts of reasons. Either you’re commenting without researching, or you’re being intentionally deceptive. Get a new script.


  10. - Captain Illini - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:36 am:

    OW - with respect, union members unfortunately listened to Rauner’s words during the campaign without taking heed to his hidden agenda, crafted to mask his true intentions of destruction. If he would have campaigned like he’s governing, he never would have made it out of the primaries. His bold faced lies and obfuscation lured many to pull his lever, but Pandora’s box is open now, with ILGOP squarely in the target. After November, me thinks his third State of the State will be a primer toward resignation…


  11. - Cassandra - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:37 am:

    Good point, mcb. Total compensation is what we should be looking at with respect to “salary.”

    Howard J. I believe thousands-over 8000–state employees make salaries at or over $100,000. Many must be union members, since the state workforce
    is very heavily unionized (thanks, Governor Blagojevich!). In that context, perhaps Mrs. R’s aide’s salary is more reasonable. After all, redoing the mansion is quite a project.


  12. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:38 am:

    “17 labor deals successfully ratified.
    Maybe AFSCME should be looking a little harder for that common ground.”

    Those 17 contract total 5000 members. Afscme, SEIU hcii, teachers, police, and nurses add up to tens of thousands.

    Also Afscme bargains the healthcare for 100k people. And the trades got prevailing wage. (Though Rauner is still trying to kick it out from under them at the local level.)


  13. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:38 am:

    And for the record, I agree there are some silly grievances (moving a computer from one side of your desk to the other for example.) And no matter what rule you have (Union or not) there will be people that will find and exploit every loophole there is.


  14. - Locked Up - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:39 am:

    I would be interested in knowing the outcomes of the grievances that the governor described. And Rich is absolutely right: If your employer requires you to be somewhere for any reason, you should be paid for it. If the state is paying OT for roll call, then the state needs to figure out different work schedules so that doesn’t happen anymore.

    But prison guards, by and large, don’t deserve much sympathy when it comes to work rules and union stuff. The scams they’ve pulled with shift swapping and workman’s comp claims for alleged repetitive stress injuries supposedly caused by locking and unlocking doors suggest that some of them are on the wrong side of cell doors.


  15. - Almost the Weekend - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:40 am:

    AFSCME is against Rauner and now they will probably be against Cullerton for this pension reform bill. Besides McCann who can they rely on? Terrible leadership and long term planning to keep their union alive. I feel for the rank and file.

    These press releases do nothing and neither do the yard signs. Yard signs don’t vote or help organize a message for the community how AFSCME members play a large economic role in communities across the state.


  16. - Beaner - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:40 am:

    - kitty - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:35 am:
    Good.
    The numbers are specifically selected so they can be presented in a fashion to deliberately distort facts, and mislead. Bond salesman and figurer.


  17. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:40 am:

    Captain - seriously? First, the only reason Dillard came anywhere close to Rauner in the 2014 primary is because AFSCME and other unions made a super late push. Otherwise the race would have been way more titled in Rauner’s favor. Second, there is no way that Rauner will resign. Why would he have invested tons of his capital and years of his life to resign midterm? If the House and Senate GOP pick up a few seats - and yes, that is a big “if” - then he would be more resolved to keep fighting.


  18. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:41 am:

    Sorry - tilted, not titled.


  19. - Mouthy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:27 am:

    Huh? So you blame AFSCME for Rauner but feel for it’s members but it was the members who voted the way they voted. Some choice they had. A sitting governor who tried to make them look like villains and his opponent who never let on about his obsession on destroying unions.
    Cutting the best deal you can will still destroy AFSCME simply because the Governor has made demands that they cannot agree too.
    IMO your advice is wrong..


  20. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    I also would like to see the results of those grievances. No word on if they were settled at 1st, pulled at 3rd, ect.

    Grievances are simply dispute resolution. Most are settled at 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Very few go to arbitration. 99% of “frivolous” grievances are either screened by the original steward and never advanced or pulled at 3rd.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    - Captain Illini -

    With respect as well,

    ===with respect, union members unfortunately listened to Rauner’s words during the campaign without taking heed to his hidden agenda, crafted to mask his true intentions of destruction.===

    I also heard “I’m sending a message to Pat Quinn, I’m going to teach Pat Quinn a lesson”

    That’s one…

    AFSCME leadership being courted by Rutherford, then Rutherford, “Friday Fiasco”, then the sitting on they’d hands by AFSCME leadership, then coming in about 3 weeks too late for Dillard, then all summer members still not being educated…

    AFSCME leadership and bungling, and waiting, and allowing members to let “teaching Pat Quinn” fester too long, knowing Rauner’s words…

    …Elections have consequences.

    With respect. OW


  22. - Whatever - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:44 am:

    Again, I’d love to know where he gets the $3 billion increase in overall compensation he says AFSCME is asking. That works out to about $75,000 per member, and is more than the average salary (without benefits, as I recall) of state employees (including nonunion types, who should pull the average up) that is cited in the study used by the administration to show state employees make more than private sector.


  23. - Big Joe - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:44 am:

    Captain Illini–

    I hope you are right about his 3rd State of the State speech.


  24. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:44 am:

    “union members unfortunately listened to Rauner’s words” Um, no. Union members listened to Quinn’s words and thought anyone but Quinn was the answer.


  25. - cdog - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:45 am:

    Illinois could save a lot of money if Rauner would help pass single-payer medical coverage for everyone.

    Erase that line out of your projections, GOMB.

    Poor insurance companies. :/ No more need for work comp, auto med liability, local and state government employees would be covered, etc.

    The rest of the 1st world has figured out this.

    #thereisaidit


  26. - Anon221 - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:47 am:

    Cassandra- “After all, redoing the mansion is quite a project.”

    Don’t you think that $100K is a bit much if a large part of her duties are to liaison with a NON-PROFIT board that has been in existence since the ’70’s? I do.

    https://www.illinois.gov/gov/about/executivemansion/Pages/InTheNews.aspx


  27. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:47 am:

    Whatever:

    Part of it is assuming every state worker will get all cola and steps. But roughly 60% are “stepped out” and wouldn’t. It also assumes no state workers will retire in years. When actually many will and will be replaced by people with tier 2 pensions and sub-steps.


  28. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:47 am:

    ==I’d love to know where he gets the $3 billion==

    I think he’s including the union’s proposal that health insurance benefits remain the same, though I doubt that even assuming that you get anywhere close to $3B.


  29. - Dr X - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:47 am:

    Well that’s all well and good, but does anyone have video of Dunkin sleeping outside Madigan’s office?


  30. - Wensicia - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:48 am:

    State institutions are so understaffed that mandatory overtime is required, refusing results in suspension without pay. Why didn’t Rauner mention this during his attack?


  31. - Secret Square - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    “Why would he have invested tons of his capital and years of his life to resign midterm?”

    If he gets a Cabinet appointment from President Trump he’d probably think it was worth it…


  32. - Notorious RBG - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:52 am:

    I’m an AFSCME member who makes 58% of the average wage for my profession in the area. In other words, I am an AFSCME member who makes 42% LESS than other Illinois taxpayers for the same work. I work for the state because I have always felt a need to serve in some capacity, and I accept that my service comes at a diminished wage. But please don’t attack me and tell me that I am overpaid. The wage issues with AFSCME are predominately due to DOC & overtime. Hire more prison guards and stop saying that my colleagues and I are overpaid, because the truth is quite the opposite.


  33. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:54 am:

    What Rauner mentioned with regard to the AFSCME negotiations is, I believe, relatively small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. Of course AFSCME won’t agree to a doubling of cost for health ins. but the bigger poison pill is Rauner’s insistence AFSCME give up certain collective bargaining rights. Unless I’ve missed it, that’s still on the table.


  34. - Tell the truth - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:54 am:

    With regard to the 17 ratified union contracts, it means absolutely nothing as they represent a tiny fraction of the state union work force, and I assume have “me too” provisions (ie, whatever ASFSCME and SEIU get, they get too).


  35. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:55 am:

    ===Huh? So you blame AFSCME for Rauner but feel for it’s members but it was the members who voted the way they voted.===

    When 2 in 5 members are not able to see Union Leadership getting involved in a Republican primary for their best interest, that’s on leadership not explaining how dire things could be…

    ===Some choice they had.===

    Dillard v. Rauner? Weeks passed. Weeks. Getting in too late isn’t an individual member fault, it’s leadership

    Quinn v. Rauner? Day after day, “I’m going to teach Quinn”. Well, do they feel better? The leadershio let fester old sounds at the cost of what we see today. Plain and simple.

    “I’m teaching Quinn a lesson” … that went well.

    ===A sitting governor who tried to make them look like villains===

    Like I said, the lesser of two evils…

    ===…and his opponent who never let on about his obsession on destroying unions.===

    AFSCME, too late both times had the videos and the quotes, but too late is just too late. Letting grudges rule what you want to see is fueled by a leadership late to the call.

    Sorry. With respect.


  36. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:55 am:

    Demoralized is right. Part of it is the governor assuming 750 million in health care savings. If we don’t take the governors health plan proposal, he accuses us of proposing a 750 million increase.


  37. - Mouthy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:57 am:

    On the grievance about the IRS supervisor that jumped in to do bargaining work it depends on how the contract is worded. If the contract states bargaining unit work “shall” be assigned to bargaining unit employees then the union has a justifiable grief. Management should assign additional bargaining unit employees to do the work or assign overtime. What if management had brought in employees from a staffing company instead. Same thing. If the contract has the word “may” instead of “shall” then it depends on what the understanding is when it comes to supervisors doing bargaining unit work.
    Without the context of this and other grievances cited it’s impossible to judge their merits.


  38. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:00 am:

    Mouthy, exactly.

    And with volunteers doing reception work there are confidentiality issues.


  39. - A Jack - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:02 am:

    I have to agree with OW that many AFSCME members were somewhat clueless as to what Rauner was about. I went to an AFSCME informational meeting about Rauner before he was elected and was the only person there. And I had some AFSCME members tell me that one was as bad as the other.

    Anyway there is a primary coming up, so don’t forget to vote.


  40. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:03 am:

    The destruction of AFSCME is Rauners only goal. It will be the only thing he gets done in his administration. Here’s the deal though. The destruction of AFSCME will also be the destruction of the state workforce. It’s already happening. I just had my boss say she’s going to be looking soon. The state workforce is already in active collapse. We are I’m sure 50th now as far as workers per capita. We were 48th two years ago. My office went from 72 to 52 in the last year and a half. People are leaving in droves. Also open positions are not being filled. The inside jobs web page is 19 pages long. So keep going after us Governor. Your superstars are great at going to meetings but they have NO IDEA how to actualize any of their half baked schemes. The new proposed EDC and Educational reforms are the perfect example. The State of Illinois government is starting to resemble a Hollywood movie set. Totally fake when you go around back. So keep it up Governor.


  41. - Maxi27 - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:04 am:

    As a tax auditor for the State, I was well compensated. When I was at major corporations their tax managers were making 30 - 40 - 50% more, I wish I was making 30% more than them. Where does he get these numbers? If the State wants to attract and retain quality employees, thay have to be willing to pay for them. I believe he has stated that is what he wants for his office. Why not for the rest of the State?


  42. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:07 am:

    Honeybear, and that web page is only vacancies that they are trying to fill. There are thousands of more positions left empty. The state workforce is being reduced by attrition.


  43. - Johnnie F. - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:08 am:

    If the health care proposal is supposed to cost 10K per AFSCME member and there are 39K employees, it would cost the state 390 million over the life of the contract. That’s not a savings of 750 million as was proposed in Rauner’s budget, and it is certainly not the 3 billion dollars that Rauner cited in the SOTS. Show.your.work


  44. - Ahoy! - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:08 am:

    1. It is hard to compare private sector vs public sector in pay. In the private sector people are paid for output and how much revenue they can bring in. In the public sector people are paid for what is essentially transactions. They are two different worlds and this needs to be acknowledged.

    2. One particular item in the U of I study stands out to be and that is their claim that the average state worker makes $42,016 a year in wages. When I went on the Illinois State job openings site the absolute lowest paid full time temporary job was $31,632. I’m just willing to bet a lot of money that if someone lined up actual state payroll for in a database it would be significantly more than $42,016, but this is the number that came from AFSME in the study. Also, when reading the study, it’s obvious that the U of I study had a bend and was utilizing data to skew information to their point of view, just as IPI does with their studies.

    3. Overtime after 37.5 hours? come on.

    4. The U of I study does not look like it properly calculates pension payments into the cost of payroll. They calculate that pension payments are only 17.5% of payroll (which is astronomically high), but this is low if you take into consideration the actual pension payments being made today which I believe are actually higher than the State’s payroll.


  45. - Juice - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:08 am:

    In the Governor’s summary of concessions made by the State, it highlights that the State has dropped its proposal to be able to use volunteers.

    Yet in the speech yesterday, he publicly whined about the inability of the state to use volunteers because of the contract. So did the Governor withdraw an already agreed upon provision, because if so, um…no impasse.


  46. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:09 am:

    Overtime for roll call.

    The problem with unions is that they have no concept of reality.

    Staying on the current course for a few more years ought to fix that concept for them all.


  47. - JustRight - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:10 am:

    AFSCME state employees have been given 27 automatic raises in 10 years - straight through a recession. In ten years the average state employee has doubled their base salaries (not adjusting for inflation). He’s in the middle of a budget crisis and AFSCME is asking for the same number of step increases (3.9percent average) and 2 to 2.5 percent general compounded annual increases. I think Rauner is more then justified to be a little harsh on the largest public union in the state all things considered.


  48. - AnonymousOne - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:11 am:

    Who gets to sit in judgment over what is overpaid or who is worthy of what? I thought in the governor’s world trying to make money is a good thing. Only bad for people in public jobs? They’re to take a vow of poverty for the privilege? And 100k? As if this is rich? In my suburban area, that’s what college grads who work in Chicago or the suburbs can expect to make 5 years out of college. Not to mention the rest of their compensation package.


  49. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:11 am:

    Cubs in 16, yes the big thing is Rauner wants unfettered privatization. Absolutely no limits. His managed competition model is smoke. Oh we’ll get to bid on our own work. Then he gets to decide who wins.

    To me, that’s the ballgame. Freezing pay and hiking healthcare is one thing. But to simply sell off a large part of the state workforce is something else. Look what he tried to do with the state museum and Sparta. I believe those were his pilot efforts.


  50. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:11 am:

    I do not believe AFSCME members are making more than the private sector counterparts except in clerical positions. IT positions are lower, as is many of the other skilled positions.

    The fact is that AFSCME needs to have a FLAT contract, NO raises for 3 years. They can handle that, many MC positions have gone without raises for 10 years. The no OT until 40 hours worked is not a bad thing. The Health care portion negotiate it to half of what the GOV wants. Health care is going up for EVERYONE so it should go up for them too.

    Having talked with many members, they seem to be ok with this. They know they will not have Public opinion on their side.


  51. - Langhorne - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:12 am:

    Adjusted for the cost of living, we already have the highest paid state employees in America.— Prove it, show your work.

    Our state employees are paid almost 30% more than Illinois taxpayers are in their own jobs for the same work.— Prove it, show your work.

    Illinois has 8,000 employees making over $100,000. — meaningless without context. What depts? What job titles? I suspect a fair number of prison guards and state cops, then add in engineers, doctors, scientists, and university faculty. Some due to OT, some due to title.


  52. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:14 am:

    Johnnie F, that healthcare proposal is for state workers, retirees,state university workers, general assembly members, ect… It covers more than the Afscme bargaining unit.


  53. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:18 am:

    The bottom line is that Rauner has had it out for AFSCME since day one. He has brutally scapegoated and demonized the union. What kind of boss would issue an executive order on the first day of contract negotiations? Who would formally file an impasse declaration on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, being completely insensitive to the fact that Dr. King was assassinated while fighting for AFSCME government employees to get collective bargaining rights? Was it an accident or gaffe, or was it deliberate?

    How much harm has Rauner caused because he won’t drop anti-union policies? Then we have the facts that Rauner’s firm invested public employee pensions for years and paid low state income taxes for a long time.

    What kind of boss is this, and how could he be trusted?


  54. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    “Having talked with many members, they seem to be ok with this. They know they will not have Public opinion on their side.”

    And state workers need to figure out the governor’s proposals are not a buffet. They can’t pick one or two things out. He is demanding we eat the whole thing. All of his core proposals at once. Which include unlimited privatization.


  55. - Jon - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    I suspect Rauner’s team may have been playing with the wage numbers as he included the qualifier “adjusted for the cost-of-living” with his statement that state employees are the highest paid of any state. Working on the assumption that most state employees live and work below I-80 his statement would likely be correct if his team localized cost-of-living estimates to downstate locations. Hence, downstate workers wages when adjusted for cost of living are certainly going to fare better than state employees of California or the other high wage states identified in the U of I studies. While he may be technically correct, the comparison is not valid as I imagine the “superstars” picked some low cost-of-living areas in the state with DOC facilities and compared those to Sacramento, Boston, Atlanta, etc.


  56. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:21 am:

    I don’t trust Rauner and think he has been a lousy governor.

    But 37.5 work weeks + OT for roll call plus receiving overtime on top of sick time + expecting two different types of raises and a bonus is a bit much.

    A reality check for AFSCME is in order.


  57. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:24 am:

    Jon, good point. The Feds pay according to locality. The state doesn’t. If your a caseworker, you make the same in Chicago as you do in murphysboro. A clerical worker is going to have a much different quality of life in Chicago than they would “downstate.”


  58. - burbanite - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:26 am:

    AFSCME would be foolish to turn on Cullerton over the pension deal. Look how turning on Quinn turned out. Something has to be done.


  59. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:30 am:

    Burbanite et al - but they won’t. We Are One has already come out against the yet to be introduced proposal. This is why Willy’s point is so, ahem, on point. No longview. Immediate overreaction.


  60. - Whatever - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    Ahoy @ 10:08 am ==They calculate that pension payments are only 17.5% of payroll (which is astronomically high), but this is low if you take into consideration the actual pension payments being made today which I believe are actually higher than the State’s payroll.==

    The pension payments being made are catch-up for not paying in past years, plus the lost earnings from investments of those payments. And they have to cover downstate teachers, general assembly, judges and university employees. No way do those payments enter into the computation of the value of current benefits of state employees.


  61. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    There is nothing Rauner wants to do that cannot be done now. How he wants to do it, is the problem.

    He lives in a world where he demand to be seen as a winner, and anyone else a loser. He wants to not solve this labor problem, he wants to “win”. Winning to him means destroying AFSCME.

    All the excuses and all the complaints can be justified, but that doesn’t give him the right to destroy our rights as Illinois citizens.

    If you believe that the ends justifies the means, then you are a fool for this governor. This is your government, and you have important rights that are in his way. He wants to win.

    There is nothing that Rauner is proposing with AFSCME that cannot be resolved within the current negotiations. Giving Rauner approval to destroy everything means destroying more than what can be save. It is lose-lose for everyone in Illinois.


  62. - Sir Reel - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:37 am:

    I agree that Rauner wants to destroy AFSCME. I understand he wants to freeze pay and double health care costs.

    But both the Governor’s and AFSCME’s public-private pay statements, without any details, don’t mean anything. Many private sector employees work at will. Some have some level of job security. But public sector employees have great job security. While not measured monetarily, it’s part of the picture. In today’s economy, I bet a lot of private sector employees would trade some pay for security. I know many State employees who have worked for the State their entire careers. I don’t know any private sector employee who worked for the same employer their entire career.


  63. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:37 am:

    37.5 work weeks are really 42.5 work weeks. 5 of those hours are unpaid.


  64. - Mama - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:46 am:

    “The inside jobs web page is 19 pages long.” Honeybear, do those vacancies ever go public, are the vacancies contracted out, or are the vacancies never filled? This is just one agency.


  65. - Educ - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:49 am:

    “One of our biggest taxpayer protection initiatives is to take on the compensation costs of our state government.”

    What is he protecting me from? So far, he’s just been protecting me from receiving necessary medical care for my disabled child. That’s costing me a hell of a lot more out-of-pocket that it’d cost me to pay a 5% income tax!


  66. - Mama - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:51 am:

    Besides McCann who can they rely on? Hello…the unions can rely on the Democrats. The Dems were only 3 votes away in the House from passing the union bill. Wake up people and start voting for the people who will have your back - - vote for the Democrats!


  67. - Juice - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:52 am:

    Ahoy and Whatever, the U of I study is focused on the normal cost of the benefit (what the employee will receive) and not on the State’s total contribution. The 17.5% is combined employee and employer contribution.

    The state’s actual contribution is much much higher than that.


  68. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:53 am:

    Mama, the page honeybear is referring to is work.illinois.gov


  69. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:55 am:

    Mama, sorry I was writing fast. It’s actually the vacancy page available to the public. I just get at it from the inside. I’d say a ton of those will never get filled. It took over a year at our office to find and fill 3 positions. 2 of the three were transfers. We’re going down mama, going down fast.


  70. - Politix - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:56 am:

    “Cut the best deal, move on”

    Cmon man…that’s all anyone ever tries to do. The governor has walked away from the table. The admin is pretending there is an impasse. They want to force a strike.

    He doesn’t negotiate, he dictates. You know this.

    With regard to the post, I can verify Rauner’s assertion that some members will grieve if their supervisors (or volunteers) step in to handle their assigned duties. It’s a job security thing and a result of pettiness probably 99% of the time.

    If you think corrections officers are gaming the system, bring it to the negotiation table. That’s how contracts work. I have my doubts that the admin even discussed this in negotiations. They just use it to vilify the union.


  71. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:58 am:

    Look AFSCME being taken totally out of the equation, would you brutally attack the wages and benefits of the countries smallest state workforce during an unparalleled fiscal crisis? Really, look at it from that angle. This puts huge perspective on Rauner. I would think that fact alone would cause ANY state governor to not screw with the workforce. It shows that Rauners only, one and only goal, is the destruction of AFSCME.


  72. - Thoughts Matter - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:58 am:

    Let’s not add unpaid lunch hours into the mix. Anyone who works x number of hours per day takes lunch,unpaid. If you have to interrupt your unpaid lunch to work, then discuss that. As to roll call, if you want people to show up 15 minutes prior to shift, then you need to pay them for it. If you want them to work 40 hour work weeks, then raise their salary to cover it.


  73. - Chicagonk - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:02 am:

    AFSCME keeps mentions salaries and wages, but omits just how expensive maintaining their platinum health care insurance will be this year and going forward. Premiums across the country are going up 7% or more.


  74. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:04 am:

    I add unpaid lunch because I keep reading about 37.5 hour weeks. They are 42.5 hour weeks. I’m at the office 8.5 hours a day. And yes, many state workers work through lunch. See it all the time.


  75. - Tone - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:08 am:

    - There is power in a union… - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 10:37 am:

    37.5 work weeks are really 42.5 work weeks. 5 of those hours are unpaid.

    Lol, by that measure, my work week is at 50 hours long, which is quite common in the non coddled public union world.


  76. - Tone - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:10 am:

    “- Chicagonk - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:02 am:

    AFSCME keeps mentions salaries and wages, but omits just how expensive maintaining their platinum health care insurance will be this year and going forward. Premiums across the country are going up 7% or more.”

    Yep, it’s outrageous what state employee and retirees receive. And we the private sector taxpayer pay for the VAST majority of it. It’s grotesque.


  77. - Thoughts Matter - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:11 am:

    I also work 37.5 paid and then take a half hour unpaid lunch. It’s 37.5 period. That’s how it’s viewed in the private sector. 40 hours means 40 work hours having nothing to do with eating lunch.


  78. - RNUG - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:14 am:

    == The Feds pay according to locality. The State doesn’t ==

    Only partially true. I used to see people in Chicago with job titles 2 to 3 levels higher than their skill sets just so the State could hire someone to do the job. That was the back door way to compensate for cost of living differences.


  79. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:14 am:

    My big wish is that somehow, Rauner will try negotiating again. After all, he doesn’t have a budget yet, so what harm is it to go back to the table to do the hard work of hammering out a contract?


  80. - Independent retired lawyer, journalist - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:17 am:

    Refer to all the alleged stats you want, people. The governor’s war against public employees isn’t about numbers. It’s about his personal anti-union ideology.


  81. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:17 am:

    I don’t know any private sector employee who worked for the same employer their entire career.

    Not as common in the private sector, but they do exist. A lot in the energy, utilities and transportation sectors.


  82. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:19 am:

    Tone,
    If you compare states health plans apples to apples, 48 states have Platinum plans, two states have Gold level. Illinois is one of the Gold states. Rauner would drop us to BRONZE level. I would have the same level of health insurance that Obamacare recipients have. I would have the same insurance level that the people I serve daily have. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m glad those folks have got insurance. But why do you think anyone would work for this state when 48 states have platinum plans, one has Gold, and I get Obamacare?


  83. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:20 am:

    “And state workers need to figure out the governor’s proposals are not a buffet.”

    If that’s true then all this talk about “AFSCME should accept this, AFSCME should accept that” is just all hot air. It’s all-or-nothing.

    If that’s true, then there is no “compromise”, it’s “my way or the highway.”

    If that’s true, then it’s entirely possible (in fact I’d say probable) that the alleged impasse isn’t AFSCME. AFSCME is *trying* to compromise but Rauner says “Nope, this is it.”


  84. - Crispycritter - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:21 am:

    Many factory workers work 37.5 hours a week too. An 8 hour shift minus 1/2 hour paid lunch is 37.5 hours per week. No different than state workers.


  85. - Politix - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:26 am:

    Who considers family insurance premiums of $6,000 year + up to $50/pop in co-pays for office visits and prescriptions “grotesque?”

    Asking for a friend.


  86. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:26 am:

    “And 100k? As if this is rich? In my suburban area, that’s what college grads who work in Chicago or the suburbs can expect to make 5 years out of college”

    Do you live in Winnetka? Otherwise this kind of complete detachment from the reality of what people in the private sector earn for their labor isn’t helping your case.


  87. - Rufus - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:28 am:

    OW - with respect, Rauner won by 140,000 votes, there are 35,000 AFSCME workers at the State, maybe 60-70K total across the State, even at your 40% (would like to see where that stat come from) , that’s 28,000 votes, not enough to make the swing difference.

    Quinn lost the election, because people lost confidence in him, possible justified. I’m not sure that anything AFSCME could have done that would have changed the outcome.

    I always enjoy your well thought out comments, they have been very educational to me.


  88. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:29 am:

    Skeptic: *Ding ding ding*

    His proposal is “last best final.”

    If the labor board confirms it we take the whole thing or we say no to the whole thing. Which includes the subcontracting poison pill. Rauner has designed these negotiations to force us out.


  89. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:33 am:

    “Lol, by that measure, my work week is at 50 hours long, which is quite common in the non coddled public union world.”

    Coddled? Work in a prison or a field office and get back to me…


  90. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:34 am:

    “If the labor board confirms it” Ironic isn’t it? Politicians who take contributions from labor unions are “corrupt” yet a board, a majority of whom are appointed by the Governor, deciding on a case about the Governor isn’t a conflict of interest.


  91. - Almost the Weekend - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:36 am:

    Rufus your math is right, but your argument shows why AFSCME lives in a bubble surrounded by themselves.

    AFSCME has family members all over Illinois who they can talk to about why Rauner was bad for the state and their pocketbook. AFSCME members live in communities where they have neighbors and can help spread the word why PQ was the better option. AFSCME members buy local goods at small businesses and reinvest that money in Illinois and the community. Being part of a union is not just talking amongst each other, but going out in the community and making a positive impact. Sponsoring local events, donation drives. AFSCME does nothing, they sit back and became complacent thinking they were entitled to everything. Everything unions fought for have been earned. You get complacent you lose a step. Sometimes twenty.


  92. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:36 am:

    Yeah and notice one of them is coli who settled with Rauner right before the 1229 vote?


  93. - burbanite - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:37 am:

    I know a lot of people that worked for one employer their whole career. Don’t fool yourself folks, Rauner’s beef isn’t only with “unreasonable afscammy”. Right to work is a hit on private sector unions as well. His issue is unions, he will not stop at public unions. Rich did you get Madigan’s handout after the SOtS?


  94. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:37 am:

    Above was a response to skeptic


  95. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:37 am:

    ==If you compare states health plans apples to apples, 48 states have Platinum plans, two states have Gold level. Illinois is one of the Gold states. Rauner would drop us to BRONZE level. I would have the same level of health insurance that Obamacare recipients have. I would have the same insurance level that the people I serve daily have. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m glad those folks have got insurance. But why do you think anyone would work for this state when 48 states have platinum plans, one has Gold, and I get Obamacare?==

    Honeybear. Reality, check it out sometime. Your statement read by anyone not in a public sector union is just outrageous.


  96. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:38 am:

    - Rufus -

    Thanks for yitr kind words, you’re very kind.

    To your comment, exit polling showed 2 in 5 union household voters voted Rauner.

    Given here, and seen/heard elsewhere, AFSCME specific, found voting against Quinn the “logical” choice for some AFSCME members.

    All Labor were sleeping, per se, when 40% of its members voted against themselves.

    AFSCME, specfically, didn’t do itself, Labor, or its own members with how they handled to bites at the Apple.

    They just didn’t.

    - Politix -

    I’m looking at a long game, as is Rauner.

    March is a way to answer Rauner, as is November, but Rauner won, and right now, holds a lot of cards against AFSCME. It’s just true. That’s why elections have consequences, and in March, another one happens again.

    In the meantime, cut the best deal.

    (Tips hat to - A Jack - and - Team Sleep)


  97. - CharlieKratos - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:50 am:

    As far as March goes, Madigan and Dunkin have one huge thing in common. If their district constituents like them, it doesn’t matter what the rest of Illinois thinks.


  98. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:53 am:

    allknowing: Riddle me this then: Take your your current coverage and what you’re paying for it. Now pay the same but cut that coverage in half. Would you be happy about that? Or go the other way, take your current coverage and pay double for it. Would you be happy about that either? Now you see what AFSCME is facing. It’s not about Gold or Bronze.


  99. - Red Tiger - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:56 am:

    Skeptic and Captain - Based on what I hear around my office, state workers didn’t vote against Quinn. They ignored what Rauner said about unions and state workers during the primaries. Instead they believed his post-primary BS. Frankly, I don’t know hiw anyone could be naive enough to believe his ideals changed overnight.


  100. - Chi Native/Spfld transplant - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:56 am:

    Just a suggestion…

    Maybe we need a progressive income tax vs. a flat tax. That would certainly raise some income for the State.

    Maybe we (meaning our “illustrious” elected officials and their ilk) should just pay the pension payments as prescribed instead of skipping them for some pork project that has no substance.

    Maybe we should try (Repubs/Dems/everyone in the middle) try to proactively and objectively work out a meaningful contract solution instead of pointing fingers like children.

    Alas, it may only be wishful thinking. And we may go without a budget for years. Anyone want a Snickers?


  101. - Sue - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 11:56 am:

    Here’s hoping Rauner will be to ACSFME what Reagan was to air traffic controllers


  102. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 12:00 pm:

    ===Here’s hoping Rauner will be to ACSFME what Reagan was to air traffic controllers===

    If you had one clue about how all that went down you’d never use the Air Traffic Controlers as an example. Ugh.


  103. - Joe - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 12:01 pm:

    Here’s hoping Cancer will be to Sue what Reagan was to air traffic controllers.


  104. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 12:04 pm:

    Joe - are you serious?! Rich - hate to do this, but I think that is a good comment to get Joe banned. What a horrible thing to say about someone else.


  105. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 12:06 pm:

    Hear’s hoping Google will be to Sue what Google has been to me.


  106. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 12:11 pm:

    Here’s hoping that critical thinking will be to sue what critical thinking is to most commenters on here.


  107. - Small Town Girl - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 12:13 pm:

    “Here’s hoping Rauner will be to ACSFME what Reagan was to air traffic controllers” thinks Sue while polishing up her CMS 100.


  108. - Formerpol - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    27 raises in ten years, and AFSCME is still whining?
    My private sector pay is 20% LESS than I made in 2008. Rauner will win the PR battle with this public union.


  109. - Liberty - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 12:22 pm:

    Rauner’s claims are based on an AEI study uses a totally different model than the UI study. Tweak the model and the results are different. AEI looks at state workers while the UI study looks at public employees. AEI claims: “Relative to Bruno and Manzo’s study, the inclusion of more relevant data produces a better “fit” for the model, meaning it is better able to predict the earnings of any given employee.” Important footnotes from the AEI study are:
    7. The so-called R-squared in Bruno and Manzo is approximately 0.29 versus 0.56 in the augmented model used here.
    8. The fact that I here look only at state government employees while Bruno and Manzo look at state and local government employees appears not to be a major factor. If I attempt to recreate their regressions for state employees only using their smaller set of variables, I find results similar to theirs.”


  110. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 12:37 pm:

    Liberty- bless you but you’re just like my spouse. I really didn’t understand much of what you said. I got lost in the weeds there. I’d like to know what you mean. The factor that I understood from the U of I study was factoring education level changed it. Is that right? Thanks for your run at it. I have masters level behavioral science statistics and I can argue theology with the best of them but man, you lost me. Will you humor me and explain “as you would to a child” (Galaxy Quest) Thanks


  111. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 12:51 pm:

    -Your statement read by anyone not in a public sector union is just outrageous.-

    Really, I think anyone can understand being upset about having the worst healthcare of any state in the union. It’s about going from what every other state has to total bottom. No it’s only because you are unselfdifferented and breathing from your mouth loudly that you think people wouldn’t be upset by having their health insurance plummet to bottom compared to all others. Look on average this will cost me $3100 dollars a year extra. But I live in a two state employee household which doubles that to 6200 extra a year. And if God forbid I get in an accident and have a 100,000 dollar medical bill, I’ll be paying 40,000 out of pocket. You are something else if you wouldn’t be upset about that. Go ahead and scapegoat all you want.


  112. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    =Many factory workers work 37.5 hours a week too. An 8 hour shift minus 1/2 hour paid lunch is 37.5 hours per week=

    Is that at Willy Wonka’s? I worked a factory job through college. 8.5 hours with an unpaid 30 minute lunch. No overtime foe role call either. You people are living in fantasy land.


  113. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 12:56 pm:

    Honeybear- if you think it’s outrageous for you to have worse health insurance then surrounding states is it not fair for tax payers to think you being paid better than surrounding states is also outrageous? I’m sure Rauner would let you keep your plan in exchange for a 15% pay cut. Deal?


  114. - RunBikeSwim - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 12:58 pm:

    OW - you said it best - what is labor prepared to do? Labor waited too long with their grudge against Quinn. They should have been looking for a qualified candidate that could have taken on BR. What that being said - Is labor looking at 2018 and what are they prepared to do in the meantime? That groundwork doesn’t start March 1 for a March 21 Primary (it did for the 2014 election sadly).


  115. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:19 pm:

    @willy: “===17 labor deals successfully ratified.=== Medical insurance?”

    Are you telling us those 17 union agreements lock in insurance premiums at the same price for 4 years? Absolutely no changes that might come out of the paychecks of those workers over the span of 4 years?

    Please tell us where you also are getting those facts from.


  116. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:24 pm:

    ==My private sector pay is 20% LESS than I made in 2008. ==

    That’s your fault. Get another job.


  117. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:27 pm:

    =That’s your fault. Get another job=

    My my. We certainly have different tones when discussing private sector employees vs state union workers here don’t we? After all, if state employees don’t like what Rauner’s proposing, why don’t they get another job? They’d make so much more in the private sector anyway… as everyone here always tells us.


  118. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:32 pm:

    Oh - Louis G Atsaves -

    The Teamsters medical insurance agreement, is AFSCME being offered the same terms and does AFSCME have the same options?

    I checked my email, when we going to talk about goin’ around Rauner to get that budget?


  119. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:32 pm:

    “Is that at Willy Wonka’s” Well, if Willy Wonka is a Fortune 500 Pharmaceutical company or a mid-sized Chicago-area manufacturer, then yes.


  120. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:32 pm:

    Robert:

    Hey, if you can look yourself in the mirror while you gleefully hope beyond hope that certain individual’s finances may be destroyed more power to you. I think it speaks a lot to one’s character though, and not in a good way.


  121. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:39 pm:

    Furthermore the 600 members who agreed to the governor’s healthcare got to keep prevailing wage.

    No unit who has ratified got an offer like we did.

    Rauner treated those units different on purpose. He needed wins and he needed them fast. Had to beat 1229.


  122. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:40 pm:

    Demoralized- Why would anyone’s finances be destroyed? They could just get another job like you told the poster making 20% less than he use to. Otherwise, it would be their own fault, like you said?


  123. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:43 pm:

    Honeybear - i get what you are saying, but you may not get what I am saying. Reality. What you describe may happen to you has happened in the private sector over 15 years ago. Public union employees are not the chosen ones…..

    Reality does not equal happiness.


  124. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:43 pm:

    “They could just get another job” Time to pick a lane, dude. Either (a) The state is struggling because people can’t find jobs, so we need the TAgenda or (b) There are plenty of jobs so someone can just quit and find another.


  125. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:47 pm:

    Louis - you and I are usually of the same mind, but the Teamsters health insurance pretty much costs its members nothing. So no pay raises coupled with the changes (improvements) in health coverage still means a potential pay increase depending on the level of coverage.


  126. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:49 pm:

    Demoralized was the one telling others to go out and get a better job, I was piggy backing on his comment. And you can leave IL for a private sector job, ask any 2 of 3 IL college grad in the last 5 years.


  127. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:53 pm:

    Robert:

    As I said, your glee reflects your character (or lack thereof)


  128. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:59 pm:

    Does your callous “That’s your fault. Get another job” reflect yours?


  129. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:09 pm:

    Nope. I want everyone to be happy. If you aren’t happy then find a place that makes you happy. I’ve done it. Had the misfortune of working for some particularly nasty people at a prior job so I told them what they could go do with themselves and went and found another. Life is too short to be unhappy.

    Difference between you and I, though, is that I’m not looking to MAKE somebody’s life miserable. If those people’s lives end up being made miserable then by all means, they should find a place that makes them happy. But again, unlike you, I’m not rooting for making them miserable.


  130. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:46 pm:

    allknowingmasterofracoondom- I have worked for the public sector for only two years. I was in the private sector 18 years. Thus I actually do know EXACTLY the reality which you are alluding too. I have made wood furniture in an unairconditioned warehouse in Oklahoma, worked retail, symphony musician, stock broker/financial planner, US Navy Chaplain, Small business owner, Hospital Chaplaincy, Hospice Chaplain and now caseworker. I chose to work this job to use my chaplaincy skills with the poor, elderly and disabled. When I took this job it was not for the benefits, it was for the job. I actually took a paycut. I was happy about growing a pension because the great recession wiped out all our retirement/college savings trying to survive. So the assumption that I don’t know the “real” world is quite incorrect. In the previous jobs I had my health insurance was better and I paid less for it. So no, I had it much better in the private sector. I know with my experience of nearly losing it all in the great recession that a lot of people, maybe even a majority of people faired far worse than I did. But it still doesn’t make the argument that “everyone should suffer as I am” right. I made a new years resolution that I would not balk or contest peoples wages or benefits up to a certain level (150k for a single, 200k for a family). Anything above that is 1% and I’ve got a problem with. I want to encourage people to fight for higher wages for every one under that threshold. It is pure economic stimulus. Every dollar of wages goes right back into the local economy. My favorite Will Rogers quote is
    “The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellows hands.”

    I apologize if I get belligerent on this blog. I get wound up. We need to fight for regular folks to make more not less.


  131. - Hard Working State Employee - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:49 pm:

    Look, I’m tired of people saying State workers are overpaid. I’m sure some are, but most of us are working hard, plus doing the job of 3-4 extra people due to the reduction of staff over the years. Some people have given the State 30+ years of their lives and faithfully contributed our own money to our health benefits and pension. It is not our fault that the Legislators squandered it away on their pet projects…and now we are supposed to be held accountable for re-paying it back someway and being criticized for ‘having it too good’ over the years? Yes, the State has been a very good place to work, until now when this Governor dangles our jobs over our heads and threatens to eliminate our jobs and make us reapply for it. How would he like us to eliminate him from being Governor and have a re-election??! With regard to all these numbers being thrown around about where Illinois State workers stand in terms of salaries, etc. among other states…it’s a numbers game - people ’spin’ it any way they want to make their point. Take a look at all the people the Governor has hired since he came to office - all the people he brought onboard are being paid over six figures a year - and that is their starting salary! Wonder what they will be making 30 years down the road…


  132. - sal-says - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:53 pm:

    == We need to install common-sense into our union contracts! ==

    Yup; destroy Unions. Ron Grossman had a great article in the Trib about Unions and the middle class; go read it.

    How’s this Brucie?
    “We need to install common-sense and reality into our governor!”
    Fixed it for ya.

    Additionally, since some of this concerns pensions and debt - From Chicago Tonight:
    “Ralph Martire is Executive Director of the Center For Tax and Budget Accountability, “a bipartisan, nonprofit research, and advocacy think tank that works across ideological lines to promote social and economic justice for everyone, from traditionally disadvantaged populations to the middle-class. Given how rancorous the current political environment is in our nation, the charge to design policy reform initiatives that were not only rigorous and evidence-based ….”

    “The good news is that Illinois can actually resolve its problems in a very rational way, by simply reamortizing the debt it owes to its own pension systems,” said Ralph Martire. “Illinois, with a level-dollar payment instead of this back loaded ramp we could have, set around $7 to $7.5 billion, can get to 75-80 percent funded–you’re considered healthy at 80 percent–in 30 years, and still pay all of its current obligations over that period of time, to fund benefits to current and future retirees. It’s a workable fix and that’s a number that the state could actually afford.”

    Take the blinders off Gov & GA.


  133. - Facts are Stubborn Things - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 3:22 pm:

    @ Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:27 am:

    =I have zero sympathy for AFSCME as a whole, while I feel for the members.=

    Not sure what that means?
    Is that kind of like, I am against the war but support our troops.


  134. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 3:26 pm:

    Demoralized- you got me all wrong. I want people to be happy too. If some state employees aren’t happy with their jobs when Rauner implement his best, last offer, they should take your advice above. So we agree.


  135. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 3:28 pm:

    - Facts are Stubborn Things -,

    Pretty easy,

    The Union leadership is culpable to the failure they find themselves, as a union, in. As a body, their choices, no sympathy.

    Members? Some did far more than leadership did, understood better, tried to sound the alarm.

    In many ways, the members, some, had a better grasp at what was at play and DID things to stop this.

    It’s not like War-Troops, if anything remotely close, it’s the military leadership failing the troops on the ground, abd even that I’m not too comfortable with.

    Better?

    OW


  136. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 3:38 pm:

    @Robert the 1st
    No he doesn’t. I’ve counted all of your comments and the majority of them are all negative. Realize there are rules and the world does not revolve around what you say. Please leave already, you would make anyone want to go to a psychiatrist with the type of comments you make. I can only imagine how many hours you spend in front of the mirror telling yourself what you will only listen to. For once, come up with a solution, if not, please move.


  137. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 3:38 pm:

    OW: But the union is made up of the members. The council E board is voted on at council conventions. Including the executive director. And council convention delegates are voted on from the local membership.

    So, who do you have no sympathy for? The elected board? The staffers?

    A lot of us did what we could with what we had. Despite not liking Quinn I saw what Rauner was. I phone banked. I door knocked. Wasn’t enough. We get that. We own that. February and March is our first chance to make it right.


  138. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 3:51 pm:

    - There is power in a union… -

    Ok, best of luck.

    You’re right, I shoukd have no sympathy, you convinced me.

    Lesson learned on my part. My bad.


  139. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 3:54 pm:

    OW: didn’t realize I was so compelling.

    At least your stance makes more sense now. Do you at least have sympathy for some members? Or do we all get what we deserve?


  140. - Almost the Weekend - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 4:01 pm:

    Robert the 1st and demoralized

    Thanks for the prelude to the GOP debate tonight. Can’t wait!


  141. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 4:02 pm:

    You’re not compelling, but why feel for those who claim their are part of the Union and can’t see what I clearly stated.

    Either you’re a gag, or really just good at alienating people who see the plight.

    That’s all…


  142. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 4:09 pm:

    OW: I saw what you have been saying about the election analysis. And agree with a lot of it. I was just thinking of what “facts” said about your no sympathy for union but sympathy for members stance.

    Can you see how someone who has some understanding of the internal structure of a union could find your prior stance confusing?

    And how it doesn’t automatically make that person a gag or mean they are trying to alienate people? (And I must if my one post is what tipped you over the edge you seem pretty easy to alienate.)

    It was an attempt to understand someone who’s analysis I respect. Sorry you took it another way. I guess we both learned lessons today.


  143. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 4:11 pm:

    *should read (And I must say…)

    Cell phone keyboards…


  144. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 4:18 pm:

    === (And I must say if my one post is what tipped you over the edge you seem pretty easy to alienate.)===

    You are a charmer…


  145. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 4:21 pm:

    “You are a charmer…”

    I get that a lot. So are you. ;)

    But regardless, keep doing what you do. I find your analysis to be both informative and entertaining. (This isn’t snark)

    Sorry I rubbed you wrong. Cheers.


  146. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 4:29 pm:

    “Can you see how someone who has some understanding of the internal structure of a union could find your prior stance confusing?”

    I can’t. I’m an AFSCME member and understand perfectly what Willy is saying. It’s not complicated. AFSCME’s leadership, as a whole, didn’t have their sh, err, stuff together prior to the election. They were late in backing Dillard and late in getting the word out to members about Rauner’s true agenda. Personally, I didn’t hear one single, solitary warning about Rauner from anyone in AFSCME. Luckily for me I read and pay attention but I’m in the minority there. Does that mean everyone dropped the ball? Of course not. But I agree wholeheartedly that AFSCME does a horrible job of keeping members informed of critically important issues.


  147. - Fed Up - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 4:32 pm:

    And so here we are bashing our public employees when all our legislators are still collecting their fat paychecks, without even doing their job. What’s wrong with this picture?


  148. - Fed Up - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 4:38 pm:

    If anyone knows where the “shift swapping” the Governor was referring to goes on, let me know. Not only does it not occur at the prison where my husband works at, they would be disciplined for even attempting it. You can’t just take everything the governor says as the truth.


  149. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 4:44 pm:

    Reading the dialogue between OW and Power I am reminded of why I am embracing of the change that Freidricks will bring about. Those who are wavering in their commitment to the union will leave. I’m good with that. Sure there will always be dissenters (like I am with the AFSCME endorsement of Clinton) but when it comes to the real interests of the union, I see Friedricks as making us stronger. I don’t think we’ll lose 40% (the number that voted for Rauner) but maybe so. I have to be comfortable with that. I think we tried to be all things to all people and we failed. We need to hunker down and get it done. I look forward to not having to fight Republicans who want out of the fold. Let them go. I know that if this gets to a strike vote our destruction is at hand anyway, and not just the unions destruction but that of the entire state workforce as well. Like a mutiny aboard a warship, the crew will never be the same. We’ll be increasingly ineffectual as a workforce for a decade. So the time has come to decide which side they are on. I also vacillate on caring whether we have the public’s favor or backing or not. In the age of Trump having the public on one’s side might not be an asset. I’d love people to be on my side, I’m that kind of person, I like to be liked. But I feel strongly called to do what I have to do for myself and my union sisters and brothers. If this blog is any indication, it wouldn’t matter if I was Mother Teresa, they would still loath me as a public servant. That’s their problem not mine. I know I’m a great parent, spouse, and public servant. I can’t depend on others to form my self esteem. At least I shouldn’t if I’m actualized and right with myself.


  150. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 4:50 pm:

    Cubs, wish I could disagree with you. But I can’t. A lot of hard truth there.

    Honeybear, keep the faith…


  151. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 4:56 pm:

    - Honeybear -,

    You know how I feel, you’re a credit to your Crew. You keep doin’ what you feel you need to do, and I wish you nothing but the best.

    - There is power in a union… -,

    Cheers to you.


  152. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 4:59 pm:

    Actually I find great strength in the courage of my union sisters and brothers that I know work hard for us.


  153. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 5:04 pm:

    I know I am being repetitive, but union membership across the country is dying a slow death. The RAUN Man is trying to speed the process up. 2 out of 5 union members voted for the RAUN Man. Impossible to validate numbers, but I bet most of them were blue collar Union. Flip side, how many public service Union members had their roofs re shingled using Union members? Have that basement remodeled? Will you work for cash ? Been to WalMart lately? How many out there will pay more for a union made(built) product ? Really, be honest. Can’t remember the origin of this quote, “we have met the enemy, he is us.”


  154. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 5:15 pm:

    - There is power in a union… -,

    I’d like to think I have a working knowledge of unions, actual Union elections, locals, BAs…

    I thank you for your kind words, I really do, but keeping my thoughts to the failing “simple”, like the waiting on Dillard for very narrow, single, example, the inside baseball “inside” still was too late, and it never had to be “so late”

    With respect


  155. - AC - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 5:16 pm:

    Sometimes I make a comment that I think expresses well what I’m trying to say well, and it goes into the great beyond. I’ll never understand why potentially controversial statements nearly always get posted, esoecially if they have embarassing typos, but comparatively tame posts never make it. It seems to be a technical issue, because when it happens it takes forever for the next page to appear.

    In any case, I appreciate the constructive criticism that OW provides, and everyone from union membership to leaders would, I think, benefit from it. These are unusual times, and they require people to join together that might not have otherwise done so.


  156. - State Worker THX 1138 - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 5:19 pm:

    I went to college for 5 years. I hold a professional license. I definitely don’t make as much as my peers in the private sector. I was willing to trade the money for job security, decent healthcare and maybe a little pension. Bad plan I guess.


  157. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 5:19 pm:

    OW: I was confused by what you meant between sympathy for the individual but not the whole.

    You, along with Cubs, have helped me understand what you meant.

    As to your analysis, I’ll say what I said to Cubs. I wish I could disagree but I can’t. Hard truths.

    Thank you for your patience.
    With respect.


  158. - IL17 - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 5:22 pm:

    Really?! Rich, Workers should not receive overtime!
    Wow, Gee, How nice of you to have them give some ‘free time’ because their managers are inept at scheduling tasks and administrator, Gov Bruce, incompetent at providing funding.
    OK, I’m pushing the edges. Ask any non-union teacher about being ask for ‘will you do this thing for us’. When does it stop. The Union is correct in demanding and expecting overtime pay 1 minute or more past 8 hours. With managers doing their task of appropriate scheduling then the ‘give us some free time’ should never happen.
    This repeated idea by numerous writers here that “state worker’s” should just give a little is disgusting. Rich, as independent business, you should clearly know there is no end to the requests for just “put in a little free time”. Gov Bruce delights in the ‘give me a little’ so he’ll take more!


  159. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 5:30 pm:

    =The Union is correct in demanding and expecting overtime pay 1 minute or more past 8 hours.=

    Everyone would be fine with that. Currently it’s after 7.5 hours, counting benefit time.


  160. - Crispy Critter - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 5:31 pm:

    SKEPTIC = And for the record, I agree there are some silly grievances (moving a computer from one side of your desk to the other for example.)= Let me say that we have had employees try moving stuff themselves only to forget to remove cables or shutdown the computer before moving. One user even ripped the video cables out of the computer and monitor and ruined both. That’s why they have us techs do even those types of jobs.
    ROBERT THE 1ST = You state I am living in a fantasy land referring to a 37.5 hour work week. I also worked in a factory and this was the case; 8 hour shift, 1/2 hour paid lunch so in effect a 37.5 hour work week. Some friends of mine currently work in warehouses and this is the way they operate too. Just because you don’t have something does not mean we are in fantasy land.
    Also, my coworker and I do the same job but are in different unions; him Teamsters, me AFSCME. He got FREE health insurance now so in essence he got a $300 increase on his paycheck each month. I currently pay over $300 and Rauner wants to double mine. So how is 2 people side by side doing the same job fair when one gets FREE healthcare and Rauner wants the other to pay over $600 ? That folks is what AFSCME is fighting.


  161. - RNUG - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 5:46 pm:

    -blue dog dem-

    Then I guess I’m unusual. As most know, I was an SPSA and never in the union although parents, in-laws and grandparents were.

    I do try to buy american and union when possible, even big ticket items. Try it sometime, it’s often hard to do with all the manufacturing that has off-shored. My shoes are US assembled by a US company. The tires I bought for the truck I gave my son were made here but it took a lot of looking to find them. New car last year out of a union plant, mostly US components but engine from Spain.

    BTW … Loved the Pogo quote.

    I would just add that our parents (WW II generation) warned us about the dangers of not supporting unions and US companies.


  162. - burbanite - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 5:52 pm:

    Not only does the Teamster’s insurance cost the members very little, the coverage is excellent. As opposed to Honeybear’s illustration they have an annual out of pocket maximum, so depending on your local, you are capped in the 4 figure range for annual medical expenses. I get it Honeybear, I do, and hopefully those who don’t will never have to. According to a Harvard Study the #1 reason people file bankruptcy is medical expenses. But then again, the Republicans seem to be on a roll in advocating bankruptcy for everybody as if it is a good thing and the answer to all financial woes.


  163. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 5:56 pm:

    (Tips cap to - Cubs in ‘16 - and - AC -)

    - There is power in a union… -, we’re on the same “side”, bud, I just don’t like politics or baseball played poorly, that’s indeed on me.

    I look forward to reading much more from you. OW


  164. - AnonymousOne - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 6:02 pm:

    If you are a private employee who feels you’ve gotten a bad deal, try to make it better for yourself instead of making everyone lose what they have. There IS power in numbers (unions). Maybe your office and it’s workers should try it to negotiate some better things for yourselves. And direct your anger at the appropriate people (management, owners), not others just like you.


  165. - Independent retiree/lawyer/journalist - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 6:20 pm:

    I have been fascinated, entertained and very much educated by this discussion [thank you, especially, OW, Honeybear, RNUG and others to whom I apologize for not mentioning]. But I just heard that Trump is going to name Joe Arpaio as his running-mate [confirming my conspiracty-theory suspicion that The Donald is a stalking-horse for Hillary!]!! I’m tailights for now!


  166. - fly on the wall - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 6:21 pm:

    The problem is Union leadership. AFSCME looks out for themselves just like Teamster leaders look out for themselves. The largest Union Pension Fund (Central Sates Pension) is going to cut 400,000 members pensions from 22% to 60%. The Teamsters worked to pass legislation last year in Congress that allowed them to cut the benefits to their members. My father in law who is a 30 year member will lose 40% of his pension. So dont tell me the virtues of these unions. I was in management and the grievances were so over the top and it was not the minority. Unless an employee committed a crime you could not get them fired no matter how bad they were. The union protects the worst of the worst and that gives a bad reputation to the whole work force. And sorry it is not acceptable for a employee to make 30K more than their manager. That is how total disfunction has occurred in so many agencies.


  167. - state worker - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 7:16 pm:

    THE D.O.C. ROLL CALL SHOULD BE ELIMINATED


  168. - So Blue Democrat - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 7:57 pm:

    The decline of union membership in the private sector is directly connected to the loss of blue collar jobs to the global workforce. This has caused the decline in the middle class. This has all be done by corporate America so do not blame the public sector employees.6


  169. - AnonymousOne - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 8:10 pm:

    Unions protect middle class workers. It’s painful to see middle class workers attack other middle class workers while the upper echelon skates free.
    Do some of you really not see how breaking unions is breaking down middle class workers and their families? Who will benefit from this? Not those of us, private or public, union or non who work to earn a living.


  170. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 8:38 pm:

    RNUG, thanks. I kinda figured you have a clue. Confession, what does BTW stand for?


  171. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 8:51 pm:

    ….let me remind everybody. They outsourced OUR Oreos and Ritz.


  172. - RNUG - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 8:54 pm:

    By the way ….


  173. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 9:02 pm:

    Thanks. One last comment today. I have gone on record about the conspiracy theory between the RAUN Man and the RAHM Man. You know what happens in Montana stays in Montana. The bond between drinking buddies is unbreakable. I’m just wondering if I have to add somebody to the script…..?


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