* From AFSCME Council 31, in response to an e-mail sent to state employees by the Rauner administration…
The Rauner Administration’s latest misleading missive is full of falsehoods and clearly intended to divide and distract state employees at the same time the members of AFSCME’s rank-and-file bargaining committee are holding informational meetings with their co-workers statewide. Already thousands of union members have attended those meetings to get the true facts from their representatives on the bargaining committee, not Bruce Rauner’s political spin.
AFSCME members are keenly aware that it was Bruce Rauner who vowed to “shut down the government” in order to “re-do everybody’s contract.” More recently, we learned that when Senator Durbin offered his assistance in union negotiations, it was Governor Rauner who said, “This is not about negotiating with them. They just have to go away.”
A year later, the governor is still demanding that public-service workers in state government such as child protection investigators, disability caregivers and emergency responders get zero pay increase for four years while paying double their current costs to keep their health care. No other union has agreed to these demands for both a pay freeze and a huge hike in employee health costs.
Rauner’s also pushing a program of selective bonuses where bosses could reward a chosen few employees based on unknown criteria, opening the door to cronyism and favoritism. He wants a blank check to contract out public services for private profit, insisting on eliminating basic safeguards that prevent irresponsible privatization. And rather than do the hard work of finding compromise, he’s walked away from the table and asked for the power to impose his own demands. That’s a recipe for the kind of conflict that candidate Rauner boasted he would cause.
State workers want a compromise that’s fair to all, and we believe that’s what the people of Illinois deserve—not a governor unwilling to modify his my-way-or-no-way demands.