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Senate approves AFSCME’s “no strike” bill

Thursday, Mar 3, 2016

* Let’s look at two dueling press releases about the bill’s passage (it now goes to the governor). The first is from Sen. Sam McCann’s GOP primary opponent Bryce Benton…

Moments ago, State Senator Sam McCann again voted to force a massive tax hike on working families. McCann voted in favor of HB580, a reincarnation of SB1229. HB580 is a political piece of legislation that removes Governor Rauner from the bargaining table with unions that contract with the State of Illinois and puts in place an unelected, unaccountable arbitrator. In a purely political maneuver, the legislation only lasts for the duration of Governor Rauner’s term.

Some estimates have the cost to taxpayers of HB580 at $3.5 billion over the next four years. In typical fashion of Democrats in the General Assembly, the bill did not provide any revenue to pay for the bill, and yet Sam McCann still joined the ranks of Mike Madigan’s Democrat and special interest allies to force the $3.5 billion tax hike.

McCann didn’t arrive at this decision on his own. Since 2015, McCann has received nearly $570,000 in campaign cash from Mike Madigan’s union allies who want to continue the status quo of insider deals and special interest politics. McCann’s Big Labor handlers control his votes, plain and simple. Taxpayers in the 50th Senate district no longer have a voice in the Senate.

“Sam McCann likes to say he has never voted for a tax hike, but when you vote for legislation that increases spending by over $3.5 billion without providing a way to pay for it, you’re forcing a tax hike on working families,” said Aaron DeGroot, spokesman for Bryce Benton. “A conservative Republican wouldn’t break ranks with his party to join forces with Speaker Madigan to force a tax hike. If we needed further proof that Sam McCann is Mike Madigan’s favorite senator, there it is.”

* The second is from Sen. Sam McCann…

Today, for the second time, I voted in support of legislation that does nothing more than provide an alternate means to resolve the various contract disputes between the Governor and state workers so that vital services will not be disrupted and further conflict can be avoided.

Last August when this was previously before the Senate, talks between the Governor and state workers were ongoing. Since then, the Governor’s bargaining team has made the unprecedented move of walking away from negotiations with the largest group of state workers. The threat of a strike or lockout has never been greater. Investigations of child abuse, care for aging veterans, care for senior citizens, access to our state parks, issuing of hunting, fishing and firearm permits are just a few of the vital services that would be in jeopardy should a work stoppage occur.

In addition to the loss of vital services, a state employee strike or lockout would decimate local economies in the 50th Senate District. State workers are members of our communities. They are our neighbors, our friends and our family. Without stable employment, state workers will be unable to spend money in our communities. HB 580 is an insurance policy to ensure that small businesses and our communities continue to strengthen and grow.

Claims that this legislation will lead to tax increases are absurd and unfounded. To be clear, HB 580, like SB 1229 before it, does not amend the tax code or alter Illinois income tax rates in any way. Nor does this bill appropriate or spend a single cent of state money. Simply put, the legislation provides for a neutral third party to settle contract disputes when the parties are unable to reach an agreement avoiding the hardship, disruption and conflict that a strike or lockout can cause. One of the many things that an independent arbitrator, by law, must take into consideration is the State’s fiscal health.

This is the same process used for decades by local police and fire fighters as well as state correctional officers and state troopers.

As a state senator, I believe it is my job to set politics aside and focus on solving the problems facing our state. The last thing that our state needs is yet another crisis to overcome.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

123 Comments
  1. - Ray del Camino - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:00 pm:

    Showdown . . .


  2. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:06 pm:

    “some estimates” lol. Gee, I wonder where those came from. Also, how do you calculate exactly how much something will cost, when not only do you know the outcome from arbitration, but you don’t even know the outcome from the governor’s negotiatin’?


  3. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:07 pm:

    *not know the outcome I mean.


  4. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:08 pm:

    So what is the next step in getting AFSCME’s “No Strike” bill passed? Is it a vote by the House next, and what are the odds that the Governor can just over-ride them?


  5. - Corporate Thug - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:08 pm:

    Bryce Benton should return every single paycheck he’s ever received. And he should pay outta pocket for every time he’s had to go to the doctor. Guess who got those benefits your living off of right now, Bryce. You’re police union. You know, the guys that use arbitration to settle a dispute.

    I won’t be supporting the guy who doesn’t care about the workers of one of the largest employers of his district.

    Solidarity, Bryce. SMH.


  6. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:17 pm:

    Look, if the unions are advocating for this and they want it, then they expect to get some benefit from it.

    You can call it “an alternate means” or call the beneficiaries “state workers” but it’s still a union bill. McCann is not being forthright in saying what he is doing - backing unions over management.


  7. - Almost the Weekend - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:17 pm:

    Sam McCann better have every single afscme member phone number and address to hit up volunteers and recognize voters in his district. If not March 15th will be the end. He is the ultimate test to see if afscme has their act together for the upcoming cycles.


  8. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:19 pm:

    Not a single penny of state money is at risk if it goes to binding arbitration. Not a single tax increase will occur. It is “absurd” to argue otherwise.

    So if an arbitrator agrees with the union that extra $3 billion won’t come out of a tax increase or from any state revenues.

    All the state will need to do is pluck those extra dollars from the money tree or use fairy dust to pay for it.

    Tortured logic has seen its finest hour!


  9. - I'm part of the problem - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:19 pm:

    It really is a shame McCann has some other self created issues because I really felt he’s been the only one to truly support his district. While the principle of the matter, matters most in this race as it doesn’t hold the voting away the House races do, it would sure be nice to have a Senator vote for the best interest of my district rather than what he’s told. #RIPILGOP


  10. - MSIX - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:19 pm:

    “Some estimates…” indeed. And “…force the $3.5 billion tax hike.” Like Trump says, love those poorly educated voters. You can feed them this tripe all day long and they’ll love you for it.

    No wonder he wants to shut down the universities. Critical thinking is such an impediment to establishing a “business friendly” state.


  11. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:23 pm:

    +1 2:19


  12. - AC - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:24 pm:

    ==McCann has received nearly $570,000 in campaign cash==

    Yes, because Union money from numerous individuals is bad, and $1.4 million from “Liberty Principles” is good. Got it.


  13. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:31 pm:

    Adding … Good for Sam being consistent in his support.


  14. - Honeybear - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:31 pm:

    Thank you Sam, thank you.


  15. - Skeptic - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:33 pm:

    Louis: And if the arbiter rules in favor of Rauner, it will still cost an additional $3.5B? If so, why is there even an issue?


  16. - Allen D - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:33 pm:

    spend spend spend, the Democratic way of life…


  17. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:36 pm:

    Hey trooper, the non-budgetary items demanded as a precondition for negotiating a budget have cost us 8 billion dollars to date, and that does not include higher education or a ton of social services. You say this bill will cost us 3.5 billion dollars over three years and we’ll have to have a massive tax hike to cover it. Does that mean we’ll have to have twice as big of a tax hike just to cover the my way or the highway demands of your benefactor? I’m just saying, if we are going to call spending a tax hike then you are supported by the biggest tax hiker in history, even bigger than the “67%” tax hike that just expired. Fiscal conservatism that is not.


  18. - Honeybear - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:37 pm:

    Louis G Atsaves having the labor dispute settled fairly by a jointly chosen arbitrator is one heck of a lot cheaper than open labor warfare and a strike that would cost the state an immense amount of money without ANY benefit! The state needs labor peace! The workforce will absolutely collapse if forced to a strike by Rauner. No one EXCEPT Rauner wants a strike. He’s been gunning for it since day one. His hubris and perfidy will truly bring the state down.


  19. - Chicago 20 - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:38 pm:

    Illinois needs a $9 billion tax increase already to pay our backlog of debts, without a dime for AFSCME.

    Benton is running for office and somehow doesn’t realize, if elected, he will have to vote for a larger tax increase than this.

    Benton, grow up and get out of the way of the people who have the stones to do what must be done.


  20. - MSIX - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:39 pm:

    ==spend spend spend, the Democratic way of life… ==

    See Also: Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush


  21. - The Dude Abides - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:41 pm:

    So the House will also pass this bill, the Gov will veto it, the Senate will approve the override and the House will fail to override. What is the over/under on how many votes short the House will be on the override vote? I’ll guess 2.
    A few weeks ago the Gov were tossing around the number 3 billion on what this bill would cost. Now Benton has added in another $500 millions. This is hilarious, they are manufacturing those numbers out of thin air.


  22. - Politix - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:42 pm:

    “Look, if the unions are advocating for this and they want it, then they expect to get some benefit from it.”

    Golly, they can’t get anything over on you, can they?


  23. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:43 pm:

    Every newspaper and media commentator I’ve read has said the “mandatory arbitration” bill is awful. Have I missed one who supports it?

    Back when FDR was against any and all public unions, the argument for their existence was that they shouldn’t be denied the right to collectively bargain just because their employer was “the public,” but “The Public” would be able to negotiate just as rough as a big corporation and bring home a fair deal. This bill spits in the face of that principle: a corporation doesn’t have to submit to mandatory arbitration. Of course this costs the public money - it means unions don’t have to put as much money away for a strike fund because they have another option.


  24. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:44 pm:

    You want cheaper arbitration in place of strikes across the board? Then impose this on all unions both public and private sectors.

    An AFSCME only bill because they couldn’t reach an agreement with Rauner when 17 other unions did?

    Preposterous!


  25. - Politix - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:46 pm:

    If Rauner vetoes immediately and the House takes up an override vote, will it happen before or after March 15? Hmmm.


  26. - Allen D - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:46 pm:

    - MSIX - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:39 pm: –

    The difference is they had a balanced budget


  27. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:46 pm:

    I wonder if some people see the irony creating a bill backlog they ballooned by 8 billion dollars in the name of “reducing spending”. Last time I checked, only one person said no budget unless… Only one person had the chance to line item veto or reduce individual spending lines, yet decided to veto the whole thing. That action, no matter how you slice it, cost the State of Illinois at least 6 billion dollars, and it is only that low of an amount if we don’t fund any higher education or the social services we didn’t pay for their services this fiscal year. That 6 billion dollars is over and above the 4 billion dollars deficit spending proposed in last years democratic budget. What I’m saying is that calling the other party spendthrifts, when yours has dug a hole that will take 7% to dig ourselves out of. Well, that rings hollow, and you don’t have a leg to stand on. We have decimated social services and higher education in this state because of you, only to be saddled with 10 billion dollars in extra debt. Not only is that socially unjust, but it isn’t fiscally responsible either.


  28. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:46 pm:

    ===Back when FDR was against any and all public unions===

    False.


  29. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:48 pm:

    Neither GHWB nor RWR balanced even one of their budgets. They both raised taxes. You might not find that information on Consevapedia, but it is true nonetheless.


  30. - burbanite - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:51 pm:

    I am trying to find the previous capfax post about how the Governor’s numbers of increase to tax payers are wrong. Anyone? As I recall it was b/c he was basing it off the amount his offer would pay (less than the current contract) and not the current contract.


  31. - burbanite - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:52 pm:

    Oh and it cracks me up that he thinks Madigan is the threat. Cullerton is the guy with the votes to override pretty much anything.


  32. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:53 pm:

    “An AFSCME only bill because they couldn’t reach an agreement with Rauner when 17 other unions did?”

    It isn’t Afscme only.

    Let’s look at what those 17 others were offered.

    5 were offered increased contributions towards their healthcare.

    12 were offered prevailing wage.


  33. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:54 pm:

    Nor did W ever balance a budget. Cheney said “deficits don’t matter”. Remember?

    To Louis, those 17 other unions account for less than a twentieth of the State workforce. Most of them are trades unions, paid prevailing wage, so they are going to have cost of living increases, the other is the Teamsters, and their deal provides 300 dollars more per month towards the Teamsters run health plan, than AFSCME’s current plan would cost. Other unions didn’t get offered the same deal, so kindly stop pretending they did.


  34. - GraduatedCollegeStudent - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:56 pm:

    ===An AFSCME only bill because they couldn’t reach an agreement with Rauner when 17 other unions did? ===

    Has Rauner ever offered AFSCME the same deal he offered the other unions?


  35. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:56 pm:

    Sorry, thanks TIPIAU for detailed numbers. I also forgot how many Teamsters there are.


  36. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:56 pm:

    If AFSCME gets arbitration rights, shouldn’t CTU?


  37. - cdog - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 2:57 pm:

    Dude says, “What is the over/under on how many votes short the House will be on the override vote? I’ll guess 2.”

    But if Dunkin loses 3/15, maybe he will get off the Rauner Plantation and be the free man he was elected to be.

    That would leave 1?


  38. - Honeybear - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:00 pm:

    BDD, that’s not how it works and you know it. Quit being coy.


  39. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:00 pm:

    Hey Bryce

    Would you please explain how you have arrived at these outrageous numbers?

    Apparently, these numbers represent 100% of the salary and benefits to be received by some 40,000 AFSCME members over the next three years. Clearly, it does not represent the increase in salary or benefits that AFSCME members would receive over the life of the contract if it was sent to binding arbitration.

    Are you suggesting that we layoff all 40,000 AFSCME members in order to save the state $3.5 billion? That might have an adverse effect on the district you want to represent.


  40. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:02 pm:

    cdog, he’ll be angling for a executive director spot. That way he gets a huge pension bump at least. He can get it too, because he’ll have a vote for another 9 months. I sure hope he gets the deal in writing though.


  41. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:02 pm:

    “TIPIAU for detailed numbers. I also forgot how many Teamsters there are.”

    If I remember the governor’s spreadsheet justifying impasse correctly:

    5300 members in 17 bargaining units have settled contracts.

    4700 of those belong in 5 teamster units and get guaranteed increases from the state to their healthcare every year.

    The other 600 belong to the 12 trades and are guaranteed prevailing wage which could go up.

    Afscme, and for that matter INU, SEIU HCII, FOP, LIUNA, IFT, and PBA have not been offered these things.

    And their members number in the 10’s of thousands.


  42. - cardsmama - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:02 pm:

    Bryce is a good little puppet. His mouth moves a cording to the hand in his back.


  43. - Nick Name - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:03 pm:

    McCann serves his constituents. Bryce Benton serves well-heeled Chicago PACs and waives the Madigan bogeyman in his press release.

    March 15 is just around the corner.


  44. - Small Town Girl - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:10 pm:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but if Bryce Benton wins, all of this earnings will then roll into the General Assembly pension plan which will be an increase.


  45. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:12 pm:

    Let’s back up here for a minute.

    First - while I’m a Bryce backer, the assumption that he hates unions or is a traitor to FOP is a big stretch of logic. When has he ever come out and said he’s anti-union or favors right-to-work? As stated when I’ve discussed RTW, it’s a shame that someone has to join a union as a contingent of employment. In order to be a police officer, you have to join a union. So a police officer who isn’t a union fanatic is a Benedict Arnold? I don’t get that leap of logic.

    Second - the national AFSCME leaders and lobbyists were bullish on the Affordable Care Act. They wanted its passage. So why isn’t the state chapter bullish on having their members available for the marketplace? Why do they have to have the 92/8 or 91/9 plan? Why do they have to have the “Cadillac plan”? That’s just fiscally unfeasible and it’s never-ending.

    Rauner won. Dillard and Quinn didn’t. That happened. And now AFSCME has to deal with it.


  46. - Forgottonian - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:15 pm:

    for what it is worth, the semi-automatic promotions have been re-instated as of March 1st, however not retroactively to the actual promotion date. Why isn’t anyone railing on about how much that is going to cost?


  47. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:16 pm:

    Politix @ 2:42 pm - But McCann won’t admit it.


  48. - Mason born - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:18 pm:

    So a political question for those more tuned in than I. Does Rauners leverage increase or decrease after the primary? Obviously if you lose the primary your free to vote however you please and the gov can’t hurt you. If your in a district where your constituents want this and the primary is over is the votes for the general more important than the gov?


  49. - Norseman - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:18 pm:

    === Hey Bryce

    Would you please explain how you have arrived at these outrageous numbers? ===

    What’s his face didn’t come up with the numbers. They were fed to him by his masters. As is his overall message and money.

    Bravo Sam.


  50. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:24 pm:

    Honey, I am opposed to arbitration. Probably not for the same reason as most. I believe it “weakens” unions. Job actions, as painful as they are, reinforce the value of the employee. We all know the chaos that will ensue if there is a lockout or strike. The RAUN Man may jump up and down for joy, but I truely believe that the disruption in govt services will bring some GOP legislators to their knees. Now before you calling me insensitive, I have been on strike for an extended period of time, and on two different occasions had my small manufacturing plant idled because I couldn’t come to terms with my employees. I ate a lot of squirrel,rabbit,deer and Roman noodles during those days. In all three instances, I felt like the employees value turned the tide in negotiations. BTW(how do you like that RNUG), trade unions attempt to honor fellow Union members strike actions. Force the courts to make other public service unions to cross. OW has been preaching for months, “labor, what are you going to do”. Together you stand……


  51. - Lake County Republican - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:25 pm:

    “Where Free Unions and Collective Bargaining are Forbidden, Freedom is Lost”
    - Ronald Reagan


  52. - Norseman - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:25 pm:

    === And now AFSCME has to deal with it. ===

    And they’re dealing with it as best as they can. And you have to deal with the fact that one of their ways of dealing with it is to go through the political process. A process that should be just as available to them - as a representative of thousands of members - as it is to the wealthy who can afford to lose more money in their couch than most of the union members make in years.

    P.S. Despite what you say BB has sold his soul to anti-union forces for $1.4 million. If that’s not a betrayal, I don’t know what is.


  53. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:28 pm:

    Norseman - then what does the IEA expect for yesterday’s $200,000 dump? A nice little Senator McCann coloring book and a bottle of water when they come to visit?


  54. - Beaner - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:35 pm:

    - Team Sleep - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:12 pm: In order to be a police officer, you have to join a union.
    The above is a false statement. No one in Illinois has to join a Union as a condition of employment. However, if there position is covered by a Union Contract, they have to pay a “fair-share” of dues to pay for the benefits they receive as a result of the collectively bargained contract. They are not Union members; merely paying for the cost of the benefits they receive.


  55. - Mason born - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:36 pm:

    Team sleep

    Maybe they expect to show the gop reps that representing your constituents is more important than representing Rauners checkbook. Which if they succeed will be a much bigger step to ending this budget disaster than anything else we’ve seen.


  56. - Norseman - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:37 pm:

    Team, they expect what they got - a supporter of legislation that is beneficial to a large number of the constituents in his district. McCann’s been upfront about it, unlike your guy.


  57. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:38 pm:

    Beaner - so are you saying that the State Police is an open shop entity?


  58. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:38 pm:

    “First - while I’m a Bryce backer, the assumption that he hates unions or is a traitor to FOP is a big stretch of logic. When has he ever come out and said he’s anti-union or favors right-to-work?”

    He has endorsed the governor’s turnaround agenda. The agenda includes limiting collective bargaining at the local level. Which has not been lost on the FOP. Same with allowing muni bankruptcy to get out of pensions.


  59. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:40 pm:

    “As stated when I’ve discussed RTW, it’s a shame that someone has to join a union as a contingent of employment.”

    Please point out the locality where anyone is forced to join a union.

    He is forced to pay his fair share of the cost to get him a good contract. There is a difference…


  60. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:41 pm:

    Norseman - sorry to burst your bubble, but McCann has never voted in favor of a K-12 education budget. I was referencing the IEA. I get the AFSCME support.


  61. - Omega Man - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:41 pm:

    I’m sick and tired of hearing that SB1229 was (and HB580 is) a massive tax hike on Illinois taxpayers. It’s really a massive cash grab from the pockets of all state employee (both union and non-union).

    All we are asking for is to keep the terms of our past contract plus a small pay increase. Most of the money “saved” would be coming from the massive increase in what we pay for our health insurance.

    Most union members I have talked to would be OK with no pay increase at all as long as our heath insurance costs only went up a little and our job security was not shredded.


  62. - Beaner - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:42 pm:

    By “open shop” you mean do we allow “free-loading”? No, there is no freeloading. Just paying a “fair-share” for the benefits of the “collective bargained” contract.


  63. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:44 pm:

    Beaner - that is not what I asked.


  64. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:45 pm:

    Rich: I think true, though some argue that he would have changed his mind over time. http://www.salon.com/2011/02/18/fdr_and_wisconsin/ But the reasoning in his 1937 letter can be applied today.

    Regardless, I doubt FDR would have thought much of labor special interests being so powerful, they control one party in the state nearly completely and in the other they almost picked the candidate for governor.


  65. - Beaner - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:47 pm:

    No one in Illinois is forced to sign a Union card.


  66. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:48 pm:

    FDR was opposed to federal employees striking. People have expanded it to mean he was opposed to all public employee unions. (He later supported organizing at the TVA.)


  67. - AlabamaShake - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:48 pm:

    No one is talking about the fact that there was another GOP deflection on the bill?

    Sen Anderson voting yes is a pretty big deal.


  68. - AC - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:50 pm:

    ==labor special interests being so powerful, they control one party in the state==

    Were you around during SB1 pension reform?


  69. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:50 pm:

    ===forced to pay his fair share of the cost to get him a good contract===

    Or the person could simply find another job in a non-union shop. Slavery was outlawed quite a while ago and I, for one, don’t think a specific job at a specific place is a guaranteed constitutional right.


  70. - Mason born - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:51 pm:

    Team sleep

    Question do you think McCann’s vote represents the best interests of his district?

    What happens in springfield if the largest employer goes on an extended strike? What if the state fair is canceled because of a strike?


  71. - Norseman - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:51 pm:

    Team. No GOP member voted for K-12.

    IEA is a union and is smartly acting on their strategic needs.

    Why are you so worried about IEA’s spending. As a GOP political operative, you should be happy that they’re spending their money in a GOP primary rather than for a Dem against a GOP candidate.


  72. - Politix - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:52 pm:

    Sam McCann won’t admit it? Admit? What’s there to hide? He knows 580 is better for his constituents than the alternative. There’s no shame in that.


  73. - One of Three Puppets - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 3:54 pm:

    Hey Bryce the makeup model. Last time I checked you have $1.8 million coming from ONE Chicago PAC. Who has a special interest? At least some of the groups contributing to McCann have members in his district. Also, can you check to see how much the IEA gave to GOPer Kirk Dillard ($650,000 2010 and in 2014) and to both the GOP members of the House and Senate. I am a simpleton but they seem to play both sides there Bryce. Hey DeGroot, check the addresses of the Pacs you attack before you start railing on Chicago. Seems to me they are all from Springfield or in the GOP collars.


  74. - Honeybear - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:00 pm:

    BDD, I get what you’re saying but being an “insider” here, I can’t emphasize to you how bad a strike would be. I cannot even begin to describe the destruction that it would wrought. I really can’t understand the hubris necessary for Rauner and his minions to not understand what it would do to our state. Yes have policy squabbles,have financial differences, but Loving God don’t push the state workforce into this corner with no way out. It will literally mean the collapse and death of state workforce and the financial collapse of the state. We’re a symbiotic system here, public/private are linked together in ways we can’t even begin to understand. The dam of state would break and the waters would destroy so so so much. Look, for the most part people on this blog are good decent folk. You’ve got head my warning on this. Don’t push us into this corner. Don’t go down that road. You think it’s bad now. My God, I can’t even imagine. Once broken it can’t go back to normal. It’s done. Look I can puff up all I want with union solidarity stuff but once we step foot on that road, man there won’t be much left to start again. People of privilege haven’t the slightest idea, not the slightest idea.


  75. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:01 pm:

    Another clear division between the two.

    Labor sound know want to do, Raunerites know what to do too.

    - Norseman -, well said.


  76. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:01 pm:

    Mason -

    A few years ago, the Springfield Chamber estimated that there were 17,000 residents of Sangamon County who worked for the state. Not just the 50th Senate District portion - the entire county. Which, of course, is also represented by two other Senators. So let’s assume that McCann has 15,000-20,000 state workers in his district - Springfield, Chatham, Jacksonville and others who work in the smaller areas. That’s a lot - but that also means that less than 10% of his constituents work for the state. Yes, a lot of them have families. But the clear majority of his constituents aren’t state workers. And the state retirees wouldn’t be harmed by an impasse because their pension payments and health benefits have been ruled untouchable by the courts.

    Dave Koehler represents probably the largest subset of Cat employees. So then by the logic of the McCann vote for state workers, Dave Koehler should always and without fail vote for Cat’s interests. After all - Peoria would fall into a proverbial blackhole if Cat closed up. What would we say if Fred Crespo voted against Sears? It might be understood, but they’re still a huge employer.


  77. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:02 pm:

    A fuller discussion of the FDR question: http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2013/aug/13/scott-walker/Did-FDR-oppose-collective-bargaining-for-governmen/


  78. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:06 pm:

    Beaner - okay, but why would an ISP trooper not be a full member? If he or she is just fair share, they are afforded few of the rights offered by the FOP (i.e. legal counsel). I do appreciate your reply, though.

    Norseman - how is supporting a candidate who has NEVER voted for K-12 education a smart strategic move? The IEA is about education and educating our kids, right?! The only budget bills that McCann has voted for are the pension payment bills. I have friends who are full blown IEA members, and I worry that their leadership is spending HUGE amounts of money on candidates who are going to flop. And then what? The money that could/should have been used to support legit supporters will be gone.


  79. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:09 pm:

    Whether the 17 represent 17 state employees, 1,700 or 40,000, the bottom line is they reached agreements with Governor Rauner. AFSCME did not.

    Now AFSCME wants to be treated differently, or specially? Preposterous!

    That argument is more preposterous than the one McCann made that this vote would not cost taxpayers a single penny or increase payments from state bank accounts.

    Tortured logic aside, why can 17 other unions reach an agreement with Rauner, and AFSCME cannot. What is this, a borderline “ex post facto” law?

    Good Grief!


  80. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:11 pm:

    ” how is supporting a candidate who has NEVER voted for K-12 education a smart strategic move? The IEA is about education and educating our kids, right?!”

    IEA knows it’s important to protect the only non-raunerite GOP member. Labor knows what’s at stake. Bigger picture here.


  81. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:12 pm:

    Louis - correct, because healthcare costs always go up. Salaries can be frozen but healthcare will still cost the state more money - unless the employees go to some almost punitive measure (like a 65/35 split).


  82. - Honeybear - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:12 pm:

    - simply find another job in a non-union shop-

    With all due respect one does not just simply find another job. There are very very few fields where this is possible anymore. Jobs are so so precious. It is true that no one is forced to work a union job, but finding and keeping a job any job is an incredible trail. My spouse stopped grad work to look for a job in 2008. Everything crashed and no one was hiring. With an a masters degree from a top 3 school my spouse was only able to find secretarial work twice for 3 month stints by taking everything off the resume. Our horror lasted 4 years. We nearly lost everything. My spouse completed two hundred and thirty seven online apps. Because of my spouses 7 years out for education, her app never saw a desk. It was always weeded out by the computer. Even the old boys network failed miserably. Finally after 2 unpaid internships my spouse got a job with the state. Unusual case you might say? Maybe but I don’t think so. Jobs are so so precious. Jobs are so so hard to get and retain. In my opinion there is NOTHING simple about employment. Again this is said with all due respect and I hope you’ll post this.


  83. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:13 pm:

    Louis, those 17 were offered things the others have not been offered. Not… even… close…


  84. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:16 pm:

    Oh - Louis G Atsaves -, lol…

    ===Whether the 17 represent 17 state employees, 1,700 or 40,000, the bottom line is they reached agreements with Governor Rauner. AFSCME did not===

    Health insurance the same? Nope.

    ===Tortured logic aside===

    To whom? When you’re wrong you’re tortured?

    ===…why can 17 other unions reach an agreement with Rauner, and AFSCME cannot. What is this, a borderline “ex post facto” law?===

    Health issuance ain’t the same…


  85. - Beaner - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:18 pm:

    - Team Sleep - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:06 pm:
    They get all the benefits of the contract, including union representation for grievances. Fair Share does not get to vote on the Contract, Vote in Meetings, nor attend picnics and holiday parties.


  86. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:19 pm:

    Also Afscme is not the only union who still hasn’t reached agreement. Nor the only union that would be affected by 580.

    I understand the governor’s side wants to portray Afscme as the lone holdouts and this bill would only be for them but it simply isn’t true.


  87. - HangingOn - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:20 pm:

    ==why can 17 other unions reach an agreement with Rauner, and AFSCME cannot.==

    You seem to be missing the biggest point. AFSCME was not offered the same thing. Let us say you and a coworker are both up for review. He is offered a raise and 2 extra vacation days. You are offered a 10% pay cut and have to pay $200 more a month for your health insurance. According to your logic, you should accept that happily because your co-worker accepted his deal, regardless of the fact that we is gaining and you are losing.


  88. - Rollo Tomasi - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:21 pm:

    Is there any recent polling in this race?


  89. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:23 pm:

    The new teamster contracts are on cms labor relation page. State will guarentee to pay more into teamster employee healthcare every year to keep up with costs.

    Now I’m not knocking the teamsters for this. But it certainly wasn’t the same deal other unions have been offered…


  90. - AC - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:23 pm:

    ==Now AFSCME wants to be treated differently, or specially? Preposterous!==

    You might wish to study the Teamsters Professional Technical contract and take note of the substantial increase in state costs in moving those employees from the CMS group insurance program to a Teamsters managed plan. Compare that with health insurance offered to AFSCME and also take note of how little contract language the state asked the Teamsters to change when compared with AFSCME.


  91. - Beaner - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:23 pm:

    Is there any recent polling in this race?
    Subscribe.


  92. - A Jack - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:25 pm:

    Has Benton pledged to give up his large Alternative Formula pension?


  93. - Norseman - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:26 pm:

    Team, I’m sure you’re IEA friend is so happy that you have his/her back. I’m sure your guy, if and god forbid if he gets elected, can be counted being a true friend to his/her interests. If he/she is worried about IEA political spending practices, a vote against leadership is his/her right.

    With respect to your exhaustive analysis of the number of state workers in Sangamon county, it should give you great confidence that this hoard of non-state workers in Sangamon will rise up and smite this guy for protecting this terrible minority of working people in this capital city and surrounding county. Oh and McCann’s position on protecting public sector pensions would be of no interest to retirees, teachers, university employees and local government employees. Almost forgot that the 50th also has other counties. The voter of which will equally join against the interest of their public sector employed neighbors.

    No problem Team, you’ve got it made. Just take joy that those of us who support McCann are wasting our efforts and money.


  94. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:26 pm:

    So it is wrong that ISP forces you to be a union member because it is impossible to turn down the amazing benefits of being a union member? I think you just obliterated your own argument.

    Essentially then, if there were no “fair share” and there were no freeloaders, meaning those who weren’t union members did not get paid the wages the union negotiated, then by that logic everyone would be “forced” to join the union because the pay is so much better, so RTW makes no sense. The only way it does, is if the unions go broke because of freeriders, and then can’t negotiate for anyone. I have a right to work. I have a right to not be in a union. I don’t have the right to go to a union shop and demand a job and the union pay without being a union member. It is just that simple. Being intellectually honest you would understand that almost no one wants to work for less pay and job security, so RTWFL is not about freedom. it is about unions getting less money, and if they have less money, they’ll have less political power. If they have less of that, their opposition wins. Their opposition isn’t Joe six pack. It’s the people who want to reduce wages in this country accross the board.


  95. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:27 pm:

    Hanging On - while that’s not fair, in a business setting that can happen. You may be faced with that choice while others don’t have the same problem. And at that point, you don’t have any recourse. You either accept it or you’re fired. AFSCME represents so many more state workers than the nearest public employee union that their next contract will have a huge impact on the financial present and future of the state.


  96. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:37 pm:

    Except you are missing the point of why the other unions were offered good contracts: so people could use the talking point you did above. Why can’t AFSCME reach an agreement, everyone else has. So the small unions are pretty much given what they want, heck the Teamsters made out like bandits on healthcare, but since a big savings can be achieved by gutting the AFSCME contract, they are the ones he’s going after. This was the plan from day one. Make AFSCME seem unreasonable. Offer them a completely unfair contract, and then they take it or strike. In Rauner’s mind, he wins either way. He thinks he can just farm out State services to the lowest bidder if there’s a strike, and that’s that. He’s wrong, but that’s the way he thinks.


  97. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:38 pm:

    The highest paid state workforce in the Midwest will either have to pay more for health insurance or settle for a less generous plan.

    There would be people lined up around to block to work for the state under Rauner’s terms.
    The workforce would never vote to strike because most know this is true. That’s why AFSCME has to play all these games trying to avoid that vote.


  98. - Mason born - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:38 pm:

    Sleep

    So by your numbers McCann voted to protect the livelyhood of 10% of his district. Add in maybe 8% more for spouses eyc. What happens when that 10% stops spending money? Of your on strike you aren’t shopping for that new kia. Your not buying anything but the barest necesities. No movies, noconcerts etc. A strike devestates Springfield and the entire district. If Rauner treats it like his budget disaster how long does it take springfield to recover.


  99. - A Jack - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:38 pm:

    @STG 3:10. If Benton wins, he will be a member of GARS as well as SERS. He can use the reciprocal service rules to take a pension from the higher of the two.

    Or he can put his money where his mouth is, so to speak, and take a refund from SERS, thereby not increasing the state’s liability. He can also opt out of GARS.


  100. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:39 pm:

    “AFSCME represents so many more state workers than the nearest public employee union that their next contract will have a huge impact on the financial present and future of the state.”

    Right but rauners side could say that. Instead they tout the 17 aggrements he got without mentioning that he offered them better deals.

    He basically gave coli everything he asked for so he could quickly get some agreements before the 1229 override and prove just how darn reasonable he is.


  101. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:44 pm:

    Robert, there’s no vote coming up. There isn’t even an impasse right now. There are numerous UFLPs to be ruled on first. Then, these terms? You might be ready to take them to be “most highly paid”, but you are either making more money now, or are not qualified to hold a position that would work better for you than your current job. If IL has the highest paid workforce in the midwest, it might have something to do with us being the only State that has one of the nations largest cities within it. Did you ever think of that? Sure the cost of living is low in Springfield, I bet it is low in upstate New York too. I think there should be a salary differential rather than paying the same job the same money in either place, but the powers that be prefer to misclassify positions to achieve the same result. Also, take a look at how many State jobs require college degrees vs. Iowa. The most you can be here is an office assistant without one. The world is more complicated than most political talking points would have you believe. You can’t compare apples and cinder blocks.


  102. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:48 pm:

    People who say we’re the highest paid tend to not mention all the overtime people get because headcount is so low.

    Staff our facilities and offices and the OT goes down. Which means the average cost of the employee goes down.


  103. - Tough Guy - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:51 pm:

    Three cheers for Sen. McCann. A Bronx cheer for Mr. Benton.


  104. - Chicagonk - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:53 pm:

    I read the bill and noticed a rather large loophole which I’m not sure was intentionally added, but is there.

    According to the bill, unions are allowed to strike prior to the actual arbitration pursuant to Section 17 of the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act. Section 17 is the section that prevents police officers, fire fighters, and EMTs from striking. So why does AFSCME have the ability to strike prior to the actual arbitration hearing while emergency workers cannot?


  105. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:53 pm:

    Janitors top out at $69,000/year in IL before overtime. Factor in early retirement with life-time pension, yeah I think they can still find people to work that job with a cheaper health insurance plan. Oh, no college degree required.


  106. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 4:58 pm:

    And the minimum wage in Chicago is what? Nearly double the minimum wage elsewhere. You’re saying that a sixty year old janitor who has been a dedicated employee for 30 years in a city like Chicago should make what? Look we could pay them minimum wage, but then we’d have to subsidize their housing and give them food stamps. Also, its not who we are, but regardless, if you look at what happened to Chicago when they outsourced janitorial work, you’ll see what you get for bottom dollar.

    69k is high, I won’t argue. I can say though, that as a single guy with a small apartment, I had trouble making ends meet on 45k a year with a professional degree when I lived in Chicago. Also, I wouldn’t clean toilets unless someone paid me a heck of a lot more than 20k per year.


  107. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 5:04 pm:

    Because man, God forbid a janitor makes a decent living…


  108. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 5:05 pm:

    Who are you to say what the value is of someone else’s work product? It’s easy for me to sit here and say you shouldn’t make a dime, but the only people who have a say over a jobs worth are the person doing the work and the entity paying them. Hey, I’ve seen personnel directors for agencies with billion dollar budgets making 50k. Funny how you never use those examples of compensation.


  109. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 5:06 pm:

    Thanks. My two responses made my nickname proud unfortunately.


  110. - Team Warwick - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 5:08 pm:

    Last time i looked Walmart is the largest employer in Illinois to address a previous comment about largest employers somewhere in here. Those workers would love to have a living wage. And arbitration is common practice for large groups of contract workers for the doomsdayers.


  111. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 5:14 pm:

    =the only people who have a say over a jobs worth are the person doing the work and the entity paying them.=

    Good. You agree this bill is a sham.


  112. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 5:24 pm:

    Not at all. This bill seeks to allow negotiation between them rather than have the employer force a strike. Hey it’s a better deal for the employees bc no one ever wants to strike. There’s not an option for the governor to get his proposed deal, just an arbitration (being he refuses to be reasonable) or a strike. Arbitration doesn’t send it straight to an arbitrator, both sides purpose their best offer to the other side and an arbitrator decides which is closest to fair. If the deal is so fair why is he afraid of arbitration?


  113. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 5:55 pm:

    == how do you like that RNUG ==

    -blue dog dem-

    Philosophically, it seems we aren’t that far apart. From your writing, it sounds like (to put labels on it) you are a fiscally conservative D while I tend to be a socially liberal R. We’re somewhere in the “middle”, an area ignored by most pols these days.

    Just to be clear about my background, for better or worse, none of the jobs I held at the State were union positions at the time I held them. Later, after the unions came in, I was always in an appointed / management position (SPSA), hence my pseudonym Retired Non-Union Guy.

    I’ve previously described my family background as multi-generational union (including founding members of a local) on one side and small business owners or managers on the other side, which gives me a bit of a unique viewpoint into both sides.

    I see the value of a union as a counterbalance to robber barons type business owners. I also see the evils of an overprotective union and the problems that can lead to like slackers, ridiculous work rules, featherbedding, etc.

    There needs to be a reasonable balance between the two sides. Right now, AFSCME is probably too protective. But the solution isn’t destroying the union, it’s pushing back against the unreasonable provisions. IMO, that’s what the voters expected Rauner to do.

    Given the deadlock on the contract and Rauner’s apparently voided promise to negotiate in good faith, this arbitration bill seems like a move by the GA to prod Rauner back to the bargaining table since it takes a strike out of the equation.


  114. - HangingOn - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 5:58 pm:

    ==There would be people lined up around to block to work for the state under Rauner’s terms.==

    Hate to burst your little bubble, but we have a hell of a time when we actually are able to post a position in filling it. One of our federally required positions took 6 months to find someone. Had to be posted 3 times. And then that person left a year later for the private sector where she could get the same benefits and make $30,000 more a year than the state was paying. You really think the people who spent that much money on their degrees are going to be beating down the door?


  115. - kimocat - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 6:11 pm:

    Thanks HangingOn — I’m so sick of the comments about how many people would “love to have a State job that had fewer benefits and lower pay.” Yeah, that’s probably right — if you are a Walmart greeter and think you ought to be paid like a chemist for IEPA. When Are you people going to realize that the oligarchy has all of the cookies except the ones they think you should fight over?


  116. - burbanite - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 6:11 pm:

    If you can’t reach an agreement, you either go to arbitration or you go to court. Having we kept that third branch of Government busy enough doin all the governin?


  117. - burbanite - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 6:12 pm:

    Haven’t. oops


  118. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 6:14 pm:

    ==spend spend spend, the Democratic way of life… ==

    According to the comptroller’s office, when Rauner took office the state’s backlog of unpaid bills was $4.3 billion.

    The comptroller estimates that on June 30 the backlog of unpaid bills will be as high as $12 billion.


  119. - [moderated comment] - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 6:32 pm:

    Kimocat +eleventeen

    Exactly. I like the fact that we, the people of Illinois, don’t pay anyone a wage they can’t live on. I think it is beyond bad that some people think it would be better if we did. Smh


  120. - Crispy Critter - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 7:53 pm:

    In some offices, workers doing the same job are in different unions. One is Teamsters the other is AFSCME. The Teamsters workers got a pay freeze, but may get bonuses, and the State is paying ALL of their healthcare costs ($1,600 for the Teamsters guy). So in effect, he now got a pay increase since he no longer has to pay a monthly fee for his healthcare. Now the AFSCME person is still paying several hundred dollars per month but is offered a deal that now doubles that cost. The State is not paying $1600 towards AFSCME healthcost; but rather $900 something. Big Difference. So the Teamsters workers paycheck goes up, the AFSCME workers paycheck goes down. So a $400-$500 difference in healthcare cost IS NOT THE SAME DEAL.


  121. - Johnnie F. - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 9:41 pm:

    Rich had a post a little ways back that addressed the AFSCME contract and the 3 billion number. It was well written and provided numbers and thoughts of how the 3 billion number was generated…very fuzzy math on Rauner’s part. Much of the 3 billion was money that is currently being paid, and was not new expenditures for additional employee pay and benefits. 3 billion is a lie, but Rauner’s lips are movin’ so what else could you expect.


  122. - HangingOn - Thursday, Mar 3, 16 @ 10:19 pm:

    This one?

    https://capitolfax.com/2016/02/18/fun-with-numbers-44/


  123. - burbanite - Friday, Mar 4, 16 @ 8:48 am:

    That’s it! thanks Hangingon, that accurately reflects the numbers being used.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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