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Rauner admin claims AFSCME impasse would give sides “cooling-off period”

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016

* Let’s take a look at a couple of stories about what happened at yesterday’s Illinois Labor Relations Board hearing on whether the contract talks between AFSCME and the Rauner administration are at an impasse

An attorney for the state, Tom Bradley, said the administration had indeed bargained in good faith during 24 bargaining sessions stretching over 67 days. He pointed to tentative agreements that were reached on a number of non-economic issues. Even on economic issues, he said, the state “made many concessions” even though that isn’t a requirement to prove good-faith bargaining.

“The state is not negotiating in a vacuum,” Bradley said. “The state is negotiating under the very heavy weight of the worst financial crisis in the state’s history.”

That crisis, he said, is why the administration wants to freeze wage and step increases for union members as well as extract savings on their health insurance plan. AFSCME has rejected those provisions and has made wage and benefit demands that leave the two sides about $3.3 billion apart, he said. When AFSCME still hadn’t changed its demands in a “substantial” way by Jan. 8, the state sought to have the talks declared at impasse.

“A finding of impasse does not mean negotiations are over,” Bradley said. Instead, an impasse would provide the two sides a cooling-off period, he said.

A cooling-off period? That seems like a unique interpretation.

* Tribune

[AFSCME Council 31 attorney Steve Yokich] accused the Rauner administration of purposely staking out extreme positions to force a lockout or strike. He ripped out pages of the current contract to demonstrate benefits and rights Rauner wanted to cut back or eliminate, including doing away with fees unions can charge nonmembers and abolishing so-called “bumping rights” that shield more senior employees from layoffs.

“We think the evidence will show that the parties were not at impasse the day the state walked away from the bargaining table,” said Yokich, who added the union had questions on numerous proposals such as bonus pay that the administration never addressed.

“The employer never gave us specifics so it’s very hard for us to make counterproposals to move the ball forward,” Yokich said. “I think they came to the table with a predetermined resolve not to budge from their proposal.”

Yokich also questioned the relevancy of the state’s budget crisis in the administration’s position, saying it amounts to a “self-inflicted wound” after the 2015 rollback of an income tax increase that blew a $4 billion hole in the state budget. Rauner campaigned on letting the tax start to expire, though he has said he is open to a tax increase if combined with his business-friendly, union-weakening political agenda.

They’re making the same basic argument as the CTU - essentially that the state is “broke on purpose.” But I think they have a better argument here than the CTU.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

78 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:15 am:

    Rauner’s cooking off period is like putting s child in “time out” to then release them from the “time out” to face a permanent punishment.

    Rauner wants to destroy all unions, ending collective bargaining, eliminating prevailing wage, and… gutting Af-Scammy.

    Not recognizing this by the Labor Movement is in them, and no one else.


  2. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:17 am:

    An impasse loosely translated from the Rauner administration equals implementing their own contract imposing either a draconian setback for union members or a strike. Either outcome is what, IMO, the Governor craves…


  3. - A guy - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:17 am:

    If someone did something on purpose with regard to letting the tax increase sunset, isn’t it incumbent on someone to point out who that someone truly is? One guy may have campaigned on it; someone else let it expire before the campaigner was sworn in. I guess it was just a courtesy to the new guy in town. Sure.


  4. - illinois manufacturer - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:19 am:

    Was it a state lawyer or one of his personal ones again?


  5. - RNUG - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:19 am:

    Impasse / cooling off period = let us impose our version of the new contract and then, when we offer a few crunbs on pay and health insurance, the union will leap to sign it …


  6. - Union - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:24 am:

    This mess added to the Prevailing Wage defeat Gov faced in the Senate this week with 3 GOP Senators siding with the unions makes for a bad week on union issues for Gov. Maybe it really is time to rethink the Turnaround Agenda?!


  7. - illinois manufacturer - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:24 am:

    Isnt fair share Illinois law. How can he just put that in a contract? If anyone including the pension funds have a GTCR contract they need to give those things a look to see if they have stuff that mikght make them invalid.


  8. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:27 am:

    It’s only a cooling off period if the status quo remains. I’m guessing their definition of a cooling off period includes imposing their terms.


  9. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:28 am:

    ===The employer never gave us specifics so it’s very hard for us to make counterproposals to move the ball forward==

    Well said by Yokich. AFSCME cannot negotiate against ==stuff==. There should be specifics, on paper, that are very clear as to what is being offered on both sides. Media advisories and interviews do not count.

    ==Rauner campaigned on letting the tax start to expire==

    And the Senate, House and prior Governor passed a tax increase that functioned just as they drafted, passed, and signed it into law to. The tax rate increased, then reduced on January 1, 2015 just as designed. Even so, we still pay 25 percent more now than we did in 2010. Hard to pin that all on a candidate saying he supports lower taxes.


  10. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:30 am:

    “A finding of impasse does not mean negotiations are over,” Bradley said. Instead, an impasse would provide the two sides a cooling-off period, he said.

    The Raunerbots speak their own language.

    Websters:

    Impasse, n., a situation in which no progress is possible, especially because of disagreement; a deadlock.

    Cooling-off Period, n., an interval during which two people or groups who are in disagreement can try to settle their differences before taking further action.

    Obfuscate, v., render obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.


  11. - Huh? - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:31 am:

    Cooling off is code for AFSCME gets a contract when h..l freezes over.


  12. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:35 am:

    “Cooling off is code for AFSCME gets a contract when h..l freezes over.”
    The Cubs could win this year.


  13. - Gert Frobe - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:37 am:

    Seems like this trip to the Labor Board may just be a way to get AFSCME to spend a lot of money on litigation costs while the taxpayers pay for Bruce Almighty’s lawyers.


  14. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:41 am:

    C’mon, let’s be honest here. We all know what the outcome of this is going to be. Rauners owned board will declare an impasse exists. It doesn’t matter what the merits of either argument are. It is the moment that Rauner has pushed for his entire time in office. He will force AFSCME to try to strike. Either way, whether we strike or choke on the new contract, many families will face tremendous financial hardships. I don’t know how we’ll be able to pay for a single policy for me and my spouse and two teen daughters on the other. The state does not allow us to all be on a family policy. We were just starting to climb out of the debt hole we dug during the Great Recession. With the insurance alone we will be sinking again. Thank God the girls still want to pursue Navy ROTC. But I’m very very lucky. The vast majority of my peers here will leave the state workforce. Only about 15% are veteran 10yrs + workers who will retire the second they can. This labor war will collapse the workforce. You must understand. Many many positions the majority are very complex with a lot of policy involved. You can’t replace that easily or quickly. As a matter of fact once you lose the institutional knowledge its gone for good. Look at how ineffective DCEO is. That is what Rauners war will do to the state. Legislators can legislate all they want. Someone has to do the work required by those laws and statutes.


  15. - Daniel Plainview - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:45 am:

    - worst financial crisis in the state’s history. -

    This reminds me of an old saying about boots and rain.

    The state’s deficit was shrinking until Rauner came along, people were getting paid, and the economy was steadily recovering.


  16. - AC - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:46 am:

    When I read this yesterday, I thought the argument was strange, because it attempts to redefine impasse which is “a situation in which no progress is possible, especially because of disagreement; a deadlock”.


  17. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:52 am:

    If bargaining in good faith means scapegoating state employees for a fiscal mess that was due to various factors, including ridiculously low state income tax rates on top earners and a state income tax that for decades was much lower than some neighboring states, then Rauner is bargaining in great faith.

    How can there be good faith when on day one of contract negotiations–literally–Rauner issued or announced an EO and sued unions in his own name to end fair share fees and strike a devastating blow against them?

    What Rauner wants to impose now on AFSCME must have been predetermined. If not, he’d still be at the table, doing the necessary hard work to get a contract. The state doesn’t have a budget, so what’s the harm of Rauner continuing negotiations?


  18. - Gert Frobe - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 9:53 am:

    Thomas Bradley is a partner at Laner Muchin so he is probably costing us a ton.

    The ALJ, Sarah Kerley, is a SPSA (non-Union position), was admitted to the IL Bar in ‘04, and makes $84,300/yr according to ITAP and the Ledger.


  19. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:02 am:

    -Not recognizing this by the Labor Movement is in them, and no one else.-

    So what changed OW. Why for the past few days have you been mentioning the “not recognizing” motif? I get that it is hard to wake people up to the train barreling down the tracks at them. But for a good while I’ve been like a chicken little saying the sky is falling and people tune me out. I almost want to impasse to be declared so that people will get active again. In the meantime I’ve been super active with the Black Cats and helping Stuart with the local race. But what gives on the tone towards labor? Respectfully as always and with grateful thanks for all the coaching that I have received.


  20. - Maximus - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:06 am:

    3.3 billion apart is a lot of money. Hence the whole reason for the impasse, the two sides aren’t even close. Illinois has severe financial issues but it seems AFSCME doesn’t want that to impact the contract.


  21. - RNUG - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:13 am:

    == Illinois has severe financial issues but it seems AFSCME doesn’t want that to impact the contract. ==

    Which Rauner and his bought and aid for GOP have deliberately made worse.


  22. - illinois manufacturer - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:20 am:

    Who authoized him to pay Tom Bradly to represent the state. Is there a contract or an appropriation?Didn’t the attorney General to after him when he used state money for friend of the court briefs he made in the name of the people of Illinois?


  23. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:21 am:

    - Honeybear -

    I know what I’m saying, exactly the way I’m saying it…

    As compromise is required and needed, and I can’t be for compromise more if I tried, there will be a needed coming together and give and take to save many things, and alienating either side will not help in getting to an end we all need.

    On a different track, while both sides, Democrats and Republicans work for Illinois, Raunerites have ramped up Labor “attacks” making it clear that “structural reform” will occur in every way Rauner can try to impose that will.

    We celebrate compromise in one “Theatre” while in another “Theatre” forces continue to marshall, and ramp up.

    To be caught up in victories elsewhere, many who may support Labor or Labor itself can’t sleep on their fate, even if… Labor cheers for a budget, budgetary wins, Higher Ed, and the saving of social services.

    It’s being “for” McCann then know to be “against” Dunkin.

    It’s placing onus, while recognizing movement…

    With respect.


  24. - What the What - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:24 am:

    Laner Muchin has had a contract to handle labor and employment work for the state for some time (before Rauner) and they only bill the state $250 an hour. Of course the time they bill (as opposed to rate they charge) is what they say is necessary.


  25. - ihpsdm - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:32 am:

    I left State employment back in February. I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with this nonsense at my new job. I unfortunately had to move and finding a new job was not easy, but it was worth all of that work in order to avoid having to constantly worry about a strike or layoffs. I started looking for a new job in September and got a couple of offers before finally agreeing to one in February. Thankfully I don’t have a spouse or kids so I could look for a job all over the country. If I was stuck looking for a job in Springfield, I would have been screwed.

    Give Rauner hell AFSCME!


  26. - Jocko - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:33 am:

    WS nails it! Someone needs to give Tom Bradley a dictionary.

    As a venture capitalist, Rauner only knows how to purchase (or create) a distress, then profit from the dissolution. AFSCME is no different.


  27. - steward - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:34 am:

    “3.3 billion apart is a lot of money. Hence the whole reason for the impasse, the two sides aren’t even close. Illinois has severe financial issues but it seems AFSCME doesn’t want that to impact the contract.
    Comment by Maximus”

    The state’s costing of our proposals assume some things. They assume no one will retire in the life of the contract. They assume everyone will get steps when many are “stepped out” and would not. They call status quo on healthcare our “proposal” and lump the difference between SQ and their proposals as a cost of our proposals. Tier 2 and substeps will drive the payroll costs down over the next few years but no mention of that.

    But you are Maximus and stand to profit mightily from the governor’s subcontracting proposal…


  28. - Maximus - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    I guess prior to Rauner showing up Illinois had all kinds of cash on hand to agree to any contract desired. Money grows on trees in Illinois, we just pick it and then hand it over to the state. Rauner showed up and now he is telling us the money trees weren’t real?!


  29. - illinois manufacturer - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:38 am:

    I assume the Laner contract is subject to appropriation?


  30. - Doc Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:39 am:

    Illinois manufacturer: =Isnt fair share Illinois law.=

    It has to be bargained, I believe–certainly it does at universities, some of which have it and some of which don’t.

    “Bargaining to impasse” is a well-recognized hardball tactic by employers. It is, as others have recognized, the opposite of a cooling off period–it means you abandon any pretence of negotiation in order to force a strike or impose your terms. To be legal, though, you have to bargain, and it’s not at all clear that Rauner et al. have done so.

    Failure to address questions or offer specifics is prima facie evidence of failure to bargain. Offering a specific proposal and sticking to it isn’t. AFSCME’s arguments in the statements above are thus far stronger than Rauner’s.


  31. - Curmudgeon - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:40 am:

    == Maximus - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:06 am: ”
    3.3 billion apart is a lot of money. Hence the whole reason for the impasse, the two sides aren’t even close. Illinois has severe financial issues but it seems AFSCME doesn’t want that to impact the contract.” ==

    That multi-billion figure is as phony as Bruce’s claim he called the legislative leaders on election night. From HIS OWN staff’s statement released a month or so ago, the difference from AFSCME’s original proposal, including cost-of-living pay raises, was about $525 million.

    His explanation of some of the additional amounts had nothing to do with the union negotiations, and some amounts had no explanation at all.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:41 am:

    - Maximus -, LOL…

    ===Rauner showed up and now he is telling us the money trees weren’t real?!===

    When did he do that?

    Rauner has yet to propose a budget that has cuts Rauner will own, or sign a budget that shows where his financial worth is placed.

    Rauner wants the GA to make cuts. Ask him, he said it the same day Rauner said “Short term pain for big long term gain”… but… “They (GA Dems) want me to choose cuts, I won’t do that, no”

    Seriously, are you paying attention? Not rhetorical.


  33. - Independent Retired Lawyer Journalist - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:41 am:

    A hearing before someone who owes their job to Rauner is the governor’s turf. Yesterday was the start of a practice round. The real fight will be in court when AFSCME sues after Impasse is declared.


  34. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:42 am:

    “I guess prior to Rauner showing up Illinois had all kinds of cash on hand to agree to any contract desired. Money grows on trees in Illinois, we just pick it and then hand it over to the state. Rauner showed up and now he is telling us the money trees weren’t real?!”

    I guess you’re referring to the hundreds of millions of dollars that go out each fiscal year to “Consulting” fees. I’ve seen enough of them to have a pretty good guess that the average hourly rate of these consultants is roughly $150 an hour. Funny how nobody ever mentions these…


  35. - Maximus - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:48 am:

    Perhaps I am wrong, Illinois should just agree to any contract AFSCME declares is fair. Whether the contract calls for an additional 1 billion or 3.3 billion then Illinois can just make a bond offering for the money to make up the difference. What’s another few billion of debt right?


  36. - Me too - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:55 am:

    Max, That 3.3 billion represents the entire payroll. The number is a complete fabrication. It amounts to 75k per employee. Last I checked, that kind of money wasn’t ever proposed by anyone. Ask his people for their math, but they won’t be showing it any time soon. Instead they’ll just use the number to scare folks who for some reason, still think the administration has a shred of credibility.

    At least that’s the only way I can come up with a number that large. I would really like to see the math. If they can’t show it, the union should counter with the statement that Rauner’s programs will add 75 billion dollars to the state debt. Hey, so long as he gets to pull numbers out of thin air, they should too.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:56 am:

    ===Illinois should just agree to any contract AFSCME declares is fair. Whether the contract calls for an additional 1 billion or 3.3 billion then Illinois can just make a bond offering for the money to make up the difference. What’s another few billion of debt right?===

    Ugh. Typical Raunerite pivot.

    “Then all is great, nothing needs fixing, let’s keep the status quo and just… ”

    Argue like you care, please.


  38. - Maximus - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 10:58 am:

    Alright, so who can give us real numbers? Agreement to the proposed contract by AFSCME and the proposed contract by the state. Both proposals must have already been run through plenty of number crunching, what is the true cost difference? Without that everything is subjective. If the two proposals are only a few 100k different then what is the hold up?


  39. - Me too - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 11:00 am:

    Max, that’s like saying democrats are proposing 36 billion dollars in new spending, simply because that’s the cost of the entire budget. How do you not get this. Oh, and just FYI, before Rauner came in our bill backlog was being paid down and pension payments were being made. I guess the State did have some extra cash. I know I don’t pay extra on my mortgage when I’m broke.


  40. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 11:04 am:

    @Me too

    Keep it up, you’re killing it! Trolls going troll.


  41. - Me too - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 11:07 am:

    525 million dollars over three years, but that isn’t new spending. It is a combination of small raises increasing the current cost, and massive cuts Rauner is proposing. FYI 38,000 people taking a massive hit on their salary is going to affect more than just them. The businesses they frequent will take a hit, and heck, if they are paycheck to paycheck, their neighbors will too when their bank forecloses on their home. The state is broke because Rauner is currently increasing our debt by millions of dollars per day, while at the same time causing irreparable harm to our higher education system. That doesn’t bode well for the future. One of the most alluring things for businesses thinking about relocating to Illinois is a highly educated workforce. If we send all of our kids out of state to school, they might not come back. Not to mention, if our unis fold, their communities do too. Much like Springfield will if draconian cuts are imposed. No one ever thinks about the fact that those dollars don’t just stay in someone’s bank account after they get their check. They are used to buy goods and services. Without those dollars in the economy, it stagnates or worse.


  42. - Captain Illini - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 11:13 am:

    …lemme guess…Maximus was Tone, and now Tone is Maximus…or brain death is a viral condition…regardless, the Gov’s math is specious at best and IRLJ is right that this circus is just the start of a great court fight to come…stay tuned.


  43. - AC - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 11:23 am:

    Asking AFSCME to agree to contract language concessions in exchange for financial concessions sounds like getting Democrats to agree to throwing their Union voters under the bus in exchange for agreeing to a tax increase that will cost them even more votes. Normally someone negotiating offers something palatable in exchange for something less palatable, but not Rauner, he redefines words, negotiations, everything! /s


  44. - steward - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 11:27 am:

    “Alright, so who can give us real numbers?”

    Rich posted a reply from Martha Merrill on the contract costing. Use the google.


  45. - Robert the 1st - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 12:06 pm:

    =That 3.3 billion represents the entire payroll. The number is a complete fabrication. It amounts to 75k per employee=

    It’s a 3 year contract. So that’s around 25k per employee/year if your math is right. That’s believable considering the step raises, overall raise, and status quo 37.5 hours and health plus the extra’s AFSCME is requesting.


  46. - steward - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    “It’s a 3 year contract. So that’s around 25k per employee/year if your math is right. That’s believable considering the step raises, overall raise, and status quo 37.5 hours and health plus the extra’s AFSCME is requesting.”

    Many employees will retire within 3 years.They will either not be replaced or will be replaced with cheaper employees. Those on tier 2 plus substeps. Also many workers are stepped out and will not receive step increases.

    Oh yeah and please list those “extras” Afscme has asked for.


  47. - Me too - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 12:20 pm:

    Not everyone gets step raises and they amount to 1-3k per year in most cases. Taking the average of 2, that means that step raises for every employee, even though many if not most are “stepped out” would account for 12k total, not 75k. Where is the other savings coming from, small percentage raises? Again, the payroll is approximately 3.3 billion dollars, so AFSCME would have to be asking for nearly 25% raises annually on top of step raises for all, even the half that don’t get them bc they’re stepped out. Look, you can’t make the math work, and saying that AFSCME is asking for all sorts of extras is disingenuous at best.


  48. - Me too - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 12:25 pm:

    If you like your healthcare you can keep it and not pay double = an extra

    Remember the outrage from some folks over the ACA. It’s going to make me buy a different plan and cost more. Those same folks demand that the things they feared are forced on the state workforce. For shame. At least be intellectually honest or consistent.


  49. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 12:34 pm:

    @ Robert the 1st

    An office clerk going from 1c to step 1 over the three year period gets a whopping 3k more a year by the start of that 4th year. Go ahead and double their employee contribution, that’s roughly 1800 more for the three year duration. And whatever extras you’re referencing.. So 5k over the three years, that’s a bit skewed from this erroneous 25k figure don’t you think?


  50. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 12:36 pm:

    “The hundreds of millions that go out every year in “Consulting” fees”

    Ahem.

    Would you be so kind as to share a list of those agreements with AA, OW, and word? Research purposes only. Thanks.

    To the Post- I agree with me too that the multiplier effect of changes to big-ticket items like State worker pay and benefits is significant to local economies, especially here in Springfield, but I don’t know how it can be fairly considered in the context of negotiating a bargaining agreement.


  51. - Ghost - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 12:50 pm:

    of course the the supreme court noted, the financial crisis was created by the gov allowing the tax rate to decrease. so making your own crisis is a bit of a strawman backdrop.


  52. - Robert the 1st - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 12:56 pm:

    The extras I was referring to were AFSCME asking for expanded and more expensive health insurance. I would assume the vast majority of the 3.3 comes from health savings. Although overtime, step and regular raises and other things would be part of that too.


  53. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 1:05 pm:

    AFSCME wasn’t asking for expanded or more expensive health insurance. Where are you getting that from? We just don’t want to pay double for what we have now which is actually Gold level. Remember 48 states have Platinum and 2 have Gold. Rauner would put us at Bronze level to keep the premiums the same. Bronze level is Medicaid. That’s what I give to my poor, elderly, and disabled customers here in East St. Louis. You get it now. I pay the same amount as now to get my customers health insurance, from Gold to Bronze same cost.


  54. - Gert Frobe - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 1:10 pm:

    @ Illinois Manufacturer

    I too would like to know if the Laner contract is subject to an appropriation. Does anyone know? Is the law firm agreeing to represent Rauner for no cash now and a promise that they’ll get paid when the State finds the money?


  55. - Anon - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 1:24 pm:

    === is why the administration wants to freeze wage and step increases for union members===

    As an aside, they already froze step raises in spite of the wording of Title 80 Section 310 stating that those step raises are in effect until a collective bargaining agreement removes them.


  56. - Robert the 1st - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 1:31 pm:

    Honeybear- maybe things have changed, but last I heard…

    Full health insurance benefits to laid off employees for up to 2 years;
    • Full health insurance benefits to intermittent employees;
    • Full health insurance benefits to part-time employees;
    • A new more expensive health insurance package that covers new procedures such as oral surgery (which is currently covered by the dental plan) and orthodontics for those over 18, without any additional employee contributions;


  57. - Me too - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 1:38 pm:

    Full health insurance is already given to part time employees. It is prorated based on the amount of time they work. COBRA is available to people who get laid off. It doesn’t cost the State a dime to let people buy their full freight after they’re laid off. Even so, even if those things were extra costs, you’d have to provide health care for four years for every state employee, while they pay nothing, to hit that 75k figure. It is ridiculous on its face.


  58. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 2:18 pm:

    “As an aside, they already froze step raises in spite of the wording of Title 80 Section 310 stating that those step raises are in effect until a collective bargaining agreement removes them.”

    Wasn’t aware of this. Could really use my misses and future step increases.


  59. - steward - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 2:54 pm:

    Robert, The difference was we weren’t done negotiating. The governor is. So he gets to try to make our last stance out to be our best/last. When it simply isn’t.

    He gets to arbitrarily say it’s over and then highlight where we were last at as our end all/be all.


  60. - Dandy Edward - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 2:56 pm:

    Anyone that thinks Illinois has low taxes is dreaming. Illinois is listed as one of the 10 worst states in the U.S. when it comes to taxing it residents. You have to look at all the taxes(income, sales, property etc.). In order to solve the states fiscal crisis we are going to need restructing of state government and reduce operating costs along with some revenue increases. As long as Mike Madigan and John Cullerton have no interest in working to cut labor costs. Nothing will get solved.


  61. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 3:00 pm:

    - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 12:36 pm:

    The list is available Arthur. You just have to know how to ask for it..


  62. - maximus - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 3:13 pm:

    According to the contract negotiations posted on this site capitolfax.com/2016/02/18/fun-with-numbers-44/
    The numbers the state added up are too high but then AFSCME didn’t post any of their own numbers but said the state costs are incorrect. Getting actual facts here is like trying to nail jello to a wall.
    My point of view is not well liked here since I think the latest offer from the state is reasonable. This means I will be called names and ridiculed and stereotyped and belittled. That’s fine, I understand people are upset and will resort to name calling in those situations.


  63. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 3:47 pm:

    Maximus must be Rauner


  64. - HangingOn - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 3:48 pm:

    ==Maximus must be Rauner==

    He can’t be. Not once did he use “Madigan and the Union he controls…”


  65. - Me too - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 3:49 pm:

    Don’t call him names. Oh wait, he probably looks at that as a compliment, so I’m sure he’s cool with it. It’s the only nice thing anyone has said about him since kindergarten.


  66. - HangingOn - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 3:51 pm:

    About the only way you could think Rauner’s offer was reasonable is if you fell for the whole “state employees are overpaid” schtick. With Rauner’s offer I will not be able to pay the $612 mortgage on my house with what I will earn. There is a chance I would bring home little enough money that my child and I will be back on the Link card and the medical card. And believe me, you will pay more for me then than you will under a fair contract.


  67. - Me too - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 4:05 pm:

    They never seem to get that the government pays the freight for low wages, which is why it doesn’t make any sense for the state to pay poverty wages. They pay one way or the other, and the other way (with section 8, link cards, and medicaid) leaves morale pretty darned low. Better to spend the same amount rather than have every employee have a foot out of the door. The gov’s mistake is believing that anyone can do the job, when in reality, just becoming proficient in operating the state’s IT systems or interfacing with them takes years sometimes, and the state has been trying for a long time to transition to more modern systems, but it has been extremely cost prohibitive. It would cost upwards of 3.3 billion dollars to license new software and transition the old data into the new software. That new software would have to be built as a one off, and then although modern and easier to navigate, you’d still have to train people to use it.

    I got the 3.3 billion dollar number from the same place the gov did.


  68. - Hoowo Boy - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 4:07 pm:

    Oswego Willy-

    Your posts are usually excellent, but when it comes to anything union related you are becoming tired and repetitive.

    “Not recognizing this by the Labor Movement is in [sic] them, and no one else.”

    Where in the world do you get the sense that “te Labor Movement” is being sanguine about Rauner? Virtually very union leader, staffer, local president, steward and member in this state has been focused on Rauner for the past two and a half years now. It’s literally all they talk about- from last year’s turnaround agenda townhalls to the primary elections, unions have been active this entire adminsitration.

    Yet every day you continue to wag a finger at “the Labor movement” and lecture them about not realizing how big of a threat Rauner poses. This simply doesn’t jibe with the reality on the ground.

    If you can’t see that, it’s on you.


  69. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 4:15 pm:

    ===Yet every day you continue to wag a finger at “the Labor movement” and lecture them about not realizing how big of a threat Rauner poses.===

    Welp, 2 in 5 in Labor in November of 2014 went with Rauner, voting against their better selves.

    New people come here, every day, to learn something. If I’m repetitive, you don’t need to read what I write. Maybe whom I’m writing to, is y you. Maybe it’s to remind those against Labor “Labor has proven, they know the score”

    Pats on the back are for when jobs are done, not in the middle of the fight.

    If you think I’m clueless as to what’s going on, or has gone on, or am not an what you’d consider an Ally, ok, I’ll leave it to you then.

    Lesson learned on me…

    Thanks.


  70. - Joe M - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 4:24 pm:

    ==I think the latest offer from the state is reasonable==

    Rauner’s proposals for health insurance are radical, not reasonable.
    https://capitolfax.com/2015/06/19/afscme-rauner-wants-two-radical-changes-to-group-insurance/


  71. - Gr8dane - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 4:32 pm:

    Robert the 1st–don’t forget eyeglass benefits for every year instead of every 2 years. Seriously? AFSCME just asks for items such as these so that they can “negotiate”. This way both sides give in on some things, so as to compromise (which is something that Rauner’s side doesn)’t seem to understand).


  72. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 4:50 pm:

    Maximus:

    First of all, stop being a victim.

    Second, I’m not sure how you define “reasonable” but I think most people would agree that it isn’t “reasonable” to double the cost of someone’s health insurance.


  73. - Omega Man - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 5:12 pm:

    I agree that Rauner’s doubling of health insurance premiums (or halving of the benefit, take your pick) will devastate those who cannot afford them, but even worse is the total destruction of job security. If you have no job wages and benefits will have little meaning for you.


  74. - Maximus - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 5:43 pm:

    Double the cost of the health insurance would be bad but what are state employees paying now for health insurance? According to http://www.illinois.gov/employeefaqs/Pages/default.aspx The website says Illinois workers are the highest paid in the country.


  75. - Mama - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 6:07 pm:

    Like a true venture capitalist, Rauner only cares about the money, not about negative impact his contract changes will have on the people.


  76. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 6:08 pm:

    **“A finding of impasse does not mean negotiations are over,” Bradley said. Instead, an impasse would provide the two sides a cooling-off period, he said.**

    Yeah right. An impasse is exactly what Rauner wants. There has been plenty of time to “cool off” since Rauner declared an impasse this January. If Rauner wanted to keep negotiatin’ he could have easily done that.


  77. - Omega Man - Tuesday, Apr 26, 16 @ 8:13 pm:

    This November the voters will hand Rainer a “cooling off” period of his own


  78. - Gert Frobe - Wednesday, Apr 27, 16 @ 12:25 am:

    That may be too late. I suspect he doesn’t care if any of the R’s lose in November because he doesn’t care about winning a second term.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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