* Gov. Rauner’s administration responded to calls by 7 Republican legislators to re-start contract talks with AFSCME…
After 67 days of bargaining sessions, the Administration asked the Illinois Labor Relations Board – according to the terms agreed to by AFSCME in the tolling agreement - to determine if the parties are at an impasse. Until the Labor Board rules, all formal negotiations have been suspended. AFSCME has repeatedly rejected all of the Administration’s core proposals that the Illinois Federation of Teachers and 17 other unions have agreed to despite our good-faith efforts to address the union’s concerns. Nothing about the Labor Board proceedings prevents AFSCME from proposing a framework similar to those offered by these 18 other unions. AFSCME’s unwillingness to move off their last, best and final offer of more than $3 billion in financial demands is what is causing the impasse.
*** UPDATE *** From AFSCME Council 31…
Since Governor Rauner has now reiterated his refusal to negotiate, and the legislators wrote that “the stalemate will continue to hurt all interested parties”, then the lawmakers in question should join the Illinois labor movement and the strong majorities of their constituents in supporting a renewed motion to override the governor’s veto of HB 580, the fair arbitration bill, before the General Assembly adjourns. This well-established and impartial procedure appears to be the only way to ensure that the governor can no longer hold hostage the people of Illinois, the public services they rely on, and the men and women who provide those services every day.
Like so much else emanating from the Governor’s office these days, its latest statement is rife with falsehoods:
· AFSCME has never made a “last, best and final” offer. In fact, we stated clearly at the bargaining table when the Rauner Administration broke off negotiations back in January that our current proposal is NOT our last, best and final offer—and we repeated in subsequent conversations and correspondence that we were prepared to continue to negotiate.
· Contrary to the administration’s wildly exaggerated claims, AFSCME’s current proposal does not equal anything close to $3 billion dollars in “financial demands”. And as stated, if the governor would join us at the table, AFSCME is prepared to continue to negotiate.
· It is not true that 17 other unions have agreed to the “core proposals” in the Administration’s offer to AFSCME. Members of those unions will have the opportunity to receive pay raises or improved health care benefits, while the governor is seeking to force AFSCME members to accept both a pay freeze and doubled health care costs.