Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - Rauner admin responds *** AFSCME local to hold “special strike assessment” meeting
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*** UPDATED x1 - Rauner admin responds *** AFSCME local to hold “special strike assessment” meeting

Monday, Jun 27, 2016

* This flier was recently posted on the union bulletin board at the state prison in Decatur…

* I asked AFSCME Council 31 spokesman Anders Lindall for an explanation…


As you know, the Rauner administration walked away from negotiations on Jan. 8 and has refused to meet with the AFSCME bargaining committee ever since. Instead, the governor is asking his Labor Board to give him the unprecedented power to unilaterally impose his harmful terms—including massive hikes in employee costs for health care, freezing wages for four years, and wiping out existing safeguards against reckless privatization.

If Rauner imposes, public service workers in state government will be forced to choose between working under those harmful terms or going out on strike.

AFSCME members don’t want a strike and continue doing everything in our power to avoid one. We want to be at work, serving our communities, protecting kids, responding to emergencies, caring for veterans and the disabled and much more. We have repeatedly indicated our willingness to return to the bargaining table and our readiness to offer further compromises in hopes of reaching a fair agreement. We supported legislation to prevent a strike and instead settle the differences between the parties through a fair arbitration process.

But we know that as a candidate, Bruce Rauner vowed to force a strike and shut down state government. We know that last summer his administration was attempting to recruit strikebreakers, even reportedly discussing the mobilization of the National Guard. And we know that the administration still refuses to meet with our bargaining committee.

Governor Rauner’s threatening approach has created instability and uncertainty throughout state government. We have to be prepared for him to continue seeking confrontation and sowing chaos. That’s why AFSCME local unions throughout Illinois are meeting to share information and answer questions, and continuing to organize and build community support.


I’ll let you know what the Rauner administration says about it, if they choose to respond.

*** UPDATE ***  From an administration spokesperson…

We are deeply disappointed that, in the middle of impasse proceedings before the Labor Board, AFSCME is reportedly planning for a strike vote. To even talk of striking, much less taking a vote, before the Labor Board has had a chance to rule in this case is not only irresponsible but also a violation of the parties’ Tolling Agreement. Rest assured, although the Governor hopes employees reject AFSCME’s irresponsible call to strike, our contingency planning team is ready and will not let AFSCME’s actions disrupt the provision of services to Illinois citizens.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:20 pm:


  2. - Huh? - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:22 pm:

    Corrupt union for planning a strike for their rights. Don’t they know they don’t have any right to bargain for wages, working conditions, pension or health benefits? /s

  3. - Tom - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:23 pm:

    If this unfortuate situation happens, tons of Dem “volunteers” will be available. Awesome.

  4. - Honeybear - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:25 pm:

    Yep, we’re doing our assessments right now as well. We’ve got to be ready for the mad dash once the “impasse” ruling comes out. We’re answering questions, going over exactly what “at will” employee means (AFSCME members who cross the picket line in our lawful strike, will be “at will” employees. Management can at that point order them anywhere in the state to do any job. There is no contract to protect them. They can also be fired.) Most people do not understand that. Our folks also have to understand the privatization protections that Rauner is taking away as well as loss of bumping rights.

    So far everyone is “all in” to strike and get this horror over with. Not sure about the rest of the state but that’s why we’re assessing before we even call a vote.

  5. - AC - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:25 pm:

    Unions are their members, and collectively they need to determine what direction to take once the labor board reaches a decision. Everyone in AFSCME needs to understand what their options are, and what consequences those options could have. Currently the administration is attempting to cloud the issue of what would constitute a lawful strike, so information, education and communication is clearly needed. None of this is new, these efforts have been ongoing since the administration refused to continue bargaining and sought a declaration of impasse in January.

  6. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:26 pm:

    Sounds promising /s

  7. - Samuel Gompers - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:29 pm:

    Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

  8. - Rabid - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:29 pm:

    Planning a strike at the bowling alley?

  9. - illini97 - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:32 pm:

    As Samuel Gompers says above “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”

    I’d expect all locals to be discussing lay of the land and next steps/preparation with their members.

    Strike may be a “bad” word, but I’d say it’s less offensive than being unprepared.

  10. - Anon - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:35 pm:

    BVR response: “State employees work hard but they’ve been let down by union bosses and corrupt Democrat leaders. I sincerely hope they don’t strike and they’re welcome to come to work. But if they go on strike they’re fired!”

  11. - Allen D - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:39 pm:

    — Rabid - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:29 pm:
    Planning a strike at the bowling alley?—

    it is the master of the PUN

  12. - steward - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:45 pm:

    ” this case is not only irresponsible but also a violation of the parties’ Tolling Agreement.”

    Umm… actually according to the tolling agreement the governor is supposed to keep bargaining with us until impasse is declared. He has refused but will hide behind the agreement for this?

    We have a right to educate our members on the rights, logistics, and mechanics of strikes. We can’t yet “call” for one but we can educate our members on what the governor proposes and ask them to think about what they are willing to do.

    Governor could stop this at any time by returning to the table. Governors choose so governors own.

  13. - Moby - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:49 pm:

    So, the Administration can prepare for a strike, but the Union can’t? That’s rich.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:54 pm:

    ===…our contingency planning team is ready and will not let AFSCME’s actions disrupt the provision of services to Illinois citizens.===

    “Attention. Attention National Guard…”

    The military running state agencies. That’s Rauner. That’s winning.

  15. - Wilder - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 2:57 pm:

    Reading is hard for Rauner and Co. Nothing there says they are voting on a strike. But please, be pre-emptive and make yourself look like an even larger fool.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:02 pm:


  17. - Democrat Grrrl - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:05 pm:

    A union must keep its members informed about all the ramifications of a job action or a lockout, and about members’ legal rights and responsibilities in the event the situation goes south (where Rauner wants it). That way members can make informed decisions because they clearly understand their situation. This is a frightening time for these state workers. They know that Priority #1 for Rauner and his superstars is to break AFSCME. The union is doing its job.

  18. - illini97 - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:05 pm:

    So the Governor gets to pontificate and say he’s prepared to let the National Guard man the desk at the DMV, but the union can’t educate its’ own members?


  19. - steward - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:10 pm:

    Does the governor realize that a whole lot of guardsmen are CO’s at IDOC? If he activates them to man some reception desk at at field office, he will have to pay the remaining CO’s a boat load of OT to fill all the shifts at the prisons. Same with state troopers. Plenty of them in the guard as well.

    “Sorry warden but you’ll have to mandate all your CO’s to pull double shifts for the duration because I called half your staff to active duty.” /s

  20. - Highspeed - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:15 pm:

    Hey governor,News flash; you’re not really saving any money using National Guard. They are state paid employees as well!

  21. - AC - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:15 pm:

    The administration response is deliberately obtuse.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:17 pm:

    I guess we Illinoisans better get use to military uniforms and salutes in state agencies(?)

    According to “ck”, the National Guard occupying Rauner’s Agencies is an option.

    So Rauner would rather his agencies occupied by military personnel then work with Unions.

    Very telling…

  23. - unionman 2 - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:19 pm:

    I hope all those National Guard staff have the appropriate college degree necessary for many of the positions he needs to feel along with all training and job knowledge. Rauner has refused to honor Tolling Agreement from day 1, so to invoke the agreement now is laughable.

  24. - Belle - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:25 pm:

    Ad Administration creates drama (where there isn’t any) and tries to make the Union look bad. Similar ploy as the Madigan-drama.

  25. - Honeybear - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:25 pm:

    Aye, Aye, Chief Willy!

  26. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:30 pm:

    The meetings will be held at Pla Mor.

    The result of those meetings could be Wrk Les.

  27. - Dee Lay - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:32 pm:

    Nice OODA there staff.

  28. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:33 pm:

    HB,I’m curious about your comments on the status of members who cross the picket line. As you describe it, it seems like you don’t believe those employees have civil service protection. Is that correct?

  29. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:33 pm:

    - Honeybear -

    Unless we’re in the presence of other “personnel”, we will keep communications informal…

  30. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:41 pm:

    Just so I have this right:
    The Governor’s ” contingency planning team ” has been discussing the possibility of a strike and preparing for it.
    But if AFSCME members do the same it’s a violation of the Tolling Agreement.
    Wow! This grass bowl is a real piece of work!

  31. - Collectivist - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:42 pm:

    I would expect the gov to do all the work needed himself the National Guard is a very collectivist outfit

  32. - Norseman - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:42 pm:

    === The administration response is deliberately obtuse. ===

    As opposed to their normally obtuse responses.

  33. - Politix - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:45 pm:

    “We are extremely excited that, in the middle of impasse proceedings…”

    Fixed it for you, guv.

  34. - Lost in the weeds - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:47 pm:

    …will not let ASCFME actions disrupt provision of services….

  35. - Collectivist - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:55 pm:

    Wont he need an appropriation to pay the scabs

  36. - CuriousCat - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 3:57 pm:

    How will this possibly “play out” considering the States new Code of Personal Conduct, scheduled to take effect on July 1st, where it states…. “Unlawful Job Action: A State Employee may not participate in or promote an unprotected strike, work
    stoppage, slow down, sick‐out, or other job action in violation of the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act,
    Illinois Education Labor Relations Act, or a no‐strike agreement between the State or a State Agency and
    an exclusive representative.” ?

  37. - AC - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:08 pm:

    CuriousCat - the administration is attempting to cloud the issue, while a mutually agreed upon contract is in place a strike would be unlawful. The Illinois Public Labor Relations Act which they reference also provides the conditions for a lawful strike.

  38. - walker - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:09 pm:

    Rauner spokesperson brags about Gov’s contingency planning, while criticizing union for doing the same?

    They both should be doing this.

  39. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:27 pm:

    The PATCO (Federal Air Traffic Controller) strike (that President Reagan ended with a mass firing) does not apply to most public workers in Illinois.

    PATCO workers knew that they were barred from striking by Federal Law and they struck anyway. Reagan was acting within his authority when he fired them because they had been deemed “essential” prior to that strike.

    Almost all public union workers in Illinois are allowed to strike and employers are legally barred from firing them for striking.

    This brings up an important question for public workers in Illinois - just who is “essential” and who is “nonessential”? That’s a good question:

    1) Public Union Workers who are “essential” are Policemen, Firemen and Prison guards. Basically it’s anyone whose absence would present a “clear and present danger” to the public.

    2) All other Public Union Workers are “nonessential”.

  40. - 13TH - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:33 pm:

    State departments can have plans for no budget, but the union is not allowed to plan “in case” is always the gov way or no way

  41. - Gus Avacados - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 4:55 pm:

    Nothing like racketeering with everything and everybody…. If you tell your self something that not true long enough, then it becomes true. Ask Rod! Where Patrick?

  42. - Joe M - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 5:02 pm:

    ==1) Public Union Workers who are “essential” are Policemen, Firemen and Prison guards. Basically it’s anyone whose absence would present a “clear and present danger” to the public.==

    But it takes a whole lot of other people in addition to guards to run a prison. It is my understanding that those other DOC employees besides guards can strike.

  43. - State Employee - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 5:15 pm:

    DHS employees at the developmentally disability facilities and mental health facilities, I would think are essential. I also believe a portion of the DCFS employees would be essential (i.e hotline, intact family and the employees who remove kids). Maybe IEMA too??

  44. - State Worker THX 1138 - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 6:07 pm:

    I’m not disagreeing with HB, but I would like to point out the IL Employee FAQs site seems to indicate state workers who cross the line would not lose protection and not be at will (not that I’m considering it). So what is fact and what is fiction?

    Q: If there is a strike and I cross the picket line, do my protections and rights change? For example, do I have less job security or get paid less? Do I become an “at-will” employee?

    A. You still have the same protections that you would otherwise have. Crossing a picket line does not turn a union position into an at-will position. Even if a union employee decides to continue to work during a strike, both the position and the employee remain represented by the union. If an employee so chooses, they can elect to no longer be a member of the union, but that choice belongs to the employee and, in any event, does not convert the position to at-will.

  45. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 6:18 pm:

    Every state agency has a list of positions that are considered essential. It gets updated every so often when there’s a possibility of a strike. It’s nothing new.

    Once again, I want to know, what union member injured young Bruce Rauner so severely that he holds this permanent, vehement hatred for all unions? Maybe he flunked his first driving test?

  46. - Michael Westen - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 7:13 pm:

    “will not let ASCFME actions disrupt provision of services…” The Governor reserves the right to do that all by himself.

  47. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 8:45 pm:

    The last State agency where I worked was not “under the Governor,” but we had to compile the “essential list” anyway for some reason, maybe Statewide disaster recovery. We reported that 100% of our employees were essential. Some kid from GOMB called to inquire about the report and was advised that we would not hire non-essential personnel in the first place. Never heard another word about it.

  48. - Claude Peppercorn - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 9:04 pm:

    The union can plan and prepare but the fact is, if a strike is called, most members can perhaps weather a few days or a couple weeks on the picket lines. Let’s face it, very few people have the financial discipline and savings to go without pay - lost pay that will never come back, not to mention having to pay for COBRA insurance, means the average union member will lose $5000 if the strike lasts one month. Anyone who thinks the Administration will cave in after a few days is kidding themselves. The budget issue has been going on for over a year. Best case is that impasse is not declared and the union can give its “best and final offer” that supposedly is still up its sleeve. Nobody really knows what that is.

  49. - Norseman - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 9:14 pm:

    === We reported that 100% of our employees were essential. ===

    Well done.

  50. - blue dog dem - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 10:15 pm:

    100%?. I hate to be so judgememtal, but that sounds like a Trump commemt.

  51. - Honeybear - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 10:26 pm:

    I’ve said it a hundred times, the state workforce is going to collapse either way.

  52. - Honeybear - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 11:05 pm:

    Here is your proof that those who cross the picket line after the contract has been terminated and a lawful strike has begun.

  53. - Honeybear - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 11:07 pm:

    The Rauner Administration is Perfidious. They Lie. Everything they have done is to destroy labor and outsource our jobs. FIGHT THEM SISTERS AND BROTHERS!

  54. - Headed to the exit - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 11:21 pm:

    How obvious are his goals- CPS bankruptcy and Stare bankruptcy. Unprecedented! But the ultimate prize.

  55. - Anon - Monday, Jun 27, 16 @ 11:54 pm:

    He has no incentive to make a deal on a new contract because of the wage freeze in the tolling agreement. He can get four years of wage stagnation just by stalling.

  56. - Flynn's mom - Tuesday, Jun 28, 16 @ 7:00 am:

    Hasn’t “the provision of services” been disrupted for a year already?

  57. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 28, 16 @ 10:03 am:

    The only essential State AFSCME workers are the prison guards. They cannot strike and automatically get arbitration. All other workers are nonessential and can strike. This includes everyone who works at the mental health facilities.

  58. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Jun 29, 16 @ 10:15 am:

    It may go without saying, but the post using my handle at 8 pm was not me.

    Get your own name, people.

  59. - noone special - Wednesday, Jul 6, 16 @ 10:55 am:

    Hello people of Illinois but if you really want the military to come and get paid to sit at the state and do nothing, but oh wait you did vote the governor in. He hasn’t been doing his job and you have done nothing about it.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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