Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - AFSCME says “no one” will be fined for crossing picket line *** Terranova advises workers how to dump their full union membership
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*** UPDATED x1 - AFSCME says “no one” will be fined for crossing picket line *** Terranova advises workers how to dump their full union membership

Friday, Aug 5, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* There are those who speculate that the governor’s office is using an alleged September 1 strike date and the potential for union fines if they cross the picket line in an attempt to scare state employees into dropping their full union memberships and switching to “fair share.” This e-mail from the governor’s labor negotiator John Terranova will only increase that speculation…


My office has recently learned that AFSCME representatives are advising employees about the consequences of crossing the picket line in the event of a strike, which could be as early as September 1. Specifically, we heard that the Union is threatening to fine employees as much as $5,000.

We respect every employee’s decision to join a union. We also respect the relationship that employees have with their union representatives. That’s why employees should reach out to their union representatives with any questions related to the threat of fines for crossing the picket line. Employees can ask their union representatives to see any provisions on this topic in the union bylaws.

As the employer, however, we also care about state employees and their rights. I, for one, found it troublesome that, given a chance to firmly deny that it could or would fine employees for exercising their right not to strike, AFSCME Council 31’s spokesman failed to do so.

In light of the Union’s failure to flatly deny that it could or would fine employees, I feel it is my obligation to ensure employees know their rights.

You have the right to report coercion or intimidation by union officials; the right to change your union dues status in order to protect your hard-earned salary and prevent the Union from imposing fines if you want to work during a strike; the right to request a copy of the Union’s bylaws; and more. If you visit the Team Illinois website,, you’ll find answers to questions you’ve raised and some basic information about these employment rights.

For example, you’ll find information posted in response to the number one question we’ve been receiving since the Union first began threatening employees with fines if they cross the picket line: how do I change my union dues status to avoid getting fined? The process is simple. You just submit your dues revocation form to the agency that employs you, and they will modify your payroll deductions accordingly. If you visit, you’ll find a link to the online form where you can change your status. Separately, you will need to notify your union in writing of your intent to change your status, and you will find a sample letter on

Please know that the decision is yours - and yours alone. The State cannot and will not advise you one way or the other and will respect your decision either way.

Rest assured, regardless of your status–fair share or full union members–we will treat you the same way. Your wages, hours, or any other terms and conditions of employment will not change if you become fair share (in the same way that they do not change if you switch from fair share to a full dues paying member). Regardless of your status, you will retain all benefits of your union’s relationship with the State as it relates to the terms and conditions of your employment.

As always, please continue to visit the Labor Relations tab on for important updates.



I’m pretty sure this post will be updated with AFSCME’s response.

*** UPDATE ***  From AFSCME’s Anders Lindall…


While the governor himself is missing in action—unseen and unheard for nearly an entire week—here in Illinois, public service workers in state government are on the job, protecting kids, caring for veterans and people with disabilities, ensuring public safety and performing all the other vital functions for which they’re responsible every day.

Meanwhile the missing governor’s appointees are piling up one lie after another in a desperate bid to create an alternate reality in which down is up, night is day and Bruce Rauner is a friend to state employees.

No matter how many times they repeat the lies, and no matter who says them—John Terranova, Governor Rauner or anyone else—false statements don’t magically become true. The truth is, no one has been fined by AFSCME and no one will be. No one has been threatened. No strike date has been set nor any strike authorization vote taken. And the cynical, obvious ploy of the Rauner Administration to strip union members of their rights and to silence their voices by weakening their representation is doomed to fail.

AFSCME members are going to keep serving our communities, speaking up through our union and standing up for the fair treatment that all working people deserve.

The Rauner Administration should drop its transparent anti-union campaign and focus on the real priorities of state government and the people of Illinois.

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  1. - DHSJim - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:05 pm:

    Divide and conquer. That’s what this is.

  2. - Huh? - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:06 pm:

    The email went straight to the junk folder.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:07 pm:

    Question - steve schnorf - at your own peril….


    Think McCann. Capiche?


  4. - Politix - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:07 pm:

    Good ol’ JT - he’s really lookin’ out for us!

    It’s just insulting now.

  5. - Newsclown - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:09 pm:

    Rauner’s heavy anti-employee rhetoric actually drove a large number of “Fair Share” members to “upgrade” to full dues-paying membership, seeking the union’s protection. Now,this misinformation and “concern-trolling” campaign will attempt to reverse it, but it seems too transparent of a lie for most people to accept.

  6. - Anon 1234 - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:09 pm:

    I feel like I’m getting harassed at work over this - by JT. Who can I report that to?

    Unfortunately, the union response can not be blast emailed like the gov’s office does.

  7. - Huh? - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:11 pm:

    Given the current political climate, why anybody would switch from full union membership to fair share is beyond me.

    Secondly, the cost difference between fair share and full dues is just a couple of dollars.

    Honeybear - load grape to rake the decks.

  8. - Anon - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:12 pm:

    Yes. Maybe they count each downgrade to fair share as a win. Maybe they haven’t considered that anyone can just go right back to full share after the storm passes.

  9. - dunno - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:13 pm:

    I will rest assured knowing that regardless of my status –fair share or full union member– JT and the governor will increase my health care costs 100% and eliminate my job security. Glad he cleared that up.

  10. - HangingOn - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:13 pm:

    Funny, Earth Explosion here is the only person I can recall threatening me with this.

  11. - Indochine - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    First of all, this is contemptible behavior.

    Second, “Yours, JT”?!? I forget how cuddly Terranova is. Just one of the guys ….

  12. - Anon - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    Wow! If you click on the first link in his email it takes you to an online form with your name on it where you can drop out of the union in a few seconds. They’re not playing.

  13. - Norseman - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:15 pm:

    Union members, you’re being OODA Looped.

    Vote accordingly!

  14. - Momof2 - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:15 pm:

    I really don’t know how this man sleeps at night trying to deceive so many people. The sad thing is that there will be some employees who will believe him.

  15. - steward - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    Seems to violate the neutrality clause in the contract…

    Also possibly an ethics act violation. Or am I now allowed to solicit member cards using state email on state time?

  16. - Steve Polite - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    “You have the right to report coercion or intimidation…”

    His email contains the threat of a false fine and strike date. I believe I am being intimidated and coerced by this email as is every other union member who received it.

  17. - Thoughts Matter - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:18 pm:

    I think this letter should be sent to the Fair Labor board, and to a union attorney. This seems to violate ….somethings, a lot of somethings.

  18. - wondering - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:18 pm:

    I am not so sure we won’t see an unfair labor practice complaint filed on this and sustained

  19. - GA Watcher - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:18 pm:

    How many State employees actually follow Mr. Terranova’s advice will be sort of a good referendum on fair share, I would think. You have to wonder how that will affect the Governor’s negotiating strategy if union members choose not to revoke their dues.

  20. - DrMark - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:21 pm:

    Report this to the OEIG hotline. This is misuse of state property and services - based on rumor and innuendo. This is a violation of the Ethics act using state property for political purposes during work hours. Do it!

  21. - Silent Budgeteer - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:22 pm:

    Am I the only one that finds it interesting that the labor negotiator for Rauner is urging union members to become fair share members, something that Rauner believes is inappropriate? Didn’t the Governor try to eliminate “fair share” not too long ago? Or is this the Governor now saying fair share is okay?

  22. - Harvest76 - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:24 pm:

    As I said the other day when JT claimed these threats were happening at SERS, these are lies. There were no threats, no meetings of union members , none of it happened. They are now Doubling down on a threat they invented.

  23. - phocion - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:25 pm:

    I would bet this letter went through plenty of legal reviews before it went out. Looks pretty reasonable and measured, actually. So, calm down AFSCME folks. Unless you’re afraid that members might actually be interested in the information that JT is sharing.

  24. - sal-says - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:32 pm:

    How is this not political campaigning on taxpayer dollars by an administration employee? Thought that was clearly illegal. Our is it not in the Frat Boy NotSoSuperStarts minds?

  25. - Ghost - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:33 pm:

    Silent the govenor wants to cut of money to the union. 1 way was to fet rid of fair share. BUT another way is to get people to reduce from bein members to fair share. members pay a higher amount then fair share. ao going to fair share helps reduce the unions income. also thenunion cant use fair share money for political actions. so it cuts out the funds that can be used to try and stop rauner.

    so same goal

  26. - Man with a plan - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:33 pm:

    All a fair share member gets out of paying is political activity, so Rauner is trying to weaken unions’ ability to participate in the political process. Don’t be surprised when it backfires on you, Bruce.

  27. - Lifer - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:34 pm:

    If it didn’t work (at least a little) they wouldn’t do it. Some people actually think the IRS is calling to let them know about overdue taxes. Some people think Microsoft is calling because they detected a virus on their machine. Scams work. Some people click the link when an email from FedEx says their package is delayed. And, apparently, some people think a Nigerian Prince wants to give them a ton of cash. This one probably will manipulate a few, too.

  28. - Anon - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:39 pm:

    JT would be in court if it were a little easier to sue someone and win for intentional infliction of emotional distress!

  29. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:46 pm:

    My guess is this misinformation is provided under the guise of ‘Workers Rights and Protections’ which CMS has the legal and ethical right to do.

  30. - zatoichi - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:52 pm:

    ‘The State cannot and will not advise you’, but you should read paragraghs 5 and 6 again, carefully.

  31. - HRC2016 - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    Anon 1234

    How about reporting it to the state’s ethics commission, state’s atty or the atty general?

  32. - ILPundit - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:55 pm:

    Can credibly report that rank and file workers don’t see Terranova or CMS Labor Relations under Rauner as honest brokers.

  33. - AC - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:56 pm:

    Again with September 1st, “Wake Me Up When September Ends”.

  34. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:57 pm:

    “Union members, you’re being OODA Looped.”

    Once, a long time ago, I worked in telemarketing. The boss said, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull - - - -.” I think that applies to Raunernova to a very good degree.

  35. - anon - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:59 pm:

    IL Pundit, “honest breaker” is more like it.

  36. - Molly Maguire - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:03 pm:

    This is straight out of the Illinois Policy Institute/Right to Work playbook. They have been trolling SEIU offices and members for years to sign them out of the union. The Gov’s dual strategy for Afscme is to move members to Fair Share, then push the Supreme Court to eliminate Fair Share for public sector (which was rejected in the 5-5 vote recently)

  37. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:04 pm:

    Hi Rich,

    We take exception to your title of this particular post. I’ll direct you to paragraph seven where John clearly states “The State cannot and will not advise you one way or the other…”


  38. - Pelonski - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:06 pm:

    I can’t imagine many union employees are influenced by Terranova, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some follow through with converting to fair share, anyway.

    There are union employees who aren’t happy with the way Roberta Lynch has managed these negotiations and don’t feel she and her staff represent their best interests. Converting to fair share is a way for them to express their displeasure.

  39. - GOP Extremist - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:07 pm:

    Neither fair share nor full members pay for political activities. PEOPLE Members elect to pay higher dues than full members by a few dollars. The additional People fund is all that can be legally used for political activities.

  40. - Chungas revenge - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:17 pm:

    The things I find amazing about this whole September 1st strike talk is that I have not been able to locate anything about it in any other media. If this were indeed true or if rumors that would be taken seriously about it circulated. Would not one of the major media Outlets pick it up and ask something about this story

  41. - Link - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:21 pm:

    why isn’t the state page hyperlinked?

  42. - Demoralized - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:29 pm:

    I have no idea why the state continues to do these sorts of things. It is not helpful and it only makes people angry and confused. I also think it’s pretty underhanded.

    Do ya’ll remember the fair share fiasco right after the Governor took office where he tried to stop paying the union fair share dues? Well, he hasn’t dropped that. He’s convinced he’ll win the fair share argument, so the more people he pushes to fair share, the more he destroys the union if he is able to stop withholding fair share dues.

    To me this sort of nonsense proves that the state has no interest in any sort of meaningful negotiation with the union.

  43. - burbanite - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:29 pm:

    I don’t know about the act, but this just seems like it would be an unfair labor practice.

  44. - tick tock - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:29 pm:

    September 1st is 2 years, 4 months, and 13 days from inauguration day (January 14, 2019). Running out of time to turn things around and make Illinois great again Bruce…

  45. - Anon - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:34 pm:

    So is someone going to file a ULP claim? I think there’s a good faith basis for one and don’t see any adjudicator finding it frivolous.

  46. - Beyond Fed-up - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:38 pm:

    “You have the right to report coercion or intimidation by union officials”

    Mr. Terranova:

    Please update your letter to provide a link to report coercion or intimidation by the Administration. That would be far more helpful.

  47. - FollowMyLead - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:39 pm:

    All (emails from Mr. Terranova) go directly in the Junk folder where they belong.

  48. - steward - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:45 pm:

    All of my coworkers were laughing at this email.

    And most workers who want to revoke did it long ago.

  49. - Demoralized - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:45 pm:

    ==The State cannot and will not advise you one way or the other ==

    Um, isn’t that what they just did? Advised employees to switch to fair share to avoid fines.

  50. - X-prof - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:48 pm:

    Can even smell em through my laptop. What unabashed skunks!

  51. - Nick Name - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:49 pm:

    I’m out of state and am just now seeing this. Unbelievable.

  52. - A Jack - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:53 pm:

    Know your rights, all three of them.

    You have the right not to be intimidated, unless it’s by the Governor and his staff.

    You have the right to organize as long as you are willing to give up any bargaining rights.

    You have the right to free speech as long as you are not actually dumb enough to try and use it to criticize the Governer.

    These are your rights, all three of them.

  53. - Mama - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 1:57 pm:

    I have a feeling Rauner’s administration will continue harassing union members until Rauner gets what he wants or he is voted out of office.

    Union members need to vote in the upcoming Nov. election for the legislators not tied to Rauner’s money.

  54. - Simply Disgusted - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 2:15 pm:

    I received this email at work today. I cannot believe a state agency is sending out such obviously partisan messages, and ones that attempt to persuade workers to dump their full membership at that. Lame

  55. - Anon - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 2:20 pm:

    Someone bravely complained about this to Anderson and Smiddy. Letter is here:

  56. - Triple fat - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 2:21 pm:

    I love the smell of desperation in the morning. Mr T kinda jumped the gun didn’t he? Aren’t they supposed to peddle this type of baloney after 4 pm on Fridays? Amateurs!!!

  57. - Delimma - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 2:37 pm:

    It sure would be interesting to know whether this letter had drafts before the allegations that were made the other day. This smells like a contrived controversy designed to allow the administration to send this letter so they could scare people.

  58. - Trolling Troll - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 2:48 pm:

    Great leader wants to ensure that all workers who denounce opposition party will be shot last. Please fill out form to pledge loyalty to great leader. (In my best Russian accent)

  59. - Huh? - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 3:46 pm:

    The email went out to everyone, not just AFSCME members. I’m a Teamster and got the email. I would have thought that CMS could have gone into the payroll database and selected by union membership and sent the email to only full dues paying AFSCME members.

    Such non-selective email blasts undercut the message.

  60. - Anon - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 4:08 pm:

    I called my Rep and Senator (both Ds) to complain about this. Everyone should.

  61. - RNUG - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 4:11 pm:

    == Such non-selective email blasts undercut the message. ==

    Or may be deliberate to undercut the counterclaim that they are targeting AFSCME

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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