* The Illinois Policy Institute concern trolls AFSCME on behalf of the union’s members…
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees – the state’s largest government-worker union – claims to have the best interests of state workers in mind.
But the union has repeatedly rejected provisions that would benefit state workers, such as time off to mourn the loss of a loved one and the ability to earn additional pay based on hard work and performance.
AFSCME and Gov. Bruce Rauner have been deadlocked for months in negotiations over a new contract for state workers. On Nov. 15, the Illinois Labor Relations Board will meet and consider whether the two sides have reached impasse – and if so, Rauner will be able to implement his last and best offer. AFSCME, in turn, could strike.
Why the deadlock? What is AFSCME fighting so hard to obtain? Salary increases of up to 29 percent, for one. Platinum-level health care benefits at little cost to state workers – a level of coverage that is not even available to regular Illinoisans on the state’s insurance exchange, let alone at a rock-bottom price. And a 37.5-hour workweek before overtime kicks in – to name just a few.
Undoubtedly, these are lavish perks that any state employee working under the AFSCME contract would welcome. But of course, these concessions would also further tank the state’s failing economy. It is estimated that AFSCME’s demands would cost taxpayers $3 billion in additional salary and benefit increases. That is a price tag Illinoisans simply cannot afford – a fact AFSCME has completely disregarded.
But the union also has turned its back on more reasonable benefits, to the detriment of the state workers the union claims to represent.
* From Council 31’s Anders Lindall…
Big surprise: The latest phony attack from the Rauner-funded IPI is so full of falsehoods that I can’t tell where to begin.
Here’s the reality: Bruce Rauner walked away from negotiations nearly 10 months ago and has refused to even meet with our bargaining committee ever since. We want to negotiate and reach a compromise that’s fair to all, but we can only do that if the Rauner Administration returns to the bargaining table.