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Rauner admin calls AFSCME offer “superficial”

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2017

* As we discussed yesterday, AFSCME has offered to “jumpstart” its stalled contract talks by agreeing to a four-year base wage freeze and increased health insurance costs. Here is the Rauner administration reply…

Hi, Rich –

Wanted to make sure you had this on AFSCME letter…

The bi-partisan Labor Relations Board ruled unanimously that AFSCME and the state are at impasse. AFSCME’s latest framework does not bridge the more than $3 billion gap between the parties. Instead of this superficial letter, we invite AFSCME to drop its litigation blocking the administration’s last, best, and final offer and work with us on implementing common sense proposals like earning overtime for working over 40 hours in a week, using volunteers, and creating workplace safety programs.


I still don’t get where they come up with that $3 billion gap between the two sides.

But, anyway, if you were hoping for some movement, you are out of luck unless the union goes a lot further.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 8:50 am:

    ===I still don’t get where they come up with that $3 billion gap between the two sides.===

    Wouldn’t this be subject to FOIA along with the details behind their $2 million dollar a day assertion?

  2. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 8:50 am:

    Rauner to the union: quit struggling and hand me the rope I’m going to hang you with.

  3. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 8:53 am:

    === hand me the rope I’m going to hang you with.===

    LOL — no, tell your members to vote to approve the rope I am goin’ to use to hang ‘em with. It’s a fair rope. A decent rope.

  4. - Hyperbolic Chamber - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 8:57 am:

    Typical Rauner. Don’t acknowledge anything positive (a 4-year wage freeze sounds awful similar to one of his bargaining positions) because it undermines the ultimate goal (in this case, destroying AFSCME).

  5. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 8:58 am:

    == Wouldn’t this be subject to FOIA along with the details behind their $2 million dollar a day assertion? ==

    Depends. If it is just a number in a “working document”, may not be subject to FOIA.

  6. - oldman - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 8:58 am:

    I think the health insurance increase in the contract is ridiculous. 100% for an insurance that is currently paying it’s claims from 5/2015. I know many people who are Rauner backers in my area who also think it is ludicrous.

  7. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 8:59 am:

    ===I still don’t get where they come up with that $3 billion gap between the two sides.===

    That’s understandable Rich, since it’s totally fabricated anyway. Rauner learned his lesson from actually providing figures regarding his TA before. You actually added them up, which surprised him. So don’t expect a quick resolution to your confusion about the “$3 billion” gap. Just saying.

  8. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 9:00 am:

    Well, guess we’ll see you in court then. Your “bi-partisan Labor Relations Board”s ruling was not impartial.

  9. - AC - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 9:05 am:

    Either the response from CK seems to indicate some concern regarding the outcome of litigation, or I don’t understand the argument. How are AFSCME’S best interests served by the speedy implementation of a contract that has negative consequences for both job security and financial security? Who wouldn’t they want to at least try to see if some alternative to a terrible contact could be found in the court system? How are the interests of union members harmed by making the attempt?

  10. - Magic Dragon - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 9:07 am:

    They really need to be forced to show their work on these numbers they throw out there. Seems very disingenuous to keep throwing this kind of stuff out there without the work to back it up.

  11. - The_Equalizer - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 9:08 am:

    “…You’re out of luck unless the union dissolves itself.”. I think that’s more accurate of Bruce’s intentions.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 9:11 am:

    ===AFSCME’s latest framework does not bridge the more than $3 billion gap between the parties.===

    As an Emmy award winning producer, “ck” really has taken to saying “stuff” without producing anything factual or beyond the Rauner Word Jumble.

  13. - Consideration - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 9:12 am:

    AFSCME plainly stated they agreed to most of the other contract terms offered to other unions and said “let’s negotiate on the other issues”.

    Rauner not agreeing to negotiate after this plainly shows that he never wanted to negotiate and only wants to create a government shutdown.

    The judges will take notice and he will be forced back to the table.

  14. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 9:21 am:

    ===only wants to create a government shutdown.===

    If anything was learned when we failed to get a FY 2016 budget a state government is incapable of shutting down.

  15. - Union proud - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 9:22 am:

    “I still don’t get where they come up with that $3 billion gap between the two sides.”

    The 3 billion has 3 components that will help you better understand it.

    1.) that number assumes everyone gets their steps for the life of contract when reality is a majority of state workers are “stepped out.”

    2.) that number assumes no one will retire. When in reality many workers will retire over life of contract. And each one creates a vacancy somewhere down the line which will either a.) not be filled or b.) be filled with a new hire who will be on sub-steps and tier 2 pension. (And before anyone mentions vacancies will be filled by internal promotions that is true but that will eventually lead to a vacancy that at the end of the day is not filled or filled with someone off the street.)

    3.) the number factors in the cost of not being able to impose their changes on everyone who is covered up under the state health insurance. Which is state employees both in and out of the union, their families, retirees, state university workers in and out of unions, their families, university retirees, and members of the general assembly. A couple hundred thousand people?

  16. - reddevil - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 9:31 am:

    I wonder what caused AFSCME too come out with these concessions now?…Could it be that they final listened too their members?….If they would have listened to their members six months ago….they wouldn’t be in this spot.

  17. - Earnest - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 9:31 am:

    >does not bridge the more than $3 billion gap between the parties

    Now we’ll see if AFSCME has a full public message plan. They’ve got to turn the conversation to get the press challenging how the administration came up with the numbers instead of the conversation being about their intransigence. I’m not saying they are intransigent (or that they’re not), just commenting on the messaging.

  18. - Reality Check - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 9:33 am:

    The $3 billion figure is fictional. (Like so many other statements from the governor and his people.) It is time for journalists, both reporters and columnists, to call out these falsehoods and stop repeating them.

  19. - Johnnie F. - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    They are also basing their 3 billion dollar amount on the union headcount when negotiations started. The current headcount is down dramatically since then in my division. I’m sure it is down statewide…significantly.

  20. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    –I still don’t get where they come up with that $3 billion gap between the two sides.–

    The explanation will be coming with the revised Turnaround Agenda projections, the ones with the “billions and billions” of new revenue growth and savings.

    AFSCME should take a lesson from the Springfield Democrats experience: Rauner will beat your head in with phony numbers if you let him and don’t fight back.

    Don’t count on the media to pin him down on truth and arithmetic. That would distract from the “Bruce and Mike Don’t Like Each Other” show.

  21. - Rabid - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    More fake news? 3 billionaires it was a typo

  22. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    Johnie F- exactly so. I went to and did a headcount from when Rauner started. We’re down by 13%. And that’s just the folks on this website which isn’t the totality of State Workers.

  23. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    Here’s my point exactly. Rauner never intended to negotiate. His bluff has been called. He won’t negotiate and thus the “Grand Bargain” will fall through. Rauner just ended the deal.

    Rauner can’t be trusted.

    Well I hope the extension of EDGE goes down now.

    Let’s all focus on the fact that a tremendous olive branch was extended to Rauner.

    Rauner swatted it.

    Rauner owns the perfidy.

  24. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    This is not about Rauner willing to negotiate again, but rather it is all about public perception, and more importantly perhaps the ongoing litigation. This may also be seen as important to bolster Cullerton’s hand on pension reform and the need to have an AFSCME contract.

  25. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    @Honeybear - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    =Rauner owns the perfidy=

    Exactly and MJM knows it. Rauner runs for state wide office and MJM only has to win his district. Rauner has attacked MJM daily and not sure he is now willing to give Rauner a way out even if Rauner is willing. One thing about MJM is he is the velvet hammer and he does not forgive easily.

  26. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    Mission accomplished. The union can use this to show good faith in the court case. I’m glad Rauner didn’t take it.

  27. - Joe M - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:32 am:

    Does that $3 billion also include non-AFSCME state employees such as administrators? Does it also include all state university employees and their dependents, who are also impacted by Rauner’s health insurance plans? CK makes it sound like that whole amount belongs to AFSCME employees. She and the Governor need to show their work.

  28. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    Here’s the problem with mission accomplished as it was with GWB and the aircraft carrier sign.

    It wasn’t

    Rauners rejection signals that it’s going to go so ugly that we won’t recognize each other humanity after this.

    Had he taken it we could start to rebuild and he could start to govern.

    We are lost. People just don’t realize it yet.

    With everything in me I wanted Rauner to take our offer.

    The Senate deal will fall through.

    This was the best chance we had.

    We’re now going to stare down the barrel of our economic collapse.

  29. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    I second Willy and Word’s points on communication. The misleading Rauner message needs to be countered.

  30. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    Rauner wants a shutdown, so he can be a tough guy, and hit the overpaid state workers w financial body blows.

    I think the AFSCME offer surprised rauner, but he is expert at staying on message: greedy union wants MORE THAN $3 billion; what is more reasonable and easy to understand than
    40 hr week, volunteers, and workplace safety?

    It is up to AFSCME to counter that w their offer and renewed message: 4 yr wage freeze; DOUBLING health care costs is too much and unfair, we can give a little more; lets negotiate.

    Rauner is close to being able to declare a win (whether true or not) on his TA. But a sHutdown could bring that to a halt.

    We havent heard from madigan. Affected parties havent examined details of the GB.

  31. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:55 am:

    Does it matter if Rauners message is countered? Will anyone believe it? No, it’s all Madigans fault.

    The AFSCME contract has been the lynch pin all along. We thought it was a sideshow. Sorry, I thought it was a sideshow. The death of the main public sector union is now revealed to be his administrations only goal.
    It wasn’t small business
    It wasn’t big business
    It wasn’t manufacturing
    It wasn’t anything else.

    Rauner wants to kill AFSCME

    AFSMCE is the white whale.

    It is up to Republicans to save our state.

    Turn on the Raunerites. Take your party back.

    Restore labor peace
    Restore stability for commerce

    Only Republicans can overthrow Rauner

  32. - Earnest - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    >Does it matter if Rauners message is countered?

    I think it does, Honeybear. I think public perceptions do matter to Rauner and could have an impact on his behavior. The trouble is, he’s been successful at crafting them.

  33. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 11:30 am:

    Rauner wants the puppy (AFSCME) to sit up and beg before he shoots it. (”Heh,heh” says he)

  34. - DHSJim - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 11:55 am:

    AFSCME has already lost with this proposal. The question now is how much will they lose by. Hopefully we’ll live to fight another day. Even if the next governor is a Democrat, he/she will use this proposal as a starting point.

  35. - Curmudgeon - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    reddevil: “If they would have listened to their members six months ago….they wouldn’t be in this spot.”

    Oh, yes, they would. As a number of others have written, this isn’t about negotiating; it’s about destroying unions.

    As to the phony $3 billion, I recall Rich posting an administration “explanation” at least a year ago, maybe back in 2015. Union Proud’s point 3 and Hoe M’s comments explain much of it, but as I recall, even the administration couldn’t provide a rational excuse for all of it.

  36. - Robert the 1st - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    =he/she will use this proposal as a starting point.=

    That’s a good point I hadn’t considered and might explain why AFSCME was being so stubborn. They may have been just killing time hoping the legislature (didn’t happen) or courts (doubtful) would bail them out of negotiating with Rauner.

  37. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 12:52 pm:

    DHSJim, I agree. I don’t like that we showed our cards on the four year wage freeze. As a Tier 2 Step 2 the wages are the most important contract to me. Also, I’m pretty sure that the step increase in the proposal does not mean a pay raise while wages are frozen. I think it’s there so some people will be at a higher step and get a raise after the freeze is over. Harsh.

  38. - AC - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    DHSJim - it proves a point to the public, that even when AFSCME makes serious concessions, the response from the Rauner administration is “our way or the highway”.

  39. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    ===DHSJim - it proves a point to the public, that even when AFSCME makes serious concessions, the response from the Rauner administration is “our way or the highway”.===

    Exactly. And this proposal doesn’t mean this will be the “starting point” on subsequent contracts. I think AFSCME is demonstrating they understand the gravity of the fiscal situation and is willing to make sacrifices on behalf of its members. This is what true good faith bargaining looks like. And I think AFSCME would’ve eventually arrived at these concessions if Rauner hadn’t suddenly broken off negotiations. There’s a protocol to contract negotiations that AFSCME is used to but this governor creates his own rules/protocols.

  40. - DHSJim - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 1:41 pm:

    I agree with you AC. AFSCME really had no other choice but to do this. The governor has backed us into a corner and part of this is our fault. Were horrible at reaching out to the people we service and the advocacy groups that represent and fight for them. We don’t play well with other unions either. 2 out of 5 union households also voted for Rauner. There is also truth to the right wing stereotype of lazy state workers, many of whom hide behind the union to escape the consequences of their mediocrity. When I was a steward I was mostly filing frivolous grievances for such employees. that’s not to say I haven’t met hard working selfless state workers who serve their communities. I’ve met many of these, but I’ve also met many more who are in it only for a paycheck and themselves. What AFSCME needs is a coming to Jesus moment much like what happened to CTU in 2012. We need to get the clients we serve on our side and politically organized. We need to bust our butts for our customers and provide them excellent service. We need to volunteer our time to progressive candidates who will fight for worker rights. If we did all this Rauner wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. Unfortunately we’re not doing all this, or only the few like Honeybear are.

  41. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 2:09 pm:

    Thanks DHSJim but you know me I’m the laziest of the bunch!

  42. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 2:50 pm:

    I doubt that Honeybear. You Do have the best perfume, so let’s not forget that….

  43. - Jeep - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 3:43 pm:

    Cullerton had said he’d do pension reform uf Rauner backed off his no-negotiation position and settled with the union without a strike. Since this proposed grand bargain includes pentuon reform, is this new union offer part of the deal? Euther Rauner takes it and we get a budget with some of his TA or he’s Capt Ahab and he sinks the entire state of IL un pursuit of his white whale.

  44. - Thoughts Matter - Tuesday, Jan 10, 17 @ 10:32 pm:

    DGSJim- yes, I work in return for compensation. If I were independently wealthy, I’d volunteer for worthy causes.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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