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JT rubs it in

Friday, Jan 27, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Yet another e-mail to state employees…

Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to follow up on the Governor’s message below and assure all employees that, in addition to other resources, they can reach out to our labor relations team for updates on the employee pay lawsuit. The Attorney General’s move to halt employee pay is truly unfortunate. The least my office can do in response is to keep everyone informed.

Staying informed is especially critical for those of you who are about to decide whether to authorize AFSCME to call for a strike. The decision belongs to each employee and we trust that everyone is going to seek out accurate information to make an informed choice. With the Attorney General’s move to cut off employee pay, AFSCME members should consult with their union representatives and ask whether a strike for higher wages would be lawful if the Attorney General succeeds in her quest. In addition, because the Attorney General’s argument implicates the provision of health insurance to state employees-a benefit for which the General Assembly also has not appropriated sufficient resources-AFSCME members should consult with their union representatives on whether a strike over health insurance would likewise be lawful. We know that the decision to strike is yours and yours alone, and we continue to encourage all employees to get accurate information as they decide whether to strike​. Please continue to visit the FAQ website and submit your questions for our team.



John Terranova

Deputy Director

CMS Office of Labor Relations

Of for crying out loud. This is a labor dispute over the contract, not the appropriations.

* Anyway, I’ve been quietly wondering last night and today whether one reason the governor doesn’t want a court ruling on worker pay is that he won’t be able to pay “replacement workers” if AFSCME employees do walk out. He also wouldn’t be able to shift currently non-union workers to union positions because they wouldn’t be paid, either.


  1. - ANONANON - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:10 pm:

    This email is beyond absurd on many levels. I still believe emails of this nature should not be sent out to State workers using the State email system and State time.

  2. - realkewlio - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:12 pm:

    This email is beyond insulting to state employees who have real questions about this situation, but ARE NOT part of AFSCME (remember, those folks do exist). So who are we supposed to reach out to- an FAQ page?! Give me a break.

  3. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:12 pm:

    Would be perfect justice if Rich’s surmise comes to pass. Raunner wanted crises, maybe he’s gonna get one. A a wise friend always says: ‘Every decision has its consequences.’ The gov is due for some consequences.

  4. - Porgy Tirebiter - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    State employees-
    Please let us destroy your rights on our terms.
    Thank you.
    Bagdad John

  5. - A Jack - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    So it might be illegal to strike over higher wages when you are not getting paid at all? I am fairly certain that not getting paid at all is a perfectly legal reason to strike.

  6. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    Here’s a question for Johnie Boy T: This looks like it’s a political message, not work related. Isn’t that against the law on State time?

  7. - State Engineer - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:17 pm:

    My thought is he’s also worried that if he’s to blame for Shutdown #1 does the public default to blame him for shutdown #2?

  8. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:18 pm:

    Statements like this make me wonder whether CMS is bargaining in good faith. This feels more like trolling AFSCME than informing employees.

  9. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:18 pm:

    He also wouldn’t be able to pay the Frat Boys.

  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:19 pm:

    ===whether CMS is bargaining in good faith===

    They haven’t been bargaining for a year now.

    Just sayin…

  11. - Steward As Well.... - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:20 pm:

    John I nominated you last week (and you won) on the Jim Leach “butt head of the week show” on WMAY 970 radio. Must I do it once again today. Sigh….

  12. - wondering - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:21 pm:

    Mr. Miller, you wonder correctly….but more than that, the jig is up.

  13. - A State Employee Guy - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:22 pm:

    He’s absolutely right that employees should be concerned that a strike over wages and health insurance–when the employer hasn’t been appropriated any money to pay for them–may constitute an illegal strike. Make your choice, compadres, but make it an educated one.

  14. - RNUG - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:23 pm:

    == Anyway, I’ve been quietly wondering last night and today … ==

    Rich, like you I’ve been wondering for some time how Rauner could find the legal authority to contract with no means or appropriation to effect payment. The only conclusion I could come up with is a promise of future payment and, possibly, future contracts once the outsourcing limits are removed. To me, that is at least unethical if not illegal. But based on some of his private business transactions that were exposed, I don’t think this Governor worries about ethics.

    I’ve also been wondering if a comprehensive audit of all State agency spending would show if Rauner has exceeded his budgetary authority to transfer (shuffle) funds around. I’m sure he was used to playing those games in the private sector with no limitations, but government has lots of restrictions on those kind of actions.

  15. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    If Gov Rauner is defeated in 2018, JT needs to go. While he has an obligation to represent CMS as he has done for a number of years, his emails are increasingly unbecoming of a professional labor relations specialist.

  16. - Thoughts Matter - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    This is a perfect example of ‘the least his office can do’.

    Better to not open mouth and be thought a fool rather than to open mouth and be known for one.

    This affects management and merit comp too. It affects other unions and constitutional officers staffs. It affects lots of people that are not state employees. Yet he directs his words and advice only to AFSCME members regarding whether or not to strike. Can he not understand this has nothing to do with a strike?

  17. - kitty - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:27 pm:

    1:26 was me

  18. - Anon221 - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:29 pm:

    wordslinger- He may just pay them out of his own pocket. After all some of the R’s are taking money out of their campaign funds to tide them over until their pay is caught up by the State.

    If he did, are they then considered to be “independent contractors”? Are they also considered to be essential employees in the first place, or will they have to stop working regardless of how they get paid (or not).

  19. - Huh? - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:30 pm:

    Had to go looking in the spam folder for the emails from 1.4% and JT.

    It is very clear from both emails that the alternate facts are being used to promote dis-information and propaganda to foment discontent and fear.

  20. - AC - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    The very plausible scenario Rich Miller was wondering about might be the only thing that brings the Governor back to the bargaining table willing to bargain in good faith. I think my fellow AFSCME members and leadership need to carefully consider who are their friends and enemies are.

  21. - Former hillrod - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    Evidently JT is going to pursue a career in comedy writing after the courts shut down state government for lack of employee pay appropriations. These emails are part of his writing portfolio. /s

  22. - Union proud - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:35 pm:

    Even his own labor board has confirmed a ULP on him. (Which he is appealing in the 4th circuit.) It would be a ULP strike. Which is legal and you can’t be replaced permanently.

    On a slightly related subject the arbitrator for the troopers was ordered by the “governing body” to look at his award to the troopers. He did. His statement is on the arbitration section of the ILRB site. He reaffirmed his ruling that rauner’s healthcare offer was less fair than the troopers. 8.5% vs 100%. He also ruled against rauner’s merit pay proposal. In that reaffirmation he states that the administration wanted him to reconsider his ruling for the troopers healthcare because there was no appropriation for healthcare at all right now. Interesting that now the idea of appropriations being needed just blew up in their face. Oh and by the way this arbitrator will be the same one ruling on the arbitration for the state’s correction officers.

  23. - Captain Illini - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:35 pm:

    Crisis, obfuscation, outright misrepresentations…this is all a game to these mopes in the Governor’s circle. A Freakin’ game!

    I don’t know how this is gonna end, but Rauner doesn’t understand how engrained his actions are becoming and how no amount of money will erase the harm he’s done. Let him spend a hundred million on the next election, cause watching him loose will make the wine taste better.

  24. - PublicServant - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:37 pm:

    Seems like this turn of events has also strengthened the Democrats hand in the negotiations going on in the senate since the governor is likely to lose some of his much-vaunted leverage come 2/28…just sayin.

  25. - PublicServant - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:38 pm:

    And I’ll drink to that Cap Illini!

  26. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:41 pm:

    More scare tactics by JT,… that’s it that’s all.

  27. - Honeybear - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:45 pm:

    Rnug you’re on it. I Suspect Rauner has funds stashed all over. How else right?

  28. - not buying today - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:48 pm:

    first things first, jt is a meathead, capisce?!?

    secondly, rauner does not have enough “scabs” and non-union merit workers to keep the state rolling for one day much less a full pay period.

    lastly, there will be no strike anyways. as soon as the union gets the go, and they will, to call a strike rauner will cave. period, end of story!

  29. - pskila - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:49 pm:

    Johnny T and the Illinois Government Mob are at it again…smh

  30. - OpenYourEyes - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    It is obvious that their intention is to do everything in their power to declare any possible strike as “unlawful”. I believe he has made that perfectly clear more than once in this letter alone. I am so tired of State Employees being a PAWN to both parties.

  31. - Winnin' - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:52 pm:

    Yes, Rich,it is my opinion that you are correct. The lawsuit, which is looong overdue, puts a kink in the governor’s strategery. In the short run, it appears to put state employees in a bad position. In the long run, it keeps the governor honest, if that is possible.

  32. - NobodysAccountable - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:53 pm:

    Somebody better tell the overnor and his staff, this affects all state employees. The overnor better get past his war with AFSCME and realize the hostage pool just got bigger. This letter reflects how narrow the thinking.

  33. - HangingOn - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:55 pm:

    Ah, Terranova. CMS’s version of Tokyo Rose…

  34. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:56 pm:

    Might as well start signing his correspondence “Baghdad Bob”

  35. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:57 pm:

    –In the long run, it keeps the governor honest, if that is possible.–

    In the long run, it will settle the question as to whether employees can be paid without an appropriation.

    That’s an important Constitutional question that goes beyond any of today’s juvenile, destructive nonsense down in Springfield.

  36. - tobias846 - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:59 pm:

    Rich nailed it. Rauner can’t pay scabs without an appropriation; that throws a huge monkey wrench into his union-busting plans.

    It’s disingenuous for Rauner to claim that he dreads a shutdown, since he promised exactly that during his campaign.

  37. - Nick Name - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:01 pm:

    “I’ve also been wondering if a comprehensive audit of all State agency spending would show if Rauner has exceeded his budgetary authority to transfer (shuffle) funds around.”

    Also, how was he able to get a contract with Canadian firm Morneau Shepell without a state budget?

  38. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:05 pm:

    Rauner has been using and abusing this court order for awhile. I believe that Rich is on target with his suspicions of this limiting his ability to respond to a strike.

  39. - Labor Lawyer for 43 years - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:06 pm:

    Ridiculous propaganda from Rauner’s mouthpiece. He throws out the red herring of possible “illegal” strike if enjoined from paying salaries/health insurance claims? Just making this stuff up as they go along. If AFSCME follows the prescribed steps for a strike, that’s it: it’s legal. Not paying wages or claims per a court order would have nothing to do with it. This guy should be professionally embarrassed to state such drivel. Such nonsense.

  40. - Skeptic - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:06 pm:

    “a strike over wages and health insurance” and overtime pay and privatization and job security and …

  41. - Wanna puke - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:10 pm:

    Assuming John T. is an intelligent man..You would think he would know what cease and desist meant. Getting really tired of these emails sent by he and Bruce to my work email.. My question is. WHy not allow Asfcme the same air time?

  42. - Streator Curmudgeon - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:16 pm:

    Any relation to Vinnie Terranova?

  43. - A State Employee Guy - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:18 pm:

    Hey Union proud, ULP strikes are probably not legal in the public sector.

  44. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:29 pm:

    The answer is “no” to both of those questions about whether these things make a strike illegal. But JT/CMS know that, which is why they didn’t include an answer in this e-mail.

    Another attempt to sew doubt and confusion among state workers.

  45. - Skeptic - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    A State Employee Guy:

    That’s entire section in the Illinois code defining unfair labor practices for public employees.

  46. - Union proud - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    “Hey Union proud, ULP strikes are probably not legal in the public sector.”

    They are in Illinois. Even the IPI agrees. Ironic…

  47. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:33 pm:

    state employee guy: the only criteria a public sector strike must meet in Illinois (unless you’re security personnel) are that mediation was invoked, the contract is expired and notice was given. That’s it. ULP vs economic is only an issue for the private sector which is under the NLRA.

    Pretty sure you know that, though. I suspect you’re management.

  48. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:35 pm:

    State employees have the right to strike regardless of what the AG does, it’s not relevant. Neither are ULPs. Read the IPLRA yourselves people:

    Sec. 17. Right to strike.
    (a) Nothing in this Act shall make it unlawful or make it an unfair labor practice for public employees, other than security employees, as defined in Section 3(p), peace officers, fire fighters, and paramedics employed by fire departments and fire protection districts, to strike except as otherwise provided in this Act. Public employees who are permitted to strike may strike only if:
    (1) the employees are represented by an exclusive

    bargaining representative;
    (2) the collective bargaining agreement between the

    public employer and the public employees, if any, has expired, or such collective bargaining agreement does not prohibit the strike;
    (3) the public employer and the labor organization

    have not mutually agreed to submit the disputed issues to final and binding arbitration;
    (4) the exclusive representative has requested a

    mediator pursuant to Section 12 for the purpose of mediation or conciliation of a dispute between the public employer and the exclusive representative and mediation has been used; and
    (5) at least 5 days have elapsed after a notice of

    intent to strike has been given by the exclusive bargaining representative to the public employer.
    In mediation under this Section, if either party requests the use of mediation services from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the other party shall either join in such request or bear the additional cost of mediation services from another source.
    (b) An employee who participates in a strike, work stoppage or slowdown, in violation of this Act shall be subject to discipline by the employer. No employer may pay or cause such employee to be paid any wages or other compensation for such periods of participation, except for wages or compensation earned before participation in such strike.
    (Source: P.A. 86-412.)

  49. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:36 pm:

    I’d forgotten how much Rauner and the GOP he controls love an activist judiciary. I mean if it wasn’t for the court orders and consent decrees, this guy might actually have to do something.

    How dare she deactivate the autopilot.

  50. - Guess Again - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:40 pm:

    More scare tactics from JT. An AFSCME Strike will be a legal ULP strike because Rauner has violated the ILPA. It will not be an economic strike over wages and insurance. JT knows this. State Employee Guy, read the Act. Both ULP strikes and economic strikes are legal under the Act. With a ULP strike, workers can’t be permanently replaced. He can’t hire regular employees now and he sure can’t find 28,000 temps. Hence, Guard threat.

  51. - Harvest76 - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:02 pm:

    Any idea when the Executive Ethics office might Crack down on JTS emails? It’s a bit concerning that such blatant disregard for ethical behavior is allowed to continue.

  52. - Ma.... - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:10 pm:

    The only employee JT is truly concerned about is JT and his pay.

  53. - Truthteller - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:55 pm:

    If the state has no money appropriated to pay employees, wouldn’t that be tantamount to a layoff and make them eligible for unemployment benefits?

  54. - Generic Droneah - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:57 pm:

    Ah yes. Jt’s so concerned for Afscme members he is willing to go out on a limb and risk unethical emails. As for the action from Madigan, just forcing Rauner into a corner on the budget does not mean he will cave on contract negotions.

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