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More on the strike authorization vote

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Finke on AFSCME’s strike authorization vote, which began yesterday

But as [AFSCME Council 31 spokesman Anders Lindall] said, only members who are eligible to strike are eligible to vote. AFSCME represents about 38,000 state workers in Illinois. Of those, roughly 30,000 can strike. The others work security jobs at the Department of Corrections and Department of Juvenile Justice and are forbidden from striking. […]

Actual voting will take place at 700 work sites around the state, Lindall said. The idea is to make it as easy as possible to vote for as many members as possible.

“We’re trying to give people multiple opportunities (to vote),” he said. “We are putting a tremendous effort into the access to vote and also for the integrity of the vote. We are following federal labor board processes for security votes similar to a union-authorization election.”

Although votes can be cast at hundreds of locations, they will be counted at a central location, Lindall said. None of the votes will be counted until after the election is concluded. Voting is scheduled through Feb. 19, although union officials have said it could be extended a bit if necessary to accommodate all voters.


  1. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 9:31 am:

    Waiting for the next voter suppression email from Rauner in 1, 2, 3 …

  2. - Nieva - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 9:34 am:

    I wonder if they would allow the press to watch and make sure the votes are counted correctly?

  3. - LemonShakeUpSpringfield - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 9:43 am:

    And is there any law that requires AFSCME to show the public that this is a transparent process? How do we know some members won’t be voting twice?

  4. - unionman 2 - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 9:55 am:

    You have to verify your name on a list and sign next to your name for the ballot. Once you vote, your name is removed from eligibility lists.

  5. - Allen D - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    are they being held at the normal monthly meetings that were already scheduled or are special meetings being called?

  6. - Texas Red - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    Let’s hope for strict adherence to NLRB rules in particular…” Examples of conduct
    the Board considers to interfere with employee free choice are: Threats of loss of jobs or benefits by an employer or a union to influence the votes or union activities of
    employees”, or … “An employer or a union making campaign speeches to assembled groups of employees on company time
    within the 24-hour period before the election. “….

  7. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    LemonShakeUpSpringfield- you won’t. It won’t be transparent to the public just like a normal election. As a vote coordinator (basically an election monitor) for one of those sites I am taking it very seriously. We check off the name, determine membership status, and keep the votes in a locked box. Just like a regular election. After the election we’ve got a lot of work to tabulate the results and eliminate any duplicates. It’s a huge amount of work.

    That’s why it has to be done now!

    Can you imagine doing this in the midst of a full on government “no pay” shutdown?

    Plus if Rauner tries to mess with us by saying we have to show up for work even without appropriation ( which should have been solved with the civil war) we have the legal protections of labor law and lawful strike voted on by the membership.

    It’s CYA and it ensures that a full shutdown happens.

    This whole thing is for naught if Rauner can bully the workforce into showing up.

  8. - August Spies - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    Honeybear, you covering the full day down there?

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

    Missing the point- in normal elections, State Board of Elections oversee the county clerks election process. Where is the oversight with AFSCME? No transparency like usual… just like when they post A1s with thousands of dollars and label it as “union dues” instead of listing individual donors.

  10. - SoIll - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    LemonShakeUp —- The oversight is when the strike happens how many people cross the line and how many honor it. Do you really think AFSCME wants to fudge the numbers in support of a strike vote, only to have the strike shattered in reality??

  11. - SoIll - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    LemonShakeUp - Do you believe AFSCME would fudge the numbers only to have people who voted no to cross the line??

    AFSCME does not want to fudge the numbers because if we strike and fail it will only harm future negotiations.

  12. - Steward As Well.... - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    Hopefully voter apathy will be small. It is vital that a large majority of members vote and decide this issue one way or another.

    I don’t want to see 20 or 30% of membership decide on the collectives fate.

  13. - Mama - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    Honeybear, it is my understanding that employees can get unemployment during a lock out, but not during a strike. Since both events might be happening at the same time, will union members be allowed unemployment pay or not? Thanks

  14. - AFSCAM - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:36 am:

    Notice they will be counted in a central location later by A AFSCME. Saw AFSCME in action before. Take the ballots from voting area unsecured and return later with vote totals. Count them where you votE after the voting. This keeps everything honest. This could be a real mess.

  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    Just FYI. People need to probably direct questions on unemployment benefits to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. That is the agency that processes those benefits. There is actually a Labor Dispute within that agency that address those particular issues. However you might want to keep in mind that is a state agency and many of the positions/employees are AFSCME members who may very well be in the same situation.

  16. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    How AFSCME runs it’s elections and counts votes is up to them. Some people think it’s a public election in which they can supply input. That’s incorrect…

  17. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    Oops. Labor Dispute Unit within the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

  18. - Union Man - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    AFSCME is a lobby just like any other lobby, the NRA, the AMA, ABA etc. There is no rational expectation for public oversight of a lobby’s internal matter.

  19. - notbuyingit - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    Since fair share employees can’t vote or strike, does the 30,000 number eligible to strike exclude those? IF NOT, how many of the 30,000 are fair share?

  20. - LemonShakeUpSpringfield - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 12:45 pm:


    When they take public dollars there should be.

  21. - LemonShakeUpSpringfield - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 12:49 pm:

    Caucuses are more transparent than this union vote!

  22. - Gr8dane - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    Ourfriend JT strikes again!

  23. - Retired state worker - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 1:24 pm:

    Lemon shake up Springfield

    What do you mean “when they take public dollars”? Since I was a state employee and now retired, paid with public dollars, the “public” has a right to know how, where and when I spend MY money? I hope that is not what you were implying. If that is what you implied…..our illustrious hosts’ somewhat common reply applies.

  24. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 1:28 pm:

    @- LemonShakeUpSpringfield - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 12:45 pm:

    =When they take public dollars there should be.=

    Some times it is best to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, then open it and remove all doubt.

    There is an ongoing AFSCME strike vote. It will be done in accordance with established procedures and likely a large percentage of voters will vote yes. At the end of the day, AFSCME will have strike authorization from their membership. This things still has a long long way to go.

  25. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 1:31 pm:

    I think one thing that Rauner has shown, is how important it is to have a union in state government. I worked for IDOT for 30 years, and the union was the only thing that allowed me to do my job professional and in accordance with proper protocol, procedures, and regulations. If not for the union I would have been forced to do things wrong, or fired. At the end of the day, an organization gets the union it deserves.

  26. - Steve Polite - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 1:37 pm:


    AFSCME is not paid with public dollars. AFSCME is paid with private dollars by employees who are in the bargaining unit from income they earn. Or do you think you should have access to employees’ bank accounts and financial statements to see how all their “public” income is spent for your approval?

  27. - LemonShakeUpSpringfield - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    You are missing the point. A vote to strike could cause significant damages to almost every Illinoisan. All I am saying is there any oversight for this vote? I cannot believe people are complaining about a request or inquiry for more transparency in government and elections!

  28. - theq - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 2:09 pm:

    perhaps because AFSCME is not a branch of government or a public entity?

  29. - LemonShakeUpSpringfield - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 2:13 pm:

    but their actions will dramatically affect government and the public. Again, thank you to all the AFSCME members on here saying how they are against more transparency. It shows a lot.

  30. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 2:35 pm:

    @Lemon 12:45
    Farmers, Corporations, Trump, and Rauner all take Govt money. By that reasoning their internal decisions should “be transparent.” Sounds good, I’d make that trade.

  31. - LemonShakeUpSpringfield - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 3:11 pm:

    @Anon 2:35…..ever heard of FOIA?

  32. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    @Lemon. 1:51
    You’ve missed the point. AFSCME didn’t pursue a strike or shut-down objective. The Governor you obviously back however has. First Gov to fail at negotiating, first gov to fail at negotiating a budget, first Gov to avoid e-mail because it brings transparency yet you focus on an employee lobby? Yep, you’ve missed the point.

  33. - LemonShakeUpSpringfield - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 3:23 pm:

    So because the governor is not transparent (in your opinion) AFSCME should not be either? Two wrongs do not make a right.

    And we will find out soon enough if AFSCME is pursuing a strike. Maybe you can go yell at Rauner when he is eating a pork chop on a stick just like you did Pat Quinn. That really showed him who is boss…

  34. - Mama Bear - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 4:04 pm:


    In your mind, how is AFSCME not transparent?

    Just like the state & federal general elections, you do not have access to how each person votes. On the same principle, you should not have access to how each union members votes. Union members are not state property, union members are taxpayers just like everyone else.

  35. - Crafty Girl - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 4:20 pm:


    AFSCME is a private entity. It doesn’t have to make its internal processes transparent to you or any other taxpayer/private citizen any more than the NRA or Wells Fargo or your parish church does. AFSCME doesn’t have to comply with FOIA any more than the NRA, the IPI, or any corporation does. Because they’re not the government. The only people AFSCME’s voting procedures have to satisfy are the members.

  36. - Generic Drone - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 4:21 pm:

    “When they take public dollars”. State employees take nothing. They earn their money, and how they choose to spend it is of no concern of Lemonshakeup nor anyone else.

  37. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 4:25 pm:

    Guys Lemonshakeup is OODA LOOPing you. I’m quite convince that Lemon is on the LEAD, anti union unit or an IPI employee. Pay him no head and stop engaging.

  38. - LemonShakeUpSpringfield - Wednesday, Feb 1, 17 @ 12:13 pm:

    Mama Bear- as I have explained in state elections in Illinois County Clerks and their processes over overseen by General Assembly/Governor with election laws as well as the independent State Board of Elections. There is no oversight for AFSCME with this vote and it could harm millions of citizens. Try to keep up.

    Honeybear- how do you know I am a he? Sexist much?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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