* The event starts at 10:30. Click here to watch our live coverage post. You can click here for what’s being billed as a live video feed that I wasn’t able to embed here. WTAX is also promising live coverage, so click here for that.
*** UPDATE 1 *** AFSCME says 81 percent voted to authorize a strike. Its press release is here.
*** UPDATE 2 *** AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch won’t tell reporters how many state workers actually cast ballots. However, a spokesman told me that right around 80 percent of eligible voters turned out.
*** UPDATE 3 *** From the governor’s office…
The Rauner Administration released the following statement in response to AFSCME’s strike authorization vote. The following is attributable to General Counsel Dennis Murashko:
“The vote to authorize a strike is an attack on our state’s hardworking taxpayers and all those who rely on critical services provided everyday. It is a direct result of AFSCME leadership’s ongoing misinformation campaign about our proposal.
AFSCME leaders would rather strike than work 40 hours a week before earning overtime. They want to earn overtime after working just 37.5 hours per week.
AFSCME leaders would rather strike than allow volunteers like Boy Scout troops to lend a helping hand inside government. They want to ban the use of volunteers.
AFSCME leaders would rather strike than allow state employees to be paid based on merit. They want to stick to paying people based on seniority, regardless of whether they’re doing a good job.
And while hard working families across the state face skyrocketing health insurance premiums, AFSCME leaders want to strike to force higher taxes to subsidize their health care plans that are far more generous than taxpayers have.
Put simply, AFSCME leaders will do or say anything to avoid implementing a contract that is fair to both taxpayers and state employees alike.
If AFSCME chooses to strike, we will use every resource to ensure services continue to be available to the people of Illinois. We continue to encourage AFSCME to work with us in implementing a contract that is similar to those ratified by 20 other unions.”