Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - AFSCME clarifies *** Rauner admin says it’s “delighted” with AFSCME response, but AFSCME is puzzled
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*** UPDATED x1 - AFSCME clarifies *** Rauner admin says it’s “delighted” with AFSCME response, but AFSCME is puzzled

Monday, Mar 20, 2017

* You’ll recall that Gov. Rauner asked the Illinois Supreme Court Friday to take his appeal of a case he lost against AFSCME...

The administration of Gov. Bruce Rauner is asking the state Supreme Court to rule on whether it can impose its contract terms on the union representing some 38,000 state employees.

In a filing late Friday afternoon, the administration is asking the state’s high court to immediately consider the case, rather than wait for the 4th District Appellate Court to rule first, a process the administration said could take months.

“The delay of waiting for the Fourth Circuit adjudication will impose enormous costs,” the administration said in its filing.

Those costs, it said, include $30 million to $40 million a month in expenses to the state just from being unable to impose health insurance cost savings on members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Rauner’s general counsel Dennis Murashko said in a statement the state and union went through 67 days of negotiations before the state presented its last, best and final offer.

* Here was AFSCME’s response on Friday

Instead of wasting more time and money in the courts, Governor Rauner should simply do his job and negotiate with our union. State workers are willing to do their part, but Bruce Rauner is so blinded by his anti-union animosity that he refuses to compromise.

Contrary to the misleading statements from the governor’s office, no other union has accepted Rauner’s extreme demands that would hike health costs by 100%, freeze wages for four years and remove safeguards against irresponsible privatization schemes.

Finding that AFSCME has a “reasonable likelihood” of prevailing on appeal, the 4th District Appellate Court blocked Rauner from rushing to impose those demands. Since the governor continues to choose confrontation over compromise, we are prepared to make our case before the Supreme Court.

* This morning, the governor’s office sent over a somewhat odd response to AFSCME. Here’s Eleni Demertzis…

We are delighted that AFSCME is ready to resolve the impasse issue in the Supreme Court and hope the Court does so without delay.


* I sent it over to AFSCME’s spokesman for comment…

No clue what she’s talking about. We said instead of wasting time and money in the courts, Governor Rauner should do his job and negotiate with our union.

*** UPDATE ***  More from AFSCME…

Typical of its tendency to misinform, the governor’s office is making claims it knows are untrue about AFSCME’s statement on Friday regarding our appeal of the Illinois Labor Relations Board ruling. That statement is below. To clarify the last sentence, we are prepared to make our case before the Supreme Court that normal judicial procedures should be followed, with the Appellate Court review proceeding as scheduled.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - so... - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    ==Since the governor continues to choose confrontation over compromise, we are prepared to make our case before the Supreme Court.==

    Maybe that?

  2. - Dog - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:09 am:

    Ooooo I love to do alittle side step… you see me now you don’t I come and go……..

  3. - Mr. K. - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    ==Since the governor continues to choose confrontation over compromise, we are prepared to make our case before the Supreme Court.==

    Maybe that?

    Right — but no matter who won — or when — this was always headed for the ILSC. What, Rauner’s pleased that AFSCME said, yeah, let’s get it settled once and for all?

    Ok, maybe. But Rauner might not be so happy with the outcome given the recent pre-ruling from the 4th Circuit. I don’t imagine the ILSC is gunning to contradict that. Maybe — who knows.

  4. - Not Rich - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    the Gov is getting more like Blago every day..

  5. - A Non - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    Mike Madigan and the Illinois Supreme Court he controls.

  6. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    CK would’ve said something else and made sure to say “status quo” and “corrupt bargain” somewhere.

  7. - VanillaMan - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    Delighted -my ***

  8. - Rogue Roni - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    Can someone clarify something for me? Could the Supreme Court could still send it back, regardless of either party wants?

  9. - A Jack - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    Too much green beer?

  10. - Nero's Fiddle - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    AFSCME has always been ready to bargain, before and after Rauner unilaterally declared a phony “impasse”.

    Earlier this year, AFSCME has sent the Governor a public letter giving major concessions on pay and health insurance while agreeing to good-faith bargaining on the remainder of the issues that divide us.

    If the governor forces the issue and there are no other bargaining options available, AFSCME will be forced to call a strike.

    The citizens of the State of Illinois need to know that Rauner doesn’t care about them. Rauner proves by his actions that he basically wants to eliminate AFSCME.

  11. - A Non - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    1) supremes order BVR back to the table
    2) BVR gets back to table and declares impasse all over again
    3) BVR files new labor board complaint, wins, AFSCME files new appeal.
    4) BVR loses re-election with pending litigation.

    End result, no new contract, four year wage freeze. Not bad for some, but pretty rough for newer hires at lower steps.

  12. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    == Could the Supreme Court could still send it back, regardless of either party wants? ==

    If they want to see how the political process plays out, or they just want to delay things, yes, they could say let’s see the final ruling at that level first.

    Really depends on what the court wants to do. If the Supreme Court is inclined​ to agree with where the appeals court is going, they might sit back, then when it finally gets to them, just concur.

  13. - Chucktownian - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    Good prediction A Non. BVR is going to lose by a wide margin too. The 2018 election will be an utter repudiation of the GOP in the state.

  14. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    ===BVR is going to lose by a wide margin too===

    Only stupid people make predictions like that in this weird environment.

  15. - Rabid - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    The quicker he loses the faster his name gets to the US supreme court to be an icon

  16. - Ok - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    Bruce Rauner will lose bad in this Trump era and by how Clinton who was disliked beat Trump badly here

  17. - Nick Name - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    “the Gov is getting more like Blago every day..”

    Well, they’ve never been seen in the same room together, so…

  18. - Deft Wing - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    “You’re confused with our seemingly bizarre response? Good. Gotcha.”

  19. - SoILL - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    RNUG or someone else with a legal mind… I know technically no one will ever know an exact timeframe… but if we were betting people does anyone believe this will be settled before the end of the year? Is it likely the ILSC will take a case and settle it in the same year? Especially with their 3 month hiatus over the summer?

    I appreciate everyone’s expertise.

  20. - OpenYourEyes - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    The Gov’s Administration has always been the same from the beginning. This response should come as no surprise. They only hear what they want to hear. Everything else is just noise.

  21. - Ractin - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 11:11 am:

    With no strike fund that has any money in it, I highly doubt many people would go on strike, even if only on principle. Money talks.

  22. - Langhorne - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    —we are prepared to make our case before the Supreme Court.— Is not the same thing as saying they want to, or want to use that venue to compromise.

    $40 mil per month in “savings”, just from AFSCME. Imposed arbitrarily. Gee, why does AFSCME have to be so unreasonable?/s

  23. - Nick Name - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    “With no strike fund that has any money in it, I highly doubt many people would go on strike, even if only on principle. Money talks.”

    Gov. Rauner, is that you?

  24. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 11:25 am:

    Rauner is arguing that he needs to impose the contract quickly because it’s costing the state lots of money every day. His failure to do his substantial part in passing a budget is costing the state far more money every day.

    I wonder if the ILSC will see it this way as well, just like they did with the pension case–though that case dealt with a constitutional issue. This emergency has been largely created by Rauner, just like state government had a big role in the pension crisis, by irresponsibly funding pensions.

  25. - PlayK8 - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    Continuing for Dog……..
    Cut a little swathe and lead the people on.

  26. - Nero's Fiddle - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 11:29 am:

    AFSCME does have a strike fund.

  27. - Union proud - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    The governor wants to impose before the new benefit choice period in May. Otherwise he’ll have to offer the current options over again. Expect more hysterics and sky is falling talk the closer we get to May. And then more threats about how he will garnish back premiums if we don’t roll over and play dead.

  28. - Steve Polite - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    FAQ From AFSCME:

    Q: Does the union provide some sort of strike pay?
    A: Yes, AFSCME Council 31’s Executive Board voted to create a strike fund to provide financial support for state employees if they are on strike.

    I think I received this information last spring.

  29. - A Non - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    ILSC briefs aren’t due until June, after the May 1 insurance open enrollment date. Haha.

  30. - Lucky than Good - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 12:25 pm:

    I believe it is probable that appealing this to the ILSC will actually cause a larger delay than if they had simply let it proceed through the 4th circuit.

    The 4th circuit has undoubtably put the cases on hold while it waits for the supreme court’s decision. The supreme court will likely sit on this request for a while before announcing that it will not take up the direct appeal and will instead let it proceed through the 4th circuit as usual.

  31. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 12:25 pm:

    == does anyone believe this will be settled before the end of the year? ==

    Before the end of this year? Maybe. In a month or two? Probably not. And that is just for the question of: does an impasse currently exist?

    You never know how these things will play out. Anything I say is strictly a guess. My guess is they let the 4th rule no impasse exists, and then they refuse to take an appeal, suggesting the parties return to the bargaining table.

    Then I think we’ll see Rauner either outright reject AFSCME’s last public offer, or mostly accept it but insist on keeping the outsourcing chànge. Then they will be at an impasse, and it will be back to court again.

    So, like almost everyone else, I think there won’t be a final resolution until after the 2018 elections.

  32. - Kirk C. Jenkins - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 12:45 pm:

    Regarding the question of lag time to a decision - the Court’s average in civil cases since 2010 is 190 days from grant to argument, and a further 137 from argument to decision - so, 10-11 months. But of course they always have the option of putting a particular appeal on an expedited schedule and deciding it much faster than that.

  33. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 20, 17 @ 1:06 pm:

    In granting the stay, the Fourth District Appellate Court raises doubts about the ILRB’s “single-issue” impasse ruling over subcontracting–that the alleged impasse over one issue is so strong it creates impasse over all other issues, such as health insurance and wages.

    My hope is that the ILSC will see right through Rauner’s “emergency” claim and deny his request to speed things up. Rauner is in no hurry to pass a budget, and that is much worse for taxpayers, as debt and deficit balloon.

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