* 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.