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*** UPDATED x3 - INA, Biss respond - IDOC responds - Manar responds *** Rauner rescinds IDOC nurse layoffs

Thursday, Apr 27, 2017

* From a Statehouse reporter…


* I asked the reporter if he had any more info since the governor’s office wasn’t replying…


The House Republicans just confirmed this to me. Rauner rescinded the layoffs “while they negotiate on the issue of subcontracting,” I was told.

* Background…

* 124 Illinois prison nurses get layoff notices

* Lawmakers to Fight Rauner on Prison Nurse Layoffs

* Rauner Says Using Contract Nurses Will Save $8M

*** UPDATE 1 ***  Sen. Andy Manar…

Prison nurses in communities around the state will get at least a temporary reprieve from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plan to privatize their jobs, thanks to attention brought to their plight by two central Illinois senators.

“This whiplash approach to governing is giving a lot of people a headache,” said Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill). “It’s never too late to do the right thing, but this entire situation, all the turmoil and stress for these workers and their families could have been – and should have been – avoided if the Rauner administration simply did a better job at running the state.”

Manar, along with Republican Senator Sam McCann (R-Pleasant View), sponsored bipartisan legislation to halt Gov. Rauner’s plan to lay off 124 unionized nurses currently employed by the state of Illinois in prisons around the state and privatize their jobs with an out-of-state corporation. According to the administration, the laid-off nurses would have an opportunity to reapply for their positions with the corporation, presumably at lower salaries.

The legislation that would have stopped the governor from pursuing his short-sighted plan passed in both houses of the Legislature and made it to the governor’s desk.

The administration intends to reverse its plan to lay off the nurses and continue contract negotiations with them instead, it was announced this morning.

*** UPDATE 2 *** IDOC…

Hey Rich,

We remain committed to working with the INA to avoid the potential layoffs, and believe there is ability to reach common ground on compromise proposals that would allow DOC and INA to come to an agreement. Although we are disappointed that INA is not available until May 8, we are ready to meet whenever and hope they find availability sooner.

…Adding… I’m told that the layoffs have been rescinded until May 22nd.

*** UPDATE 3 *** From the Illinois Nurses Association…

Today, it has been reported that the Illinois Department of Corrections has rescinded the layoffs of 124 nurses who work at a dozen Illinois Correctional Facilities.

This is welcome news if it is true. In their communications with us, the Department links “rescind” to good-faith meetings while at the same time, failing to repudiate their position that they do not have a duty to bargain in good faith with the INA over subcontracting. It remains to be seen what the Department actually intends.

Because of this uncertainty, INA is urging all Illinois legislators to continue working to support Senate Bill 19, which would halt further privatization of Illinois government jobs, including the 124 nursing positions. We believe a legislative remedy provides more assurance that the 124 nurses will be able to retain their positions and provide excellent health care to Illinois prisoners.

* Sen. Daniel Biss…

The Rauner administration’s sudden move to halt its drive to privatize the jobs of 124 unionized prison nurses shouldn’t offer sense of comfort to those whose jobs are on the line, state Senator Daniel Biss said Thursday.

Biss, an Evanston Democrat, noted that Gov. Bruce Rauner reverted to his anti-union rhetoric earlier this month when he said nobody would miss state workers should they choose to go on strike. Previously the governor had expressed support for state workers and ensuring they continue to be paid during the state budget stalemate.

“The Rauner administration did the right thing by putting the brakes on its plan to outsource these prison nurse jobs, but I remain wary of the governor’s motives, particularly given his inconsistent and recently strident anti-union statements. I wouldn’t blame any of these nurses if they aren’t ready to breathe a sigh of relief just yet.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

35 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    Destroy Labor, first…

    … have no real plan to backfill the destruction of the Labor Force.

    Rauner here is the dog that caught the bumper of the car. “Now what?”


  2. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    McCann wins again.
    The guy just can’t stop beating Bruce Rauner.


  3. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    This is a big win for the nurses, and for INA members, who rejected their bargaining committee’s contract agreement with Rauner.


  4. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:27 am:

    ===Rauner rescinded the layoffs “while they negotiate on the issue of subcontracting===

    Here it is AFSCME, on a silver platter. DO NOT mess this up.


  5. - Reality Check - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:35 am:

    @Cubs in ‘16, this has nothing to do with AFSCME. These are members of the Illinois Nurses Association. (I notice that you were also one of the commenters wrongly claiming yesterday that AFSCME represents the IDOT Teamsters.)


  6. - Me Again - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:36 am:

    Time to go back to the bargaining table with AFSCME as well!


  7. - A Jack - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:36 am:

    I suspect that it is a ploy by Rauner so he can just veto SB19 because it is no longer needed while the layoffs are rescinded.

    A few months after the ink is dry on the veto, I suspect he will go back to the layoff ploy.

    As far as Butler goes, he voted no on SB19, so I hope any effected nurses in his district remember that.


  8. - Skeptic - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    Reality Check: I think what Cubs was referring to is that one of the items that was determited to be at an impasse was subcontracting language. To me, this clearly shows that “substantially similar” language does indeed have room for negotiation.


  9. - Steward As Well.... - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    Not the same Cubs in ‘16. When it comes to Afscme he has and will continue to play by different rules.


  10. - Reality Check - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    @Me Again, Butler was asked that very question in his news conference on this matter earlier today. He stumbled and bumbled and could not run out of the briefing room fast enough!


  11. - The Dude Abides - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    Hmmm, I wonder if some House GOP members are worried about political headwinds in 2018 with an unpopular GOP Governor at the head of the ticket.


  12. - Juice - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    Shocked, shocked I say that the Governor did something unilaterally that upset people and then backed down once he faced pressure. (And can’t say “because Madigan”.)

    This guy really shows he’s willing to take the arrows.


  13. - Norseman - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    === @Cubs in ‘16, this has nothing to do with AFSCME. These are members of the Illinois Nurses Association. ===

    Yes, they’re represented by nurses. However, they haven’t agreed on a contract either. IMHO, this buttresses AFSCME’s case against the impasse agreement when Rauner agrees to continue negotiations on another union similarly situated.


  14. - Anon - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    A win is a win. For now, anyway. Congrats, INA. Governor Beernuts loses another one.


  15. - Earnest - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    >whiplash approach to governing
    >if the Rauner administration simply did a better job at running the state

    Nice, nice. Starting to develop a narrative message.


  16. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    “IMHO, this buttresses AFSCME’s case against the impasse agreement when Rauner agrees to continue negotiations on another union similarly situated.”

    Excellent point.

    I offer this also, for consideration. Rauner, in his arrogance and inflexibility, is costing taxpayers more money by letting the contract fight drag out with AFSCME, rather than trying to get savings for taxpayers through reasonable concessions from state employees.

    There’s a reasonable chance AFSCME will win in court, and Rauner will have to go back to the bargaining table. That’s potentially a big loss of taxpayer savings. If Rauner goes back to the table, there’s a very good chance he can get a better deal for taxpayers than the status quo (sorry, couldn’t resist).


  17. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:01 pm:

    ===@Cubs in ‘16, this has nothing to do with AFSCME. These are members of the Illinois Nurses Association. (I notice that you were also one of the commenters wrongly claiming yesterday that AFSCME represents the IDOT Teamsters.)===

    I did mistake the IDOT employees as AFSCME members yesterday. My bad.

    To this post, Skeptic and Norseman accurately reflect the meaning of my comment. I should have communicated more clearly.


  18. - Earnest - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:03 pm:

    >I offer this also, for consideration. Rauner, in his arrogance and inflexibility, is costing taxpayers more money by letting the contract fight drag out with AFSCME, rather than trying to get savings for taxpayers through reasonable concessions from state employees.

    Great point. I would say the same applies to work comp–he could already have gotten changes in place that would be saving businesses money right now.


  19. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:07 pm:

    WHAT??? Who kidnapped the REAL Gov Rauner, and what did you do with him?!? /s


  20. - WhoKnew - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:09 pm:

    #GovernorWhiplash

    I hereby relinquish all rights!/s


  21. - Rogue Roni - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:16 pm:

    It did really kill the narrative of “come on guys you’re not getting privatized” when you immediately go and privatize.


  22. - Ex Con - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:21 pm:

    During the 3 years I spent in prison, I had experience with both IDOC-employed unionized nurses and non-unionized nurses working for a contractor. There was no difference in the quality of care, or lack thereof.


  23. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 12:44 pm:

    Another loss for the Governor.


  24. - Lt Guv - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 1:07 pm:

    12:21pm - George Ryan, is that you?


  25. - Annonin' - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    cavin’ is a good trait to learn…and remember.
    Next? maybe DopeyDuct can get ready to sign the Lifeline Spending Plan.


  26. - Me Again - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 2:22 pm:

    Usually Rauner doesn’t back down unless he has to.

    What happened to cause him to do that?


  27. - A Jack - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 2:35 pm:

    Well SB19 probably had something to do with Rauner changing his mind. It had 68 yes votes, so pretty close to enough to override a veto. I suspect that he would see an actual override as a failure. So he is likely trying to kill that bill by restarting negotiations. Now whether or not he can actually reach an agreement with the nurses remains to be seen. Rauner could fake it for awhile and in six months say he tried, but he will say the nurses won’t work him and he will go back to the layoff.

    And it may look like I am cynical, but I have been watching Rauner now for a while and this just seems to be the way he operates.


  28. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 3:45 pm:

    To update #3–

    If I didn’t know better I’d say there’s a lack of trust concerning this governor.


  29. - Me Again - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 4:28 pm:

    Doh!


  30. - Cardsfan - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 5:22 pm:

    ==As far as Butler goes, he voted no on SB19, so I hope any effected nurses in his district remember that.==

    Butler consistently votes against his constituents. He’s a Raunerite through and through. Toes the party line and forgets the people he represents. I for one, will always remember his willingness to vote against the people he’s supposed to represent. It’s too bad the Dem’s didn’t run anyone against him.


  31. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 6:20 pm:

    McCann is nowhere near as scared of Governor Innocent Victim as the rest of the StateHouse GOP seem to be.


  32. - Me Again - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 6:22 pm:

    Butler needs to start representing the people that elected him, not Rauner!


  33. - FirstTimer - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 6:54 pm:

    I hope most of you who posted earlier in the day have noticed the press release from the INA. They do not feel as comfortable as some of the reports might lead us to believe. From one member in INA it was told that the administration has given a date of negotiations and basically accept his demands by the 22nd of May! Just about enough time to see if they will fold and if not then he can veto SB19. It will put the pressure of outsourcing and lay-offs back to the legislators who will need to come up with enough votes to SAVE these Nurses. Please do not let the “spin of words” from the administration fool us!!


  34. - FirstTimer - Thursday, Apr 27, 17 @ 8:12 pm:

    Another thought would be if the Administration and the IDOC have that much concern for these Nurses—Why not just SIGN THE BILL? SB19 sits on the Governor’s desk waiting for his signature, this would answer any doubts about the intentions!!


  35. - generic drone - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 1:27 am:

    While Senator McMann continues his support for his district, his counterpart, C.D. Davidsmeyer remains a steadfast Rauner supporter. Nothing but crickets from him. Remember this at election time. You can bet we will be marching on Davidsmeyers sidewalk again.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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