* 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 Rauner rescinded the layoffs “while they negotiate on the issue of subcontracting,” I was told.
* 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…
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…Adding… I’m told that the layoffs have been rescinded until May 22nd.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Today, it has been reported that the Illinois Department of Corrections has rescinded the layoffs of 124 nurses who work at a dozen Illinois Correctional Facilities.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.”