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Rauner administration sued over avoiding pay hike law

Friday, Sep 8, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* AP

Members of the Service Employees International Union Illinois have sued the state of Illinois for failing to make good on pay raises required under the new state budget.

The union and Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration are in the midst of a year’s long negotiation for a contract to replace the one that expired June 30, 2015.

At issue in the lawsuit filed Wednesday is a 48-cent-per-hour raise for home health workers lawmakers wrote into the budget enacted over Rauner’s July veto. The provision gave the state one month from the July 5 to increase the wage rates for those workers, who the union claims total about 28,000.

* Tribune

Rauner spokesman Jason Schaumburg said in an email that wage negotiations should be part of the collective bargaining contract process between the administration and SEIU. The union and the administration are in the midst of a yearslong negotiation for a contract to replace the one that expired June 30, 2015.

“The state and unions like SEIU are required to engage in collective bargaining about wages and wage increases under the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act,” Schaumburg said. “Under that same statute, the agreements the state and the union reach over wage increases take precedence over any conflicting law.”

Terri Harkin, union vice president, called the administration’s argument “disingenuous.”

“The law is clear: the state is required to implement statutory minimum labor standards — such as minimum wage,” Harkin said in a statement. “The state is then required to bargain with the union for any increases above the minimum standard by statute. Neither the Labor Act nor the SEIU collective bargaining agreement presents an obstacle to the immediate implementation of the raise required by the statute.”

* The original statute says this

Personal assistants shall be paid at a rate negotiated between the State and an exclusive representative of personal assistants under a collective bargaining agreement.

* And the newly amended statute says this

Within 30 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly, the hourly wage paid to personal assistants and individual maintenance home health workers shall be increased by $0.48 per hour.

The lawsuit is here.

       

14 Comments
  1. - The Captain - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 1:41 pm:

    Imagine making $188 million a year, believing that the number one problem facing this state is that people who actually work for a living make too much money and the hill you will die on is $0.48/hr.

    Unbelievable.


  2. - Reality Check - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 1:45 pm:

    @The Captain, Rauner’s hill isn’t 48 cents an hour, it’s union-busting. That’s the hill, the ballgame, the ball of wax, the whole enchilada. Always has been.


  3. - Juice - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 1:52 pm:

    I support the wage increase, but I think the Governor’s people are probably correct on this.

    Without amending section 15 of the Public Labor Relations Act, then the collective bargaining process likely still controls.


  4. - Anon - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 2:09 pm:

    ===I support the wage increase, but I think the Governor’s people are probably correct on this===

    More than one way to raise a wage.

    There’s been the Title 80 satisfactory performance increases and the negotiated increases for state employees for years.


  5. - Juice - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 2:26 pm:

    At least for employees covered under a CBA, Title 80 typically formalizes what has been negotiated via rule, unless you’re referring to something I’m not aware of.


  6. - inartful? - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 2:47 pm:

    The first sentence and (new) last sentence of that paragraph are in direct conflict; resulting in purposeful ambiguity like most laws ….


  7. - Sue - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 3:05 pm:

    SEIU at work. Can anyone rationalize how it’s legal to single out one population covered by collective bargaining to receive a legislative raise. It’s not like raising the overall minimum wage for the state. It is probably voidable under either the public labor act or the prohibition against single purpose legislation


  8. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 3:11 pm:

    So the legislature appears to have usurped the Governor’s power in negotiating such contracts with that language?

    This should be one messy court fight.


  9. - Wondering - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 3:53 pm:

    As in the miltary, the last lawful order prevails. 47 cents it is


  10. - The_Equalizer - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 3:58 pm:

    With the AFSCME negotiations, doesn’t Rauner’s administration believe wages should NOT be in the collective bargaining system? And with SEIU, now it should? Or am I missing something?


  11. - Arock - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 4:00 pm:

    Looks like a pay off from our corrupt politicians once again, not unlike them trying to backdoor a deal with AFSCME twice.


  12. - jim - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    let’s spend more money the state doesn’t have.


  13. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    “Looks like a pay off from our corrupt politicians once again, not unlike them trying to backdoor a deal with AFSCME twice. ”

    $0.48/hour. I mean, that’s practically Enron and the Big Short all in one! /s


  14. - Robert the 1st - Friday, Sep 8, 17 @ 4:17 pm:

    $0.48 X 40 hours X 52 weeks X 28,000 employees comes to $27.955 million a year.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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