* Illinois News Network…
Illinois taxpayers could save more than $3 billion a year from government consolidation and mandate relief, according to Gov. Bruce Rauner. […]
“The estimate was we’d save Illinois taxpayers $3.5 billion per year,” Rauner said. “$3.5 billion per year if we actually implemented the 27 recommendations our task force laid out.” […]
For consolidation, recommendations [by the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force] included, among others, a moratorium on creating new local governments, expand DuPage County’s pilot program to all 102 counties, allow township consolidations with coterminous municipalities, incentivize school district consolidation, and encourage sharing of public equipment, facilities and other resources regionally.
Mandates to be repealed, the report suggested, included prevailing wage laws, providing third-party contract mandate relief for school districts, making collective bargaining permissive rather than mandatory, eliminating minimum manning from collective bargaining, merging downstate and suburban public safety pension funds into a single fund, and others.
That report is here.
* Meanwhile, here’s a memo from AFSCME Council 31…
TO: All State Local Union Presidents
FR: Roberta Lynch, Executive Director
Mike Newman, Deputy Director
RE: Rauner Administration Tries to Strip Bargaining Rights from Hundreds of State Employees
In the wake of the US Supreme Court’s ruling in the Janus case, Bruce Rauner has launched an aggressive campaign to strip hundreds of state employees of their contractual rights by attempting to remove their positions from union bargaining units.
Within the past few weeks, the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) has filed over one hundred unit clarification petitions with the Illinois State Labor Relations Board to remove a broad array of positions from AFSCME bargaining units (as well as from the bargaining units of other unions representing state employees). We will shortly send you a list of all affected employees in your local union.
While these employees have been included in the bargaining unit, with full contractual rights, for many years, the Rauner Administration is suddenly alleging that their positions meet one or more of the statutory exclusion definitions under the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act (IPLRA).
This is a very deliberate attempt by the Administration to force these members out of the union and leave them without any guarantees regarding wages, health insurance costs, promotional opportunities, job security, or other essential rights.
Council 31 has sent a letter to all employees in the affected positions informing them of this attempt to strip them of their union rights (see attached sample letter).
The IPLRA is the law that provides collective bargaining rights to public employees in Illinois. It narrowly defines the supervisory, managerial and confidential standards that are the basis for exclusion from union representation. For example, under the Act working supervisors are eligible to be in the union and confidential employees are limited to those who have access to confidential labor relations information. AFSCME does not believe that any of the positions now targeted by CMS meet these standards for exclusion from the act.
When there is a dispute as to whether specific positions should be excluded from a bargaining unit, the Labor Board holds a fact finding hearing to make a determination as to eligibility. You can be assured that Council 31 will vigorously oppose this assault on members’ rights at the Labor Board. Our ability to successfully do so will depend on the affected employees providing the union with comprehensive information on their job duties. We may be contacting you for assistance in gathering such information.