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AFSCME members ratify new state contract

Monday, Jun 24, 2019

* Sean Crawford at NPR Illinois

Members of AFSCME Council 31 have a new labor deal with the State of Illinois, according to the union.

Ratification votes were taken at various locations over the past week and a half. It’s the first state contract for the 40,000 state government employees since the last one expired in 2015. Efforts to negotiate a new pact with former Gov. Bruce Rauner were unsuccessful.

New Gov. J.B. Prtizker had made resolution of the dispute a priority since his election last year. The agreement includes 11.5% raises over the next 4 years. Other provisions dealing with overtime and subcontracting are included. Members will pay more for health coverage, but far less than what the Rauner Administration was seeking.

* SJ-R

Compounded, the raises amount to 11.98 percent over the life of the contract. State workers have received no general raises since July 2014.

Employee health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs will increase. Although specific totals will vary depending on the employee’s health plan and salary, premiums will go up each January by a composite $13 per month for individuals and $18 per month for families. It is the first increase in premiums or out of pocket health costs in four years.

AFSCME said the contract also strengthens restrictions on mandatory overtime and maintains current provisions about subcontracting. Rauner wanted to increase the use of outsourcing of state work.

The deal also expands maternity and paternity leave and creates a new labor-management body to reduce the threat of violence in the workplace and improve worker safety.

* AFSCME

The new agreement takes effect immediately and runs through June 30, 2023. The previous contract had been slated to expire at the end of June 2015.

In recognition of their continued diligence during Rauner’s tenure—when he froze their pay and illegally prevented employees from progressing through the pay plan for four years—state workers will initially receive a stipend of $625 for each of the past four years worked. General pay increases will follow in January 2020 (1.5%), July 2020 (2.1%), January 2021 and January 2022 (both 3.95%). State employees have received no general increase since July 2014.

Employee premiums and out-of-pocket costs in the state group health insurance plan will increase. Although specific employee contributions vary by type of health plan and salary levels, premiums will go up each January by a composite $13 per month for individuals and $18 per month for families. This maintains Illinois’s standing in the middle ranks of state employee health plans nationally.

Among other provisions, the new contract strengthens employee protections against excessive forced overtime, expands maternity and paternity leave, creates a new labor-management body to reduce the threat of violence in the workplace and improve worker safety, preserves accountability standards for privatization proposals and creates new protections to safeguard employees’ private information.

The agreement was ratified by an overwhelming majority of union members voting. “The big margin reflects how ready state workers are for the return of sanity and responsible governance in the wake of Bruce Rauner’s relentless attacks,” Lynch said. “Public service workers in state government clearly believe this contract is fair for all.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

44 Comments
  1. - Nick Name - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    ===It is the first increase in premiums or out of pocket health costs in four years.===

    No, SJ-R, it’s the first increase since the previous contract was ratified in 2012.


  2. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 10:18 am:

    This is a historic contract and tremendous victory for state workers, AFSCME Council 31 and the labor movement. The Council was at the forefront of Rauner’s and super-rich anti-union interests attack, with the Janus decision and Rauner’s destructive impasse and wage theft. This is a great testament to the power of workers sticking together and should be a model of unionization to current and future workers everywhere in America.


  3. - pool boy - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    JB to the rescue. Here I thought my projected 2.5% raise for next year was good. I wonder what social security is getting?


  4. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 10:43 am:

    pool boy

    Another victim heard from


  5. - Steve - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 10:43 am:

    Big victory for state workers. Big loss for Illinois taxpayers.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    ===Big victory for state workers. Big loss for Illinois taxpayers.===

    Narrator: State workers are taxpayers too.


  7. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    Oh boy. Two victims heard from


  8. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 10:46 am:

    ==Here I thought my projected 2.5% raise for next year was good. I wonder what social security is getting?==

    Also neither of those are relevant.


  9. - Steward As Well.... - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 10:47 am:

    Heard on local radio this morning merit comp people are getting a bump as well around 5%.


  10. - PublicServant - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 10:52 am:

    Take that Bruce. Ya see what someone who actually builds businesses instead of cannibalizing them for a living can do for Illinois? I feel the state is on a good trajectory now. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out of the state, Bruce.


  11. - Generic Drone - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 11:11 am:

    Hopefully the graduated income can become a reality. Or we might see that appropiation card get played again.


  12. - Flynn's Mom - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 11:23 am:

    has anyone reached out to Rauner for his thoughts? Where is Rauner?


  13. - Colin Robinson - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    Any guesses on when the bonus will get paid?


  14. - Baloneymous - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 11:36 am:

    Flynn
    Don’t think we’ll here from Rauner. This is one time he cant blame Madigan so he’s probably at a loss.


  15. - Reality Check - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 11:40 am:

    Here I thought my projected 2.5% raise for next year was good.

    Same as the value of increases under this contract next year. So you’re complaining about what, exactly?

    (And have you also had no raise since 2014, like state workers?)


  16. - Perrid - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    “This maintains Illinois’s standing in the middle ranks of state employee health plans nationally.”

    What is being ranked there? Raw dollar amounts of employee premiums and out of pocket costs? That I could believe. But the entire cost of the healthcare plans, employer and employee costs, can NOT be middle of the pack.


  17. - Ike - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 11:45 am:

    Rauner is in Italy drinkng wine and trying to spread his anti-union “turn around” agenda to anyone that will listen to him. /s


  18. - Mitchell - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 11:46 am:

    How are state employees who recently had babies being handled under the new parental leave policy? It seems unfair that someone who had a baby on June 15, 2019 should only receive 4 weeks while someone who had a baby today receives 10 weeks. Under the former personnel rules, everyone (both union and merit comp employees) had up to 1 year to utilize their 4 weeks parental leave. It stands to reason that anyone who had a baby within the past year of contract ratification should be “grandfathered” into the new policy and receive 10 weeks.


  19. - CharlieKratos - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    Colin, some time in July.

    Mitchell, if you’re currently on paternity leave, contact hr. You’ll get the full 10 weeks. As far as I know, if you’ve already returned from maternity/paternity leave, there’s no grandfathering.


  20. - Skeptic - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 12:05 pm:

    “It seems unfair that…” Instead, I suggest you embrace the win.


  21. - up2now - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 12:23 pm:

    Anyone know how this affects retirees with less than 20 years, paying part of their health care premium? And will future TRAIL premiums be affected?


  22. - thoughts matter - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 12:25 pm:

    ==Although specific employee contributions vary by type of health plan and salary levels, premiums will go up each January by a composite $13 per month for individuals and $18 per month for families. ==

    It will end up going up 4 times the composite costs because that is how much it will be raised in each of 4 time periods during the life of the contract. FYI - the higher salary premium cost is actually going up $40 or more each time, rather than $13.


  23. - Mitchell - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 12:28 pm:

    I am grateful that all sides were able to come together to find a positive resolution. This Governor recognizes the importance of parental leave and made it a priority. If one had a baby in December 2018 and waited to use the parental leave until July is he/she eligible for 4 weeks or 10 weeks? Employees who are still within their 1-year timeframe should be able to utilize the new policy. This is the most equitable application as its consistent with the previous policy of having 1 year from date of birth.


  24. - thoughts matter - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 12:30 pm:

    up2now - retiree/TRAIL premiums are percentages of the total cost of the insurance. I wouldn’t think changing the active employee contribution figures would affect the total cost (employer and employee combined). I think active employees are just picking up a greater share of the total cost than yesterday.


  25. - union proud - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 12:50 pm:

    Mitchell, I don’t know how it is in your agency but in DHS there is no 1 year window to take parental leave. DHS admin directives say it must be right after birth or adoption.


  26. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:17 pm:

    ==should be able to utilize the new policy==

    Some people just can’t take a win. I have no idea what they will do. But if they decide to make it as of the ratification date that would be fair I would think. The benefit didn’t exist before that date.


  27. - Skeptic - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    “premium cost is actually going up $40 or more” Compared to $150 or more under Rauner’s Last and Final. Embrace the win.


  28. - thoughts matter - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:56 pm:

    skeptic

    I’m not in that union, but I acknowledge that it was supposed to be higher. I’m totally ok with the end figure - just pointing out facts that some may not realize about what the end figure actually is.


  29. - Friend of the family - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:57 pm:

    When will the non-collective bargaining unit positions funded by state dollars be provided a sustenance raise, or are those the positions that allow state government to cut costs so the Union employees can continue to benefit.


  30. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    ==or are those the positions that allow state government to cut costs so the Union employees==

    The state isn’t saving a whole lot of money. There aren’t that many of those positions. In the grand scheme of things you could fund the salaries of those individuals with the proverbial change from the state’s couch cushions.


  31. - Robert the 1st - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    When does the $2500 stipend come through? I have an IDOC friend who owes me money…


  32. - Awaiting retirement - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 2:30 pm:

    Does anyone know if retirement date is July 1st do we qualify for the stipend and when they are planning on paying it?


  33. - Friend of the family - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    Demoralized. Great, and thanks for the information. Since the amount is so low, the state then should be providing annual cost of living increases to those people. This is good, the state has no reason to go 11- 15 years without even a pittance to those people.


  34. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    ==Does anyone know if retirement date is July 1st do we qualify for the stipend==

    You only have to have worked one day in each fiscal year to be eligible for the payment for that fiscal year.

    I cannot answer whether they will still be making the payments to someone who has already left state service though.


  35. - Nick Name - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 3:34 pm:

    ===Rauner is in Italy drinkng wine and trying to spread his anti-union “turn around” agenda to anyone that will listen to him. /s===

    May he get caught in Rome congestion in one of those two-hour transportation employees’ strikes.


  36. - Steward As Well.... - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 5:17 pm:

    What is quite telling is during the “Rauner reign” my agency was terrified of him. This caused after years of establishing a working relationship (hard work by myself) with management and the union a total disconnect.

    As bad as he treated the union he did the same for management.


  37. - Me Again - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 6:18 pm:

    State retirees who worked in union positions anytime in the 07/2015-07/2019 period also missed out on any raises and should definitely get their fair share of the stipend.


  38. - DougChicago - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 8:13 pm:

    The piggy pigs get fed. The taxpayers bleed out.


  39. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 8:15 pm:

    Me Again

    The union understood those people would not get the stipend. If you already retired or quit you get nothing.


  40. - John Patterson - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 12:21 am:

    DougChicago, move to another state. You won’t be missed.


  41. - Anon 88 - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 7:45 am:

    Will the smaller unions get the same benefits as AFSCME?


  42. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 8:14 am:

    == Will the smaller unions get the same benefits as AFSCME? ==

    Insurance, yes, because AFSCME serves as the model for that benefit.

    The rest, no, they won’t automatically receive the same raises, etc., unless that Union’s contract says, in effect, “same as AFSCME”.


  43. - Awaiting retirement - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 12:17 pm:

    I have not retired yet. I retire July 1st is why I asked about if I qualified for the stipend and when it was expected to be paid if I got it.


  44. - Budyroe - Friday, Jun 28, 19 @ 1:19 pm:

    Just wanting to know when the 2500 stipend is supposed to be paid out? Asking for a friend


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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