SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— The Illinois Labor Relations Board has given state officials 20 days to explain how they’re going to pay union workers raises due since 2015.
Gov. Bruce Rauner stopped paying step increases given for longevity after American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31’s contract expired, but state courts ruled that the about 15,000 workers affected were entitled to the raises because the old contract remained in effect while a new one was being negotiated. The board also ordered the state to pay them 7%-a-year interest on the amount owed. “Typically when an employer has been so clearly found in violation of the law, they comply with the board’s order voluntarily, and we expect the state to do so,” AFSCME spokesperson Anders Lindall told the Springfield State Journal-Register. “If it doesn’t, we will be prepared to immediately file a petition for compliance.” The state legislature did not appropriate the about $415 million needed to cover the increases in its fiscal 2019 budget. It did include about $63 million to cover back pay owed to union workers since 2011, but Lindall said the state hasn’t paid them yet.