June 19, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Springfiled, IL – Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration, trying to get an impasse declared in its contract talks with the largest state employees union, has asked the state Labor Relations Board to make a decision without waiting for a recommendation from an administrative law judge.
Hearings on the case began in late April, but the administration, which cut off talks with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees in January, argues that it shouldn’t have to wait because the board won’t be bound by the judge’s recommendations. A Rauner spokesperson said the process is costing the state $35 million to $40 million a month because it can’t cut union workers’ “platinum-plus health-care plans.” “We’ve never seen anything like this before, to cut the administrative law judge out of the process and proceed to the full board,” AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall said June 13. “It’s just more evidence of the endless lengths this governor will go to impose his demands and not negotiate a fair agreement.” The union represents 38,000 state workers. Read more