Features, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Illinois Supreme Court Won’t Hear Challenge to Step-Pay Raises

April 3, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—The Illinois Supreme Court said Mar. 22 that it would not hear Gov. Bruce Rauner’s appeal of a lower-court decision that said it couldn’t legally continue withholding step-pay increases from state workers. The governor began refusing to pay them in 2015, after American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31’s last contract expired. Rauner claimed he was no longer obligated to pay the increases, given automatically for longevity in a state job, but Council 31 argued that the old contract’s terms were still in effect until a new agreement was approved. Last November, a state appeals court ruled in the union’s favor, sending the issue back to the Illinois Labor Relations Board, which now has to figure out how and when to pay the increases. “AFSCME has won another round in the battle for payment of step increases that Gov. Bruce Rauner has illegally frozen,” the union said in a statement Mar. 23. But it warned that “Rauner has claimed that the state cannot afford to pay the step increases and may even try to influence the Labor Board’s final order.” The union estimates that about 40% of the 38,000 state workers it represents qualify for the increases. Read more

April 3, 2018

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