December 20, 2015
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Springfiled, IL- About 2,000 union members and their supporters rallied at the Prairie Capital Convention Center Dec. 10 to protest Gov. Bruce Rauner's anti-union policies.
This governor is driving our state down to chaos and division," said Roberta Lynch, executive director of Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the largest state workers’ union. "We're negotiating with a governor who unfortunately doesn't respect workers or value the work we do." Council 31’s contract with the state, which covers about 35,000 employees, expired last June, and the administration is demanding a wage freeze plus what the union calls "huge" increases in health insurance costs. Robert Pickerill of Springfield, a retired member of Local 137 of the Plumbers and Pipefitters union, said he attended to support AFSCME, and because "we certainly don't want to see this state go to a right-to-work—a right-to-work-for-less—state for sure. Read more