March 22, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Springfield, IL – Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner filed a request Mar. 17 asking the state Supreme Court to rule immediately on whether it can impose its contract terms on state workers, skipping over the appeals-court level.
The state 4th District Appellate Court issued a stay earlier this month preventing the governor from imposing a pay freeze and health-insurance cost increases on the 38,000 state workers represented by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31, until it rules on whether the bargaining impasse Rauner declared was genuine. The administration is arguing that waiting for the appeals court’s decision “will impose enormous costs” on the state, such as not being able to collect the almost $1,000 a month more it wants to charge workers for health insurance. Council 31 charged that the governor “is so blinded by his anti-union animosity that he refuses to compromise.” “Instead of wasting more time and money in the courts, Governor Rauner should simply do his job and negotiate with our union,” spokesperson Anders Lindall said in the statement. Read more