March 14, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Springfield, IL - A state appeals court ruled March 3 that Gov. Bruce Rauner can’t impose his contract terms on state workers until it decides whether there is a genuine impasse between his administration and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31.
The Fourth District Appellate Court said AFSCME Council 31 had a “reasonable likelihood of success” on its claim that the state labor board wrongly upheld Rauner’s declaration in January 2016 that contract talks had reached an impasse. That would have entitled the governor to impose his last, best and final offer, a four-year deal with no pay increases and doubled health-care costs. "Today's decision is in the best interest of all of the people of Illinois, both public service workers and the millions of citizens who rely on their important work," Council 31 executive director Roberta Lynch said in a statement. "We strongly urge Governor Rauner to join us in the spirit of compromise and return to bargaining in good faith to reach an agreement that is truly fair to all." Rauner lawyer Dennis Murashko said the administration was “very disappointed,” because the ruling prevents it “from implementing common-sense changes.” Read more