July 14, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Chicago, IL – The Illinois Labor Relations Board voted unanimously July 7 not to give Gov. Bruce Rauner a shortcut that would enable him to impose contract terms on state workers.
The board rejected the governor’s request to let him declare an impasse in talks with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 without waiting for a recommendation from the administrative law judge who’s already held hearings on the dispute. An impasse would enable Rauner to give Council 31, which represents 36,000 state workers, a final offer that they would either have to accept or go on strike. The board's general counsel, Kathryn Zeledon Nelson, called his request an “unnecessary deviation” that might generate more litigation. “In essence, the Rauner administration has wasted the past six months when we could have been in negotiations,” said AFSCME spokesperson Anders Lindall. Read more