AFSCME

Amanda Vinicky

It's been a year since the state Supreme Court found Illinois' big pension law unconstitutional, and an attempt to get a new law passed is stalled.

Lawmakers' goal is to reduce the state's expenses for its vastly underfunded pensions.

The court says it's illegal to do it by reducing an employees' retirement benefits.

Senate President John Cullerton and Governor Bruce Rauner think they have a way around that.

ilga.gov

A Springfield State Representative says he's not overly optimistic a full budget deal can be agreed to before the scheduled end of the legislature's spring session May 31.

Republican Tim Butler says 11 months into the budget impasse, some of the same obstacles remain.

Amanda Vinicky

Unions members flooded streets in front of the Illinois Statehouse to protest Governor Bruce Rauner's agenda, and what they say are his anti-labor policies.

Union workers marched to the capitol for a rally, where they were briefly joined by a pair of prominent Democrats: House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.

There was a time (in recent memory) that the labor movement wasn't all too fond of Madigan. Though he's a Democrat, he helped pass bills cutting government worker pension benefits, and he's backed corporate tax breaks.

AFSCME Council 31

A dispute involving labor and a majority of lawmakers on one side, and Gov. Bruce Rauner on the other, is playing on repeat. On Monday, Rauner vetoed legislation backed by AFSCME for the second time in a year.

The legislation may sound innocuous to those not directly impacted.

It would send contract disputes (like one that's going on now) between the Illinois's largest public employees union and the state, to a binding arbitrator, who is supposed to be neutral.

But to Rauner it's "stunning, its atrocious legislation."

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced in a hush-money scandal and admitted to molesting children; Governor Bruce Rauner said he hopes for a 2-year budget deal with legislative leaders by the end of May; and the governor insists contact negotiations with AFSCME are at an impass.  Kerry Lester of the Daily Herald joins the panel.

AFSCME Council 31

Contract negotiations between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and a union representing Illinois state workers have reached the state labor board.

Illinois Supreme Court
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Some see a recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling on public employee wages as a potential key to ending the state’s budget impasse.

Rachel Otwell sat down with Past Due host Jamey Dunn to talk about the case.

Jeff Bossert

Unions landed a victory Tuesday: A tie at the U-S Supreme Court on a case perceived as do-or-die for public employee unions means current rules will remain in place. But Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he'll continue to try to ban so-called "fair share" fees.

WUIS

The Illinois Supreme Court will be asked to re-visit an opinion it just issued March 24. State employees' salaries are at stake. 

A pair of Illinois Supreme Court rulings this week are a mixed bag for government employees. The justices struck down a law intended to reduce benefits for Chicago city employees, but also found that AFSCME members cannot be paid bargained-for raises unless the General Assembly specifically authorizes the spending.

Illinois Supreme Court
Brian Mackey / WUIS

The Illinois Supreme Court Thursday said the state does not have to pay unionized employees what it says in their contracts, unless legislators specifically appropriate the money.

WUIS

The Illinois Supreme Court has declared that former Gov. Pat Quinn was correct in 2011 when he denied state workers a promised 2 percent pay raise because lawmakers had not appropriated the money.

Illinois State Labor Relations Board logo
Illinois State Labor Relations Board

Illinois’ Labor Relations Board will hold a hearing to decide if Governor Bruce Rauner and the state’s largest public employees union have reached an impasse.


T-shirts are sold on the first day of the September 2012 teachers’ strike.
Chicago Teachers Union

Despite unions winning a small victory Tuesday in the Illinois House, state workers' future salaries, benefits and even a potential strike remain in limbo.

WUIS

The fate of the Illinois State Museum could be decided in the next couple of days. The museum closed to the public last October as a cost-saving measure as the budget stalemate dragged on.

Talks on fixing the state pension debt resumed, but Governor Bruce Rauner and Senate President John Cullerton can't seem to agree on what they agreed to and Rauner declared contract negotiations with AFSCME at an impasse.  Also this week, the governor announced his support for the state taking over the entire Chicago Public Schools system.  Meanwhile, Illinois higher education continues to go unfunded.  WBEZ's Tony Arnold joins the panel.

Illinois State Labor Relations Board logo
Illinois State Labor Relations Board

The future of some 36,000 state government employees lies -- in part, anyway -- with the Illinois Labor Relations Board.

The union that represents most state workers -- AFSCME -- and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration had been at the bargaining table for a about a year when, on Jan. 15, Rauner announced he'd had enough.

He says there's no point to further talks. They're at an impasse. But neither side can make that choice unilaterally. So Rauner's filed a charge with the labor board, asking it to decide.

afscme31.org

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union leaders say more confusion is on the way because of Gov. Bruce Rauner's recent announcement that he's stalling negotiations. The union's been bargaining on behalf of 36,000 workers.

afscme31.org

The rift between Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state's public employee union has escalated. Friday morning Rauner announced he's asking the state labor board to decide if negotiations with AFSCME have reached an impasse.

A few days ago in an interview with Illinois Public Radio, Rauner -- a Republican -- said his bargaining team is spinning its wheels.

After roughly one year, and after 67 sessions, he claimed "AFSCME has refused to compromise off of their starting position, which was status quo with major increases in compensation, and other issues."

wuis

 Gov. Bruce Rauner says his team is trying to assess its options after an apparent breakdown in talks with AFSCME last week. The union is bargaining on behalf of 36 thousand state workers for a new contract.

There's an impasse over whether there's an impasse. In this case, that's not just a synonym for "not going well." It's a high-stakes legal term, that basically signals the gulf that divides the two sides is so wide it can't be bridged, so there's no point to negotiating further.

Rauner says after a year and 67 bargaining sessions, he's seen no progress with AFSCME.

Sarah Mueller

Tuesday, Jan. 12 marks Bruce Rauner's first anniversary holding the title "Illinois Governor."

afscme31.org

Some 36,000 state employees are members of AFSCME, Illinois' largest public employee union. Friday afternoon, the union announced that Gov. Bruce Rauner made a push to walk away from contract talks.


WUIS

More than 30-thousand state employees are members of AFSCME, Illinois' largest public employee union. Today, the union says Governor Bruce Rauner has walked away from contract talks.

AFSCME Council 31

The state's largest public employee union remains at odds with Governor Rauner's administration on a new contract.  

SEIU TV ad
SEIU Healthcare Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner recently reached an agreement with a trio of unions -- representing some 300 plumbers, machinists and engineers and operators. But he's still at odds with unions representing the bulk of state employees: the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the Service Employees International Union.

SEIU represents home care workers -- people who help the disabled and elderly care for themselves. Denise Gaines, legislative director of SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, says now, these workers get paid to take important training.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS

News Analysis — On September 18, 2012, the year before Bruce Rauner declared his candidacy for governor, he shared his vision for a crisis that could help reshape state government.

As the third month Illinois has gone without a state budget nears its end, some programs have recently gotten funding. Many other are still waiting and starting to feel the pinch. 

State Museum Workers Get Reprieve, At Least For Now

Sep 22, 2015
WUIS

Unionized workers in several state agencies were set to lose their jobs in a week.  But they'll keep them, at least for awhile longer.

Illinois House floor
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Gov.Bruce Rauner declared victory Wednesday in a key battle against government labor unions and the Democratic Party.

AFSCME and other state employee unions have had a rough time in contract negotiations with the Rauner administration. So they backed legislation that would let an arbitrator decide the contract if the union and governor couldn't come to an agreement.

The governor vetoed that legislation, and Democrats in the House tried — and failed — to override him.

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

A key vote in the standoff between Gov. Bruce Rauner and labor is expected in the Illinois House this week, as early as Wednesday.

Rauner has been trying to convince legislators to let him keep his power to negotiate with the AFSCME union, even if it results in a lockout or strike (though Rauner has vowed he won't call for the former). At the same time, AFSCME leaders are asking state representatives to stick with them.

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