Top News

Appeals court: State must give union workers their pay raises while negotiating new contract

Scott Holland Nov. 7, 2017, 5:12pm

The Fifth District Appellate Court dealt Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner a setback Nov. 6 by ruling in favor of union employees on the question of stepped salary increases, saying whether or not there is a collective bargaining agreement in place, the union workers are owed the regular pay raises, which the state hasn't paid since a contract expired in 2015.

SCOTUS to take up Illinois case challenging power of unions to collect fees from non-union state workers

Jonathan Bilyk Sep. 29, 2017, 6:46am

The U.S. Supreme Court will again wade into the question of whether public sector worker unions can force government employees who don’t wish to join their union to still pay fees, ostensibly for collective bargaining representation.

Fifth District directs LeChien to review order extending AFSCME contract

The Madison County Record Dec. 19, 2016, 10:58am

MOUNT VERNON – St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien must review his order extending the union contract of 38,000 state employees in light of a state agency’s opposite decision, Fifth District appellate judges ruled on Dec. 16.

Three reasons AFSCME has so much power over Illinois taxpayers

Mailee Smith, Illinois Policy Institute Nov. 28, 2016, 9:12am

Over the years, AFSCME – the state’s largest government-worker union – has amassed incredible benefits for state workers through contract negotiations with the state. When AFSCME comes to the bargaining table, it isn’t AFSCME versus the governor – it’s AFSCME versus the state taxpayer. And AFSCME holds extraordinarily more power in the process than the state taxpayers footing the bill.

AFSCME's demands come at expense of neediest Illinoisans

Mailee Smith, Illinois Policy Institute Oct. 24, 2016, 4:30pm

By demanding a larger share of the state’s limited resources, AFSCME is depleting state funds and keeping them from social service providers and other Illinoisans who most need them.

AFSCME's demands come at expense of neediest Illinoisans

Mailee Smith, Illinois Policy Institute Oct. 18, 2016, 4:20pm

By demanding a larger share of the state’s limited resources, AFSCME is depleting state funds and keeping them from social service providers and other Illinoisans who most need them.

Court: No back pay without appropriation; Ruling nixes decision by arbitrator, lower courts

Mark Fitton, Illinois News Network Mar. 28, 2016, 11:17am

SPRINGFIELD — Reversing two lower courts and an arbitrator, the Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday ruled the state is not on the hook for back-pay raises to some 24,000 employees unless the General Assembly passes an appropriation.

House Dems again pass arbitration bill, but remain short of veto override votes

Mark Fitton, Illinois News Network Feb. 17, 2016, 5:52am

SPRINGFIELD — House Democrats on Tuesday again passed a bill that could send the stalled contract talks between Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state’s biggest employee unions to a panel of arbitrators.

State, AFSCME talks break down; No meetings scheduled, impasse may be near

Mark Fitton, Illinois News Network Jan. 9, 2016, 8:14am

SPRINGFIELD — Talks between Gov. Rauner’s administration and the state’s largest public-sector employee union broke down Friday. There are no talks scheduled for next week, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 and the Rauner team are blaming each other for Friday’s events. There’s also no agreement on whether the talks are at impasse, which AFSCME says the Rauner team declared.

Rauner, AFSCME continue to scrap; Union blasts governor’s merit pay offers

Mark Fitton, Illinois News Network Jan. 8, 2016, 9:54am

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner has implemented a merit-raise system for non-union employees, as well as roughly 5,000 workers represented by smaller state-government unions, according to a memo from his lead attorney. The Republican governor is also proposing many points of the same to the state’s largest employee union — the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Councl 31 — which has been without a contract even after a year of negotiations.

Rauner reaches labor deals, but still in fight with AFSCME

Mark Fitton Nov. 19, 2015, 8:15am

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration on Wednesday announced it has reached new four-year deals with several trade unions, as well as with Service Employees International Union Local 1 of Chicago and the International Union of United Food and Commercial Workers.

It’s back to court for state and its unions; AFSCME and others seek wages, increases, med payments

Mark Fitton Sep. 21, 2015, 7:08am

State employee unions have returned to court in an effort to lock in continued pay for the fiscal year, get medical claims paid, stop layoffs and retain step pay raises and semi-automatic promotions despite lack of a contract. At the end of June, Illinois entered fiscal year 2016 without a budget and without new labor contracts, and its biggest unions sought to make sure their members in state government continued to be paid. The unions have so far succeeded in the courts, and their members co

Rauner-led GOP, Democrats about to square off; Going in, margins on override vote look razor thin

Mark Fitton Sep. 2, 2015, 11:07am

SPRINGFIELD — At the moment, one four-digit number — 1229 — is the watchword for the struggle between first-year Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who hold supermajorities in the General Assembly. That struggle is anticipated to come to a head Wednesday in the House, when Democrats are expected to attempt an override of Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 1229, the interest arbitration or “no-strike/no-lockout” bill. The measure would allow mandatory arbitration should either the state o

Senate Bill 1229: An assault on taxpayers

Ted Dabrowski Sep. 1, 2015, 7:43am

Illinoisans’ household incomes have fallen by 8 percent since 2000, while state-worker salaries have increased by 22 percent.

Rauner’s federal fair share fee suit vs. unions dismissed; Non-union workers cleared to continue litigation

Jonathan Bilyk May 20, 2015, 11:41am

Gettleman

Injunction over state employee pay moved to federal court

Amelia Flood Jul. 15, 2009, 10:52am

Illinois Human Services case worker Barb Reardon didn't want to talk politics when it came to her union's request to force the state to pay her and tens of thousands of state workers Wednesday.