Governor Bruce Rauner wants an excuse to fire unionized state workers.
He is wants a strike. He has been provoking a strike.
At this moment, AFSCME members are voting on strike authorization.
Rauner has refused to bargain for over a year. He says he has made his last, best and final offer.
AFSCME leadership repeatedly has called for renewed negotiations. They have already conceded much to avoid harm to those that rely on state services. AFSCME has proposed a deal where members would receive no general wage increases for four years, pay modestly more for health insurance, and continue to negotiate on all other issues.
Rauner administration has refused to even meet with the union bargaining committee.
Instead, the governor is pushing to unilaterally impose terms on AFSCME members—including a 100% increase in employee costs for health care and an end to standards that prevent irresponsible outsourcing—unlike those accepted by any other union in state government.
He has no interest in pursuing collective bargaining.
Why is the Governor targeting AFSCME?
Aside from his basic hatred for organized public employees that is.
There is this.
Rauner’s refusal to negotiate with the largest union of state employees threatens disproportionate harm to communities of color in the Chicago area and to Black, Latino and female state employees.
They are not Rauner’s people, so they don’t matter.
This morning Black and Latino state senators and representatives and state workers represented by AFSCME will be holding a press conference on the harmful impact of Gov. Rauner’s treatment of the union representing the largest share of people of color and women in state government.
The press conference will take place at the James. R. Thompson State of Illinois Center, 15th Floor press room at 11AM.