AFSCME to Re-Vote on State Contract
By Amanda Vinicky
Illinois’ new deal with the state’s largest public employees union could be null and void. The union is going to take a second vote on its contract agreement with Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration.
It took 15 months for AFSCME to reach an agreement. They finally got a deal in late February.
But AFSCME said because a key condition of the settlement has not been met, it will ask members if they still want to proceed with the new contract.
At issue are back wages owed to employees under the old contract who never got raises they’d been guaranteed.
Illinois is suing to avoid having to pay those raises.
AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall said the new agreement was based on the understanding the state would drop its case — and that has not happened.
“As a result, state employees have a right to re-vote," Lindall said. "That is a vote that will be taking place in state worksites in the coming days.”
But Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office said it cannot dismiss the appeal because the state needs to keep its legal options open.
Madigan’s office said it is up to legislators to decide if they’ll approve money to pay the raises.
But the General Assembly’s had no appetite to do so, especially as they’re looking at cuts to schools and social services.
Still, AFSCME is encouraging its members to vote “yes” on the revised contract. The re-vote should be complete within two weeks.