Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Just How Dictatorial Is Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner?

“…Rauner has said that if we don’t agree to his terms, he’ll force a strike and shut down state government until we do. Those kind of threats don’t serve the bargaining process or the citizens of our state well. The services we provide are essential to Illinois citizens. And there’s no way that ‘replacement workers’ could perform the complex and challenging jobs that we do. That’s why our union is doing everything possible to reach a fair settlement at the bargaining table…” (AFSCME). 

What does Rauner want to do to state workers?

  • No wage increases.
  • Freeze all step increases.
  • Eliminate longevity pay (including for all those currently receiving it).
  • Eliminate almost all semiautomatic promotions.
  • Eliminate maximum security pay.
  • Reduce callback pay and standby pay.
  • Restructure the group health plan to drastically shift costs to employees—with employees paying 40% of the premium cost PLUS 40% of the cost of medical care, paid through much higher copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. Employees’ costs would increase by thousands of dollars.
  • Increase dental premiums by more than 100%.
  • Increase retiree health insurance costs.
  • Increase “outofpocket” maximums, likely to the highest allowable under federal law.
  • Require all employees hired before July 1, 2011 to “voluntarily” agree to reduce their pension benefits to the Tier 2 level.
  • Eliminate the Upward Mobility Program in its entirety, as well as all other forms of tuition reimbursement, continuing education, and licensure reimbursement.
  • Calculate overtime pay based on over 40 hours worked in a full week (and excludes benefit time).
  • Reduce amount of holidays and vacation time.
  • “Management Rights” clause would not be limited by the terms of the Union contract.
  • Allow Management to suspend the contract if it determines an “emergency” exists.
  • Redefine grievances to refer only to violations of the “express provisions” of the contract.
  • Refuse to allow union dues, PEOPLE contributions, or Fair Share fees to be deducted from employees’ paychecks.
  • Delete all language that restricts subcontracting or personal service contracts—allowing Management to privatize any state services‐‐replacing bargaining unit employees with vendor employees‐‐at any time without any notice, justification or review.
  • Void the Memorandum of Understanding that places limits on mandatory overtime, allowing Management to mandate overtime without any restrictions.
  • Eliminate most seniority rights during the layoff process including eliminating all bumping rights. • Require employees to use their own time for grievance meetings.
  • Require Union stewards to use their own time to represent employees.
  • Completely eliminate requirement to bargain about changes in working conditions.

1 comment:

  1. I suggest people listen to or read Chris Hedges. Whether or not you agree with everything he says, it just reinforces what Glen says. We're living in a time when the right-wing plutocrats (and many corporate Democrats) do not want us to have anything--all government out of our lives, (except when it works in favor of their beliefs), all protections gone, all power in the hands of the Olympian elites as they call themselves--and we are "slaves" to them. He points out that any attempt by companies like Walmart to talk the talk for wage increases is only to sedate people and avoid uprisings as has happened in other countries. Last week was very interesting: students, seniors, people of every background and age staged a protest against Rauner cuts in front of the Board of Trade. The police/Emanuel apparently decided that they were better off not getting involved except when six volunteers sat in the middle of the street at Jackson and LaSalle blocking traffic. They quietly and politely arrested them and then let them go. My take was that they didn't want any publicity on the media for our cause, per the Mayor's orders. .