Saturday, January 16, 2016

Illinois Governor Rauner Still Hell Bent on Destroying People’s Lives

On January 15, 2016, Governor Rauner issued a news release in which the administration claimed that state employee contract negotiations are at an impasse. AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director issued the following statement in response:

“AFSCME and the public-service workers we represent have worked hard to reach a fair agreement with the Rauner Administration, and we’re prepared to continue to do so. We reject the claim that the bargaining process is at an impasse.

“It’s regrettable and damaging to the public interest that the governor has chosen a confrontational path. Just as Gov. Rauner is holding the state budget hostage, his 'my way or no way' demands of state employees are the obstacle to a fair agreement. Rauner’s demands would force workers and their families pay double to keep their health care—making the Illinois state health plan the nation’s worst for any state workforce—while getting zero wage increase for four years. Instead of fairly compensating all workers, he wants to base bonuses on unknown criteria open to political favoritism. And the governor wants to wipe out protections against irresponsible privatization of public services. These are just some of more than 200 extreme demands the administration has made during this process…” (AFSCME responds to Rauner administration’s attempt to terminate union contract negotiations). 

“In response to Governor Rauner’s move to declare impasse in negotiations with workers represented by AFSCME, Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) President Dan Montgomery issued the following statement:

‘Governor Rauner’s actions today prove once again that his priority is forced conflict, not progress. The 100,000 workers of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, some of whom are also state employees, are proud to stand with AFSCME as we face a deceptive and irresponsible Governor willing to use middle-class families, the most vulnerable, and our students as a wager in his fanatical game. Make no mistake: this isn’t in service of financial savings for the state. This is an ideological obsession unfit for a state leader forcing chaos to enact a reckless and unpopular agenda. Our members go to work each day trying to help others, trying to resolve conflict, trying to educate our children. Governor Rauner could learn a thing or two from them.’

“In addition to teachers, school staff, and higher education faculty at community colleges and universities throughout Illinois, the IFT includes thousands of public employees under dozens of agencies and statewide officeholders” (Capitol Fax). 

For a summary of Rauner’s intractable budget proposal from last February that has created a reckless and irresponsible impasse in Illinois, click here.


  1. Why are the citizens of Illinois tolerating this obscene behavior by a governor who to date has accomplished NOTHING?

  2. Recall this liar and thief posing as governor.

  3. from Richard Palzer:

    A Labor Board decision that negotiations have reached impasse allows Rauner "to bypass further talks and impose his own terms ...," according the the Tribune story on today's front page. Rauner has appointed 4 of the 5 Labor Board's members, so he has an advantage, and, as University of Illinois labor and employment relations professor Robert Bruno is quoted as saying (p. 4), if impasse can be shown, "you are now free from having to bargain and now have the potential of unilaterally getting what you want." That sounds to me like what Rauner is after. Bruno says the risk to Rauner is a union strike, but he seems to be provoking one, so I'm not sure he'd consider it such a risk. And I'd worry because strikers can certainly come off as the bad guys, which is exactly what Rauner and company would work to promote. On the positive side (if there is one), Bruno also said that collective bargaining law exists so employees have that collective--i.e., powerful--voice and therefore don't want anything to "short-circuit" the process. (Doesn't sound so positive after all, does it?)

  4. Rauner only represents a small, very wealthy, special interest group. If he gets his way, we can roll back the clock to a small class of robber barons while the rest of us are serfs. A healthy economy requires a vibrant middle class, which we will not see under this governor.

  5. Why do the state workers get blamed for this state's horrible financial troubles? We have had nothing but liars and thieves in office for decades. If we knew the absolute truth about what really goes on in Springfield, it would give us nightmares.