SPRINGFIELD - The 4th District Appellate Court on March 3 granted AFSCME Council 31’s request to put on hold the state labor board’s impasse decision in contract negotiations between Governor Bruce Rauner and AFSCME, the largest union of public service workers in state government.
The governor's office said they were disappointed with the decision.
“We are currently analyzing this decision, but we are very disappointed with the court’s ruling which continues the stay that prevents our Administration from implementing common-sense changes in the AFSCME contract," Rauner General Counsel Dennis Murashko said.
The proposals Rauner is pushing to implement include overtime eligibility after 40 hours instead of 37.5, the use of volunteers for state services, and a merit pay system.
"Every day of delay costs taxpayers over $2 million. Our contract framework is fair to the State’s taxpayers and employees alike and reflects proposals accepted by 20 other unions,” Murashko said.
As a result of Friday's decision, until the union's appeal is decided, Governor Rauner cannot impose his terms.
The court predicated its ruling on a finding that the union has demonstrated a “reasonable likelihood” of prevailing in its appeal.
“Today’s decision is in the best interest of all the people of Illinois, both public service workers and the millions of citizens who rely on their important work,” AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said. “We strongly urge Governor Rauner to join us in the spirit of compromise and return to bargaining in good faith to reach an agreement that is truly fair to all.”
Rauner’s administration broke off talks between the parties in January 2016 and has since refused to meet with the union.
The AFSCME bargaining committee says the Rauner administration has refused to even meet with the union, and instead rushed forward seeking to unilaterally impose its demands on AFSCME members.
Last week AFSCME announced that members had overwhelmingly authorized a strike if no alternative path to a fair contract could be found.