A state labor board judge has ruled that Illinois' largest public union and the governor's office aren't at impasse but looks to allow the state to impose it's last offer on a few things in which they cannot agree on. A State Administrative Law Judge ruled Friday afternoon that the American Federation of State, County an Municipal Employees Council 31 and Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration have not reached a full impasse.
This means the governor cannot give his final offer to the union to be accepted or refused, something that could trigger a statewide strike. The ruling did, however say the state could impose its final offer on a number of separate facets of their contract negotiations, meaning that the two sides are so far apart that the judge had no hope of a deal being made in those aspects of the contract talks. The two sides have been fighting over contract demands since July of last year. Rauner's office requested the labor board declare an impasse in January after months of negotiations on a new contract. He has said a quick resolution to the negotiations would save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over several months. With an average salary of nearly $60,000, Illinois' public employees are some of the highest paid in the country. Both sides have the ability to appeal the ruling to the full labor board.