Contract talks between the state of Illinois and the union representing 40,000 of its workers are not finished, but the spokesman for the union says that’s not necessarily cause for alarm, or for celebration. “We’ve agreed to bring in a mediator, somebody who can help the two sides to find common ground,” says Anders Lindall of AFSCME Council 31.
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“That’s not unprecedented; in fact, the current contract that was negotiated in the summer of 2008 was ultimately resolved with the help of a mediator in that case, as well.” Terms of the old contract have been extended; Lindall says that was the case four years ago, too. Lindall said the mediator has not been named, nor has the next negotiating session been scheduled.