A key state official said a rumor being spread that state employees who cross picket lines during a strike could be fired without cause is plain wrong and irresponsible.

The Illinois Labor Relations Board could declare that contract negotiations between the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is at an impasse and allow the state to impose terms on the union. The union has said that could lead to a strike.

John Terranova, Illinois Central Management Services' deputy director for labor relations, said job protections would remain for workers who crossed the picket line.
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"You still had job protection right in our offer and so that would still be there if we did get a ruling, or when we get a ruling, from the labor board,” he said.

Terranova also said the state’s personnel code ensures that employees are not going to be terminated without just cause.

He said state employees would have a big decision to make about whether to report to work if the union moves to strike.

“To add that stress level, that anxiety, especially when the message that’s being given to them is not true, I just think that’s wrong," he said.

Terranova said he’s heard there could be a strike Sept. 1.

The union did not respond to messages seeking comment.
(Copyright WBGZ / www.AltonDailyNews.com)