Gov. Pat Quinn says the state is still bargaining with the state’s largest public labor union. Earlier this week the state terminated the contract between the State of Illinois and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees. Still, Quinn says the bargaining table is there. “We’re bargaining. We’re anxious to conclude the bargaining and have a contract with the government employees union,” Quinn said.
Quinn says AFSCME continues to seek a pay raise despite the state's troubled finances.
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“Everyone knows the State of Illinois is financially stretched, no doubt about it. We have to tell everyone, including the government employees union, that the cupboard is bare when it comes to pay raises. We just don’t have that money,” Quinn said.
Quinn says the state extended the contract three times, and still union negotiators haven't given proposals to deal with retirement health care costs. Quinn says that after 11 months of bargaining with the union, there will be no additional extensions of a contract covering 40,000 workers that expired in June.
AFSCME has said the action will make reaching agreement on a contract more difficult.