Taxpayers will have to wait longer for a resolution to the labor dispute between the state’s largest government-worker union and Gov. Bruce Rauner.
The Illinois Labor Relations Board decided July 7 not to bypass the administrative law judge as Rauner had requested. However, the board issued an order to hold the proceedings to a strict timeline.
Rauner asked the board in January to decide whether contract negotiations with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is at an impasse. This ruling means it could be months before the case is resolved.
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The administrative law judge who heard the case said there are more than 5,000 pages of transcripts and more than 230 exhibits. She said even with an expedited schedule it would take a month to digest.
She gave herself a deadline of Sept. 1 to make her recommendation to the board. From there the parties would have 30 days to file appeals to the board. There would be an additional 15 days to respond. That’s a minimum of 45 days before the labor board would consider the case.
Rauner said a quick resolution to the case would have brought about hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer savings over several months. Rauner General Counsel Jason Barclay said they’re disappointed it will take longer to resolve but will respect the labor board’s decisionsthroughout the agreed process.
Barclay also said they hope the ruling highlights the board’s integrity and independence. AFSCME has said the board is packed with Rauner appointees.
AFSCME said it's still willing to negotiate and compromise on a new contract.
The contract between the state and AFSCME expired June 30, 2015.