State lawmakers would have more control in collective bargaining for state workers under a proposal introduced by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Madigan says the House passed two budget resolutions this spring, one that disallows spending more than anticipated revenues, and another mandating extra money be spent on paying down overdue bills.
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He says the legislature now controls most of the budget process, and it should have a hand in employee compensation. “We can stand on the sidelines, or we can interject ourselves now and be present through the negotiations so that our position is known and understood,” says Madigan. The measure was likely inspired, in part, by the governor’s deal with state worker unions that he wouldn’t close facilities or shrink staffing levels – deals on which he has reneged. Madigan says the deals never should have happened.
“Once there’s a contract in place that sets the rate of pay, why, the only avenue for adjustment in a budget year is the size of the workforce,” Madigan says. “Governor Quinn gave that away.” Collective bargaining has typically been between the governor and the unions; the legislature is sent a bill afterwards. This proposal mandates lawmakers send the governor a number with which he can work.