A week of negotiations ended, the state's largest public employees union says, with management declaring an impasse.
“Gov. Rauner's representatives indicated that they refused to atend any further bargaining sessions and that they would not change their demands going forward,” says AFSCME Council 31 spokesman Anders Lindall. “They were walking away from the bargaining table.”
So now what? Lindall says, “We call on the gov to return to bargaining. If he refuses to do so or takes any further extreme steps, we will take legal action.“
AFSCME Council 31 is the state's largest public-sector workers' union, representing about 36,000 state employees.
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The governor's office sent the following via e-mail:
“Today marked the 67th day of negotiations with AFSCME. Like every previous session, AFSCME rejected all of the Governor’s core proposals and insisted that they would never agree to those proposals despite our good faith efforts to address union concerns.
“In light of that position, our negotiators asked AFSCME if they believed we were at impasse. If so, both parties signed a tolling agreement establishing a Labor Board process by which that determination can be made. AFSCME insists that the parties are not at impasse while rejecting the offer for additional sessions next week.
“After a year of no meaningful progress, we must now evaluate the benefit of future sessions given AFSCME’s intransigence. In light of their answers today, we will now decide if the previously-agreed dispute resolution process should be considered.”