Some state employee unions are opposed to the idea that the legislature would have a hand in their collective bargaining process. The House speaker introduced a measure this week to give lawmakers a hand in wage and benefit negotiations with state worker unions, a process traditionally conducted between the governor and the unions. Keith Kelleher, president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois-Indiana, says the measure would ensure poverty for his members.


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“There are many in this state who, believe it or not, are either state employees who work in some form, are subcontracted to the state, who are very low income,” he says. “This would condemn them to low wage for the rest of their lives.”

The measure says the legislature would tell the governor how much money is available for union negotiations. It’s an effort, according to the speaker, to make the state live within its means.

The measure, HJR 45, has not yet been heard in a legislative committee.

(Illinois Radio Network)