Wednesday, November 30, 2016 01:47 PM
SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and a bipartisan group of Springfield lawmakers today called for renewed contract negotiations between Gov. Bruce Rauner and the union that represents 38,000 Illinois state workers.
“I am calling on Gov. Rauner to personally take a seat at the bargaining table and see these negotiations through to a mutually agreeable end,” Manar said. “Contract negotiations are among his most important duties as the chief executive of Illinois.”
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is the largest union representing state government employees. The group believes that a revival of good-faith negotiations between the governor’s administration and union representatives would avert labor disruption and bring about an acceptable compromise.
The Illinois Labor Relations Board recently ruled that the union and the governor’s administration have reached an impasse in contract negotiations.
Manar stressed the economic impact that labor uncertainty in state government would have on Springfield-area businesses.
“I’ve negotiated a dozen contracts in local government in my career, and it wasn’t easy, but I never walked away,” Manar said. “No matter the differences these two sides have, a labor agreement should happen as the result of a true, good-faith negotiation, not a one-sided conversation, which is what we have now.”
Manar was joined by numerous state senators and representatives from both parties, who also called on the governor and AFSCME to return to the bargaining table.