Labor talks between Illinois, AFSCME deadlock on several issues
An Illinois administrative judge ruled on Friday that negotiations between the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the state of Illinois have reached a partial impasse.
The union contract expired in June 2015. Negotiations between the state and the 35,000-member union have dragged on without a resolution. After 67 meetings, 24 negotiating sessions and more than 300 proposals exchanged between the two parties, the contract talks have been taken over by a labor judge and state labor board. While some issues are at a stalemate, the judge said the two parties can continue to negotiate on other issues.
The union has held firm on pay increases through each year of a proposed four-year contract, including a $1,000 pay increase for the first year, 2.25 percent increase in the second year and 3 percent increases in the third and fourth years. The union is also pushing for step and longevity increases, as well as increases in benefits. Gov. Bruce Rauner estimated that the union's contract terms would cost the state $3 billion in additional wages and benefits.
The judge recommended that stalemated items be incorporated into the new contract using the state's position. These items include holidays, leaves of absence and vacations.
While the judge's 250-page ruling addresses the key issues in the contract negotiations, the union and state are likely to appeal the decision to the Illinois Labor Relations Board, then to Illinois state courts.