SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEEK) — After years of impasse, the state of Illinois and the largest state government employees’ union appear to have struck a deal.
The exact terms of the deal aren’t set for release until after AFSCME’s 40,000 union members vote on ratifying the contract.
“With this tentative agreement, Illinois has turned another important page from years of brutal ideological warfare,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Instead, this agreement respects the valuable contributions our workers make to the state and treats all our taxpayers fairly, thanks to months of negotiations that were constructive and frank. This agreement will be accommodated in the budget that the General Assembly will vote on today, and even more importantly, it is consistent with my long-term plans to stabilize Illinois’ finances.”
“This agreement reflects a fresh start for public service workers in state government,” AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said.“For four years, union members did their jobs and served their communities despite Bruce Rauner’s chaos, hostility and constant attacks. In the Pritzker administration, AFSCME members have an employer who understands the importance of their work, respects their rights and is a constructive partner in the collective bargaining process.”
Former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s four years in office were characterized by a hard-line stance on labor issues.