And the Collective Bargaining Breakdown Begins

As we all know, yesterday was the beginning of the new fiscal year — and the beginning of the newly signed Illinois budget. There were some changes Governor Quinn wants to enforce, however:

Quinn: No raises for 30,000 state workers [Chicago Tribune]

Quinn takes on union over raises [The Southern]

Basically, the budget was short about $75 million dollars and Quinn decided to, unilaterally, break mutually agreed upon contracts and cancel raises for state employees in agencies such as Corrections, Historic Preservation, Human Services, Labor, Natural Resources, Public Health and Revenue. In case you missed it, the key words there were break mutually agreed upon contracts. Sound familiar? It should; contracts are the cornerstone of collective bargaining rights, the rights of employees to have a voice in their workplace, and what Quinn did here was was trample all over that. It’s particularly repugnant when the unions have already renegotiated these raises before and even deferred them [State Journal-Register] “three times in the last 18 months… and thousands have taken unpaid furlough days.” [CapitalFax, from the AFSCME press release]

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One thought on “And the Collective Bargaining Breakdown Begins

  1. The state Constitution gives the General Assembly the sole authority to appropriate funds. The state’s Labor Relations Act has a clause that makes all union contract provisions subject to appropriations. Therefore, since the GA shorted the approps for personnel, the governor had no choice but to cancel scheduled pay raises. Not really his fault.

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