Possible impasse on state and union worker negotiations - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Possible impasse on state and union worker negotiations


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has taken a controversial step during contract negotiations with the largest public employee union in the state.
Rauner has filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge against the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME.
He's asked the Illinois Labor Relations Board to rule that the two sides are at impasse since his administration said contract talks are going unresolved.

"They're looking for shorter work weeks; they're looking for more pay; and they're looking for better benefits," 35th District Senator Dave Syverson said.

The Labor Relations Board now has to make a decision. 

"Apparently the Rauner administration does not believe success can be gained from continued negotiations," 34th District Senator Steve Stadelman said.

According to Rauner's administration parties agreed if one side believed there was an impasse the board would make that determination.  13 News reached out to AFSCME council 31 representatives to no avail.  Gary Cacciapaglia is President of the local 10-58 AFSCME union in Rockford.  He, like other members of this union, has not had a contract since this past summer.

"We want to have a peaceful resolution to negotiations this so it doesn't hurt working families," Cacciapagoia said.

Now that negotiations are under review it could take several months for the labor relations board to make its ruling. 

"It certainly seems at this point they are at an impasse,"Syverson said.  "Agreements were met with all the other unions."

However, even if the board decides there is an impasse that still could not be the final call.  AFSCME could appeal the board's ruling.
Many important details still linger.  Meanwhile Governor Rauner's administration said no further negotiations have been scheduled.

"I would like to see both sides to go back to the bargaining table, continue the collective bargaining process and hopefully reach a deal," Stadelman said.

If the board determines there is not an impasse the governor said he would comply with the board's ruling and continue negotiations.  The board would also say whether the state has provided its best and final offer to union employees.

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