Informational Picket

On Tuesday, July 12th there will be an informational picket at the Fox Developmental Center in Dwight from 1:30 pm to 5 pm to protest the violation of the contract between the State and its workers. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Illegal and Irresponsible

The following statement was issued by Council 31 Executive Director Henry Bayer in response to Governor Quinn’s actions to freeze the pay of state workers.

“With his illegal and irresponsible actions today, Governor Pat Quinn has trampled on the collective bargaining process and broken his contract with the men and women who do the real work of state government. These tens of thousands of Illinois state employees care for disabled veterans, risk their lives in state prisons, monitor paroled convicts, protect children from abuse and neglect, rush to assist in disasters, and much more.

“They fulfill their responsibilities to the citizens of this state, and they deserve to know that their employer, the governor, will honor the commitments made to them. Instead, Governor Quinn has shown that he lacks basic respect for the work they do. He has acted unilaterally and in clear contravention of union contracts to void modest, negotiated increases for frontline state employees, despite handing out 25 and 50 percent raises to his own inner circle.

“At the request of Governor Quinn, AFSCME members agreed to significant steps to help address the state’s budget woes. Under negotiated cost-savings agreements reached at the bargaining table, three times in the last 18 months they deferred scheduled increases, and thousands have taken unpaid furlough days.

“Today Pat Quinn has shown that his signature on such negotiated agreements is not worth the paper it’s printed on. Further, the governor defends his actions with the flimsiest of legal rationales. The General Assembly neither directed him to violate a collective bargaining agreement nor has the power to do so.

“Republican governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Chris Christie of New Jersey and others have recently sought changes in law to eliminate the right of collective bargaining for public employees. By choosing to simply ignore a legally binding agreement, Pat Quinn has sunk even lower. Not only is Quinn’s assault on public employee collective bargaining unprecedented in the four decades of state employee bargaining in Illinois, given his repeated criticism of Walker and others, it is utterly hypocritical.

“AFSCME will aggressively pursue every available legal recourse to ensure that the collective bargaining agreement is honored and employees are paid according to their contract.”