• BREAKING NEWS: Tentative agreement reached on state union contract

    by  • February 28, 2013 • News

    breakingA tentative agreement has been reached on a state union contract.  Last night at approximately 12:30 a.m., the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) state bargaining committee reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with the Quinn Administration.

    Details of the tentative agreement will be released after the union’s membership has had the opportunity to review it, But we are hearing the agreement tentatively includes three years of step increases, plus a fiscal year 2013 retroactive raise, and cost-of-living adjustments in years two and three of the agreement.

    According to Gov. Pat Quinn’s office, negotiators have sent a proposed three-year agreement to AFSCME members for ratification. Members must ratify any contract negotiated by their elected bargaining representatives. The ratification process will get underway at worksites statewide during the week of March 4.

    The Quinn Administration and the AFSCME Council 31 reached the tentative agreement on a new union contract covering some 35,000 state employees. Negotiations have been ongoing for more than 15 months.

    Quinn said that at a time when the state is facing unprecedented financial challenges, the agreement is fair to both hard-working state employees and all taxpayers of Illinois.

    He thanked the women and men who stayed at the negotiation table for more than a year for their commitment to reaching an agreement.

    AFSCME Council 31 executive director Henry Bayer said the union is pleased they we were able to reach an agreement that protects its members’ standard of living, and is fair to them and all Illinois citizens, even in these very challenging economic times.

    On Monday the union said its bargaining committee would be making a last-ditch attempt this week to reach a contract settlement with Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration.

    It said big sticking points were Quinn’s push to freeze state employees’ wages for the entire three-year life of the contract, coupled with steep hikes to health insurance costs.

    The union on Monday found the combination of a three-year wage freeze and steep hikes in health costs unreasonable and unaffordable, but said a strike would be the last resort in reaching a fair agreement.