AFSCME's Lawsuit Seeks To Halt Rauner From Implementing Contract

Dec 1, 2016

State employees calling for the governor to return to the bargaining table picket in Springfield.
Credit Amanda Vinicky

The union that's representing 30 thousand state workers is suing Gov. Bruce Rauner. It filed a lawsuit late Wednesday in St. Clair County circuit court.

AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall says Rauner is starting to implement a new state contract before the law allows.

"Those demands include four years with no pay increase, a 100-percent hike in what workers now pay for health insurance. The combination of those two is a big, effective pay cut," Lindall said.

A ruling by the state labor board recently gave Rauner the right to unilaterally implement his terms, as it declared the two parties at impasse, but Lindall says the governor must wait until the board takes further, official action before he can do that.

The lawsuit asks that Rauner's decision be halted until then. Lindall says it's important because once changes are implemented they're hard to undo.

In a statement Rauner's office says the lawsuit is without merit. He cites other changes -- like bonuses for workers with good attendance, and more generous bereavement leave -- as common sense.

AFSCME is expected to later file another lawsuit asking to toss out the labor board's entire ruling.