QUINN ADMINISTRATION TERMINATES UNION CONTRACT
In an unprecedented step, Governor Pat Quinn’s administration late today terminated state government’s contract with its largest employee union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31.
“In 40 years of collective bargaining, Pat Quinn is the first and only Illinois governor to terminate a union contract,” AFSCME executive director Henry Bayer said. “His actions will heighten employee frustration, provoke instability in the workplace and make settling a contract more difficult.”
AFSCME has been in negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement for nearly a year. Scheduled to expire last June 30, the previous contract’s terms had since been extended by mutual agreement of the parties. But following a bargaining session with a federal mediator in Springfield today, the Quinn administration rejected a further extension offered by the union.
Terminating the contract has little immediate practical effect, as all existing terms and conditions of employment remain in place under state law. But it signals the Quinn Administration’s lack of respect for the collective bargaining process.
“While AFSCME is committed to reaching a fair agreement, Pat Quinn seems bent on heading in the wrong direction,” AFSCME director Bayer said. “Our union wants constructive engagement but the governor is choosing confrontation instead.”
AFSCME Council 31 represents 40,000 men and women who work for the State of Illinois. AFSCME-represented state employees care for veterans and the disabled, help struggling families, protect children from abuse, maintain safe prisons and much more.
No word yet on what might happen next. Stay tuned.
“At the Pinckneyville Correctional Center, union President Randy Hellman said guards were both angry and fearful when they arrived for their shifts. Some had been crying.
“It’s terrible for this to happen in a prison that’s already overcrowded with inmates,” Hellman said. “There’s nothing worse than a staff that’s not focused.”
Quinn’s move is not expected to immediately affect state services, and union officials are advising workers is to go about their jobs and stay professional”
If they are having to be advised to “stay professional” what sort of unprofessional mutterings are taking place? Any shoes going to get stuffed in the works?
(prison unions push for more silly unhelpful laws, and oppose legalization. They want non violent potheads warehoused with them foryour taxpayers funds,much less trouble than those pesky rapists and murderers. They bite.)