Thursday, February 28, 2013

State and union leaders reach deal on new three-year contract

Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration and the state’s largest public employee union have reached a tentative deal on a new contract for state workers.

Negotiations over a new contract stretched on for more than 15 months. The state’s contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 expired last June. The contract was extended until November, when Quinn refused to extend it further. Employees have been working without a contract since then.

The union and Quinn’s administration announced the deal for three-year contract today, but AFSCME said it does not plan to make the details public until the union’s members have a chance to review the agreement. “At a time when the state is facing unprecedented financial challenges, this agreement is fair to both hard-working state employees and all taxpayers of Illinois,” Quinn said in a prepared statement. “I want to thank the women and men who have stayed at the table for more than a year for their commitment to reaching an agreement.”

Union members still have to approve the new contract. According to a news release from AFSCME, the ratification process will start at work sites next week. “AFSCME is very pleased that we were able to reach an agreement that protects our members’ standard of living, and is fair to them and all Illinois citizens, even in these very challenging economic times,” AFSCME Council 31 executive director Henry Bayer said in a prepared statement.


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