CHICAGO — After months of contract negotiations, Gov. Bruce Rauner has provided a list of demands to Illinois’ largest employee union that seem designed to force a strike.
According to the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the Rauner Administration is pushing for sweeping changes to the AFSCME Master Contract.
Rauner is seeking dozens of changes to contract language including pay and benefits on the table, AFSCME says the demands are designed to weaken the role of the union, and drive down the standard of living of its families.
Rauner says if the unions don’t agree to his terms, he’ll force a strike and shut down state government until they do.
The current union contract expires June 30. Normally, if no agreement is reached by that point, the parties would agree to a contract extension that keeps the terms of the current contract in place. It’s unclear at this time if the Rauner administration will follow suit.
KEY RAUNER ADMINISTRATION CONTRACT DEMANDS
• No wage increases.
• Freeze all step increases.
• Eliminate longevity pay (including for all those currently receiving it).
• Eliminate almost all semi‐automatic promotions.
• Eliminate maximum security pay.
• Reduce call‐back pay and stand‐by pay.
• Restructure the group health plan to drastically shift costs to employees—with employees paying 40% of the premium cost PLUS 40% of the cost of medical care, paid through much higher co‐pays, deductibles, and co‐insurance. Employees’ costs would increase by thousands of dollars.
• Increase dental premiums by more than 100%.
• Increase retiree health insurance costs.
• Increase “out‐of‐pocket” maximums, likely to the highest allowable under federal law.
• Require all employees hired before July 1, 2011 to “voluntarily” agree to reduce their pension benefits to the Tier 2 level.
• Eliminate the Upward Mobility Program in its entirety, as well as all other forms of tuition reimbursement, continuing education, and licensure reimbursement.
• Calculate overtime pay based on over 40 hours worked in a full week (and excludes benefit time).
• Reduce amount of holidays and vacation time.
• “Management Rights” clause would not be limited by the terms of the Union contract.
• Allow Management to suspend the contract if it determines an “emergency” exists.
• Redefine grievances to refer only to violations of the “express provisions” of the contract.
• Refuse to allow union dues, PEOPLE contributions, or Fair Share fees to be deducted from employees’ paychecks.
• Delete all language that restricts subcontracting or personal service contracts—allowing Management to privatize any state services‐‐replacing bargaining unit employees with vendor employees‐‐at any time without any notice, justification or review.
• Void the Memorandum of Understanding that places limits on mandatory overtime, allowing Management to mandate overtime without any restrictions.
• Eliminate most seniority rights during the layoff process including eliminating all bumping rights.
• Require employees to use their own time for grievance meetings.
• Require Union stewards to use their own time to represent employees.
• Completely eliminate requirement to bargain about changes in working conditions.