SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Democrats and the state’s largest employee union say Gov. Bruce Rauner’s approach to contract negotiations is so hostile he is intentionally preparing for a strike.
The House Labor and Commerce Committee approved a union-proposed measure to require binding arbitration in case of a contract-negotiation impasse. It would prevent the union from striking – or the Republican from locking out workers.
The committee sent the measure to the floor on a partisan, 16-9 vote. Republicans claim the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is trying to change the rules mid-game.
Rauner is seeking a wage freeze for AFSCME’s 38,000 members for a contract that begins July 1.
Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly says the administration is “negotiating in good faith.”