Rauner notifies AFSCME of intent to layoff state workers

SPRINGFIELD — According to the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Union, on Monday, it received notice from Governor Bruce Rauner’s Administration of 94 layoffs in state government.

The threatened job losses are in the Department of Natural Resources — 54 layoffs associated with the Governor’s plan to close the Illinois State Museum sites and the Sparta World Shooting Complex), the Illinois Commerce Commission (24), the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (9) and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (7).

The notices all cited a lack of funds as the rationale for the layoffs, which have an effective date of September 30.

“Most of these layoffs stem from Governor Rauner’s rush to shutter the Illinois State Museum sites, destroying a vital resource for learning and the preservation of cultural heritage and putting professional museum curators, librarians and support staff in the unemployment lines,” AFSCME Council 31 executive director Roberta Lynch said.

“Other layoffs would throw out of work men and women involved with nuclear safety, tourism, recycling and overseeing public utilities.

“Instead of holding hostage the public services Illinois residents rely on and eliminating jobs of public service workers who provide them, the Governor should drop his extreme political agenda that would hurt the middle class and work with legislators to pass a budget that prevents these cuts.”

Illinois has the nation’s smallest state employee workforce per capita. DNR was already cut 40% since 2000, DCEO cut 33% and IEMA cut 39%, hampering the ability of these agencies to meet their goals. At the ICC, this layoff could have a significant impact, eliminating 24 staff from an agency that had just 69 employees at the start of 2015, a 35% cut. The ICC says they actually have 222 employees, not the 69 that AFSCME as claims.