Governor Pat Quinn's disagreements with the state's largest public employee union appear to be carrying over into contract negotiations. AFSCME members are into their third month working without a new contract. Union spokesman Anders Lindall says although bargaining is scheduled to resume Monday, the two sides are a "very great distance" from reaching an agreement. Lindall says it's no secret state employees are angry with Quinn, but he says they've never been pushed to the point of going on strike:
"We want to reach a fair agreement and we've time and again over decades shown our ability to do that in good times and in bad. We're hopeful that this administration will reach the same conclusion."
Lindall says continuing to blame and attack and vilify public servants is unproductive,is unfair and insulting. According to an email sent to union members, Quinn wants workers to take a pay cut, then agree to a wage freeze, while also paying more for health care. Quinn's office isn't commenting. The governor has said he's committed to improving the lives of working families, but he also has an obligation to get Illinois' finances in order.
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