Pay raises have been one of many contentious issues between Gov. Pat Quinn and AFSCME, Illinois' largest union of government employees. There's still a court battle over raises in the last union contract, the union says they're guaranteed, Quinn canceled them, saying the legislature did not approve the money. Now, while both sides are negotiating a new contract, the Illinois House is pre-emptively taking a stand. House speaker Michael Madigan says it sends a message to the Governor's office, and the unions:
"The bargaining would result in zero pay increases for all of those represented by these unions."
The measure, which passed 84-to-29, also says the union can't make the size of the government workforce an issue in negotiations. AFSCME has been fighting the governor's attempt to close prisons, developmental centers and other facilities. The union says the House's move is an "unwarranted intrusion" into the collective bargaining process.
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