Illinois' largest public employees union will take a new vote on a contract deal it had ratified in late February. AFSCME says over the next couple of weeks members will re-vote because terms of its original deal have changed. Under the agreement AFSCME reached with Governor Pat Quinn's administration, the state was to drop a court case seeking to free the state from having to pay employees raises they had been guaranteed in the PREVIOUS contract. Attorney General Lisa Madigan is refusing to drop the suit. She says she won't until legislators approve money to pay the back wages.
AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall says in order to uphold the integrity of the ratification process union leaders decided to call for a new, statewide vote:
"Now that that condition has not been met, our members have a right to revote. And to vote on the basis of the facts as they stand right now."
Even so AFSCME leaders are encouraging union members to vote "yes" on the revised deal. Lindall says if legislators approve money to pay for the raises, the legal battle becomes moot. While Governor Quinn has lobbied legislators to approve the funding, the General Assembly is reluctant. They're already considering having to cut key services, like education.
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