Governor Bruce Rauner and the following labor unions have agreed to terms on new four-year collective bargaining agreements:
Service Employees International Union (“SEIU”), Local 1 Chicago, the International Union of United Food and Commercial Workers, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Three Councils of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (The Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, Mid-Central Illinois Regional Council of Carpenters, and the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenter’s Regional Council), the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers – Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers, the Laborers International Union of North America, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, & Transportation Workers, and Illinois State Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers.
In October, the Administration announced agreements with the International Union of Operating Engineers, the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry, and the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers. These agreements have now been ratified. Over the summer, the Administration reached collective bargaining agreements with 5 different bargaining units represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, all of which have also been ratified.
Altogether, the Governor has now successfully negotiated new collective bargaining agreements with 17 different bargaining units representing more than 5,000 state employees. These developments stand in stark contrast to the ongoing negotiations with AFSCME Council 31. Despite being offered substantially the same material terms as the Teamsters and the Trades, AFSCME has to date rejected the Governor’s chief proposals.
The agreements announced today include:
· The State will expand the existing group health insurance program by offering employees a variety of new options. In the expanded program, employees will receive on average $967 per month to either maintain their current premiums, maintain their current coverage, mix and match in the way that is most beneficial to them, or shop for an entirely new custom health insurance package potentially on a new health insurance marketplace. Employees can also use the State’s contribution to purchase insurance through a union plan.
· A new performance incentive program to reward employees with bonuses for cost-saving measures and meeting or exceeding performance standards.
· A new, collaborative managed competition program that allows management and the unions to work together to provide low-cost alternatives to outsourcing.
· A reduction in the payout for accumulated unused vacation from 75 to 45 days for employees hired after January 1, 2016.
· Continuation of a 40-hour work week with overtime earned after 40 hours.
· A program to enable the State of Illinois to address minority underutilization in state government.
· Increased training and certification opportunities for employees.
· Continuation of the prevailing rate system administered by the Illinois Department of Labor.
AFSCME is now on the opposite side of these negotiations from their own colleagues in organized labor. AFSCME continues to reject many of the same, reasonable proposals being ratified by wide margins by their fellow state employees:
· AFSCME continues to reject the health insurance framework accepted by the trade unions. AFSCME’s proposal is to continue the same unaffordable health insurance system that the credit rating agencies have noted in the recent downgrades.
· AFSCME continues to reject a new performance incentive program accepted by trades and Teamsters. AFSCME’s proposal is to continue to pay employees unaffordable automatic wage increases.
· AFSCME continues to reject a new, collaborative managed competition program accepted by trades and Teamsters.
· AFSCME continues to resist moving the overtime trigger to the common workplace benchmark of 40 hours.
· AFSCME continues to reject a program to enable the State of Illinois to address minority underutilization in state government.
· AFSCME continues to reject a four-year wage freeze. Teamsters, in contrast, not only agreed to freeze their wages but did so on top of the 75% in-hire rate.
(The preceding is a reprint of a press release from the Governor’s Office.)