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Rauner Pushes AFSCME To Make Decision On Negotiations

Illinois lawmakers are once again considering an intervention in state labor negotiations.

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Credit afscme.org
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Contract talks have stalled between Illinois' biggest government labor union -- AFSCME -- and Governor Bruce Rauner.

Rauner wants the state Labor Relations Board to decide whether negotiations are at an impasse; the union says that’s premature.

Under legislation approved by a House committee yesterday, such failed negotiations would be resolved by an arbitrator on whom both sides agree.

AFSCME says it’s willing to give up its right to strike to get that change.

But union official Mike Newman says a strike is what Rauner seems to want.

"Less than a month ago, the governor boasted that if there's a strike, we'll win. And boast- I don't use that word lightly- that if there's a strike, we will win,” Newman said.

Rauner vetoed a similar proposal last year, calling it the worst piece of legislation he had ever seen.

AFSCME's contract with the state expired last summer.​

Copyright 2016 WNIJ Northern Public Radio

Sarah Mueller