Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn Narrowly Avoids Public Employee Strike
After serious talk of a statewide public employee strike, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employes (AFSCME) Council 31 issued an unexpected announcement on Thursday that it had reached a tentative deal with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on a new contract for about 35,000 state employees. The contract will get the green light if a majority of AFSCME members, who range from Springfield office administrators to child welfare case managers to mental health care providers, vote to approve it. The ratification process began on Monday, March 4.
Quinn and the AFSCME bargaining committee will not publicly comment on the contract's terms until AFSCME members review the deal. It is also not known why the two sides suddenly reached an agreement after 15 months of seemingly fruitless negotiations, with the feuding between AFSCME and Illinois’ Democratic governor comparable to the acrimony between the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.