Governor looks to lawmakers to pay state employees' back wages

By Alex Davis |

Published 10/30 2013 02:00PM

Updated 10/30 2013 02:03PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor Quinn is calling on lawmakers to approve millions of dollars in supplemental funding for this year. WCIA-3's Alex Davis keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

Quinn wants the General Assembly to approve $221 million in additional dollars, but about half of it is for back wages owed to thousands of state workers. AFSCME Council 31 won an Arbitrator's Order and a judge ruled back-pay wages are owed to 25,000 state workers.

"Governor Quinn has now told us that he will abide by the court order and he wants our members to get the pay they should have gotten and hopefully that will carry some weight with the state legislature."

It would impact workers who were promised raises under the state's old labor contract.

"It's now time for the state legislature to appropriate the money that the state legally owes our members."

In total, they're owed about $112-million. That's about $4,000 per worker.

"Our members are only asking for what they were supposed to be paid in the first place."

But, those wages are yet to be paid. The money is tied up in a supplemental funding bill.

"This is a bill that takes care of some things that have slipped in the past."

The $221-million supplemental funding bill also includes $40-million+ for the Department of Corrections, $6-million for the state's EMA and $34-million for state police and human services.

"It's important that we do have the ability to make supplemental appropriations when some of the shortfalls do occur."

The spending requests are still in negotiations and those numbers could change. Lawmakers are expected to continue talks when they return to Springfield next week.

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