Quinn Angers AFSCME

Published 02/02 2012 06:30PM

Updated 02/02 2012 06:35PM

Update: 5:00 pm Thursday
    Can you imagine working for free? State workers say they did several times this year. Now they want their money.
    These workers are making sure they're heard. Hundreds of state workers held signs outside the governor's office for more than an hour. They protested by chanting and blowing whistles until a representative came out to talk to them.
    Here's the issue they have with Governor Quinn. In 2010, they negotiated a contract offering to delay raises and take unpaid furlough days. When the state was finally supposed to pay those raises last year, the governor decided not to. He said the state was facing too many challenges and couldn't honor the contract.
    But, after hearing the State of the State address, and Quinn's plan to spend millions, they're not happy. Governor Quinn's office says they agreed to speak with five workers today. The group of hundreds declined the offer. Workers wanted a representative ome to speak to them outside the office.
    Quinn's office says they tried to "play ball," but talking to hundreds of angry workers wouldn't be productive. State workers aren't giving up. From here on out, they plan to continue fighting for their rights. 

Original: 11:37 am Thursday
    250 members of AFSCME Council 31 state employee bargaining committee plan to visit Governor Pat Quinn's office at the state capitol today. They intend on making him hold to his work to "make sure people get a decent wage."
    AFSCME contends that since July 1, 2011, Quinn has unilaterally imposed a pay freeze on 30,000 state employees in 14-agencies. Union leaders say it's a flagrant violation of negotiated collective bargaining agreements, as well as state and federal laws, constitutional contract provisions and an arbitrator's order mandating he follow the contract.
    AFSCME further contends Quinn claims state budget constraints prevent him from complying with the negotiated pay schedule. Leaders say his actions have forced them to sue to uphold the rights of the membership. That lawsuit is pending in Cook County Circuit Court.

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