State workers & leaders still at odds over contract

Published 02/21 2013 03:47PM

Updated 02/21 2013 05:51PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Tensions are rising over stalled contract talks between the state and state workers. It could mean a strike in the future.

The state and union leaders haven't been able to agree to a contract in nearly two years. During the latest negotiations, neither side seems to be backing down.Both say a strike is the last thing they want, but if there's no deal soon, it could be the only option.

The state is asking workers to take a 3-year pay freeze and pay more for health insurance. But, union members say they've already given up enough.

Governor Quinn says he doesn't want a walk-out, but AFSCME says the stalled talks are making them even more determined to stand their ground. If it does come down to a strike, we're talking about 40,000 workers, like people at drivers' license facilities and DCFS case workers.

Both sides are supposed to meet again early next week. AFSCME says, if there's no progress, that's when they'll decide whether to strike or not.

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