June 06, 2018

AFSCME letter to Rauner: Process state employee back pay now

Enactment of a new state budget brings in sight an end to the seven-year effort to ensure full payment of wages owed to some 24,000 state workers since 2011. The budget plan adopted by the General Assembly and signed into law this week by Gov. Bruce Rauner includes a specific allocation to fund the back wages.

AFSCME litigated the matter all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court and pursued legislation to require payment of the necessary funding.

On June 6, Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch sent a letter to Gov. Rauner, calling on him “to immediately direct your agencies to prepare vouchers for the full amount of back wages owed to employees both active and retired, and to promptly remit these vouchers to the comptroller’s office so that employees can be paid as soon as possible.”

Previously unpaid wages are owed to employees of the departments of Human Services, Corrections, Juvenile Justice, Natural Resources and Public Health. The average worker is owed some $2,000.

“[F]or nearly seven years, AFSCME members have been working to secure payment of this, the state’s oldest unpaid bill, owed to working people who care for individuals with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities, ensure safe prisons, help struggling families, protect public health, maintain state parks and more,” Lynch wrote to Rauner. “We are glad that you have now joined in supporting payment of the monies owed and recognize that employees have waited far too long for justice.”

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