October 02, 2018

More Rauner games on step increases

Rauner at Tribune editorial board meetingGovernor Rauner has once again let down the more than 20,000 state employees whose step increases he has illegally denied since 2015.

Disregarding a clear directive from an Illinois Labor Relations Board compliance officer that all employees should be restored to their appropriate step effective October 1, the Rauner administration instead submitted an 18-page letter to the officer with a lengthy justification for why the steps have not been restored.

The letter blames Rauner's failure to comply in part on the supposed difficulty of calculating the appropriate placement, claiming that preparing the estimates will require another “six to eight weeks”.

What’s more, despite a clear and direct ruling from the appellate court and the labor board that steps are owed from July 1, 2015, to the present, the Rauner administration continues to put forth its own fiction that steps should only be restored until January 2016 when Rauner broke off contract negotiations with the union.

Pointing to the fact that the compliance officer directed that a hearing should be held by a Labor Board administrative law judge as soon as possible after Oct. 1 to consider “issues in dispute”, the administration insists that the step placement must be argued at such a hearing.

Union attorneys are reviewing the entire filing and developing AFSCME's response to Rauner's latest delay tactics.

“Bruce Rauner will do everything in his power to rob state employees of the money they are rightly owed, including running up costs to taxpayers in the form of interest payments that will eventually be due,” AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said. “Our union has opposed Rauner’s relentless assaults on state employees every step of the way. We’ve defeated him in the legislature and in the courts, and we won’t stop now. We'll keep fighting until all employees are paid what they are owed.”

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