Rauner Takes Union Fight To Illinois Supreme Court
Gov. Bruce Rauner has taken his confrontation with the state's largest public-employee union to the Supreme Court. The Republican announced Friday that his office has asked the high court to uphold a labor board ruling in his favor. That ruling last fall allowed Rauner to impose his preferred contract conditions on 38,000 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31.
But an appellate court put the brakes on Rauner two weeks ago. It prohibited Rauner's action until it could determine whether the labor board ruling is appropriate.
AFSCME has been without a contract since June 2015. Negotiations dating to early 2015 have been unsuccessful and Rauner's team quit negotiating a year ago.
Rauner says he's made "common sense'' offers. AFSCME disagrees and wants to keep bargaining.
The administration says Illinois could be saving millions upon millions of dollars. It’s asking for expedited briefing in the state's high court, and specifically to impose new health insurance premiums when state employees have open enrollment in May.
In a statement, AFSCME again urges Rauner to resume negotiating, saying he's "blinded by his anti-union animosity.”