AFSCME Contract Extended After Failure To Reach Agreement

Illinois’ largest public-employee union and Governor Pat Quinn’s administration have been unable to agree to a new contract for the union’s 40-thousand state workers.  But they were able to agree to temporarily extend the current contract, while talks continue.  As Amanda Vinicky reports, the contract would have otherwise expired Saturday, at midnight, when the fiscal year ends.

What goes on at the bargaining table is very hush, hush … neither side will reveal much about what happens in the closed-door negotiations.

But AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall did give this hint: “the finish line is not in sight.”

That’s not surprising.

Quinn’s office says it’s committed to reaching a deal that’s “responsible to taxpayers in these difficult economic times.”

Lindall says AFSCME’s committed to securing a contract that respects the important work of its members.

“They deserve to be paid fairly, to have affordable health care, and security in retirement, and to have their rights on the job respected,” he said.

This at a time when lawmakers are looking to reduce state employees’ pensions and have retirees pay more for health care.

The temporary contract extension’s good until the two sides next meet … whenever that is; no date has been set.

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