AFSCME: Quinn Bent On “Provoking Confrontation”

The tension between Governor Pat Quinn and the state’s largest government-employee union has reached a breaking point.   In a surprise move Tuesday, Quinn terminated the union’s contract.   Amanda Vinicky reports.

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AFSCME helped Quinn win the governor’s office, but the relationship has been souring ever since.

Quinn’s trying to close state facilities, lay off workers, rescind guaranteed salary hikes, and reduce state employees’ pensions.

His latest move … terminating the union’s contract with the state.

AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall says it won’t have any immediate effect on employees when they go to work.

But he calls the action unprecedented.

LINDALL:  “Our union is committed to reaching the same kind of fair contract agreement that we have reached with governors of both parties over four decades.  But really regrettably Governor Quinn seems bent on going in the wrong direction and provoking confrontation with worker and with our union.”

Quinn’s office says it’s trying to make progress on a new contract after nearly a year of negotiations.

The old contract was extended three times as they tried to reach an agreement.

In a statement, the governor’s budget spokesman says the state has made significant efforts to compromise, but AFSCME has “refused to recognize the extraordinary financial crisis squeezing the state.”

I’m Amanda Vinicky.

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