ILLINOIS – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has ended the state’s contract with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
It’s the first time an Illinois governor has ever terminated a union contract. 40,000 AFSCME workers could be affected. There are about 4,000 AFSCME workers on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities.
“It really has affected people,” Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) worker Pat Perion said. “Nobody really knows why the governor has done this because it hasn’t happened in the last 40 years.”
AFSCME represents the DCFS center in Rock Island. Governor Quinn has negotiated with AFSCME for 11 months but still has not been able to reach an agreement with them. Governor Quinn has extended the public union’s contract with the state three times since June.
“He needs to take on the real hard issues of what it’s going to take to get the whole state of Illinois out of the whole,” AFSCME union member Dino Leone said of Governor Quinn. “He’s got to consider other resources such as the progressive tax in the state of Illinois to do that.”
No local union members will lose their jobs by this move alone. They are all still currently working. AFSCME and the state will come to the negotiating table again three times in December to see if they can reach a deal to avoid talks of a strike.