House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, who a week ago stood firmly in opposition to attempts by the largest state employee union to circumvent labor negotiations, commended their leadership for moving past last week and signing the indefinite tolling agreement extended by Governor Rauner.
“I would like to commend both Governor Rauner and AFSCME for recommitting to negotiations. It is my genuine hope that both parties eventually emerge with an amicable agreement,” said Durkin.
The agreement signed this week reinforces language that existed in the second 60-day tolling agreement intended to keep the agreement going in the absence of another agreement. Specifically, the agreement calls for good faith negotiations and prevents either side from unilaterally declaring an impasse.
Downstate Republicans last week secured a similar letter of intent from the Governor clarifying the indefinite nature of the second tolling agreement; however, many view the new agreement as a sign that both sides recognize the importance of arriving at a solution.