Rauner, AFSCME reach another contract extension; governor vetoes bill to prohibit strike, lockout

The Rauner administration and the largest state employees union have agreed to a two-month contract extension while negotiations continue on a new labor agreement.

At the same time, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill that would prohibit either a strike or lockout and provide for an independent arbitrator to resolve the contract talks.

Rauner said the bill would put the fate of the contract into the hands of an unelected arbitrator “to impose billions of dollars of new costs on our taxpayers without any involvement of the executive branch, the General Assembly or those taxpayers.”

The agreement was signed Wednesday between the administration and Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents about 38,000 state employees.

The agreement says that “neither side will resort to strike, work stoppage, work slowdown or lockout between August 1, 2015, and September 30, 2015, or until impasse is reached, whichever comes later.” Read the entire story in the State Journal-Register.