Illinois state workers urge Rauner to negotiate - KMOV.com

Illinois state workers urge Rauner to negotiate

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Illinois state workers rallied in Caseyville, urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to fairly negotiate a new contract. Credit: KMOV Illinois state workers rallied in Caseyville, urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to fairly negotiate a new contract. Credit: KMOV
CASEYVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

State union workers in Illinois rallied in several cities on Thursday urging Governor Rauner to resume negotiations on a new contract.

Members of the AFSCME Local 1805 gathered in Caseyville chanting "Rauner should negotiate."

"We've never gone on strike in our history, we've always tried to work it out," said Local 1805 president Tad Hawk.

This week, a ruling declared talks between the statewide union and the governor to be at a impasse.  The union is now concerned Rauner may try to impose a last best offer..

That offer will likely have steep increases in health care premiums, which the union opposes.

Under state law, unionized public safety workers such as police and corrections personnel are not allowed to strike, but workers in other agencies still have that option.

In a statement, Governor Rauner says, "rather than protesting a 40 hour work week, merit pay and volunteerism, it's time to move forward together as the state implements this fair and reasonable contract."

Union members say if the contract is implemented, they will likely go on strike.

An AFSCME official says there are about 9,000 state union workers in southern Illinois and 2,500 in the Metro East.

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