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Rauner To AFSCME: Accept Offer Or Pay $2m Per Day

AFSCME picket
Amanda Vinicky
NPR Illinois
Members of AFSCME picket outside the Illinois Department of Revenue in November 2016.

Governor Bruce Rauner's administration is accusing Illinois' biggest government union of an unfair labor practice.

Contract negotiations began nearly two years ago and ended in January, when Rauner walked away from the table. Last month, the administration finally persuaded a state labor board that the governor and the AFSCME union were at an impasse.

That meant Rauner could begin imposing his final contract offer. Employees can either swallow it or strike. AFSCME, however, has pursued a third option: fighting in court.

The administration says that's unfair, and wants AFSCME to pay $2 million dollars a day, which is what the administration says could be saved by imposing the contract.

A spokesman for AFSCME calls that a "disgraceful attempt to intimidate union members."

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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