Workers from AFCME Council 31 will continue protesting for a contract, after talks with the state stalled last Friday. Both sides are blaming each other for the stalemate, with Governor Rauner saying the union workers are refusing to compromise.
Rockford State Senator Dave Syverson says other unions have reached deals with the state, and it’s time AFSCME does the same.
Syverson says, “We’re hoping that the union leaders will understand [that they need to] put the political differences aside, and let’s look at what it’s gonna take to turn Illinois around. And for that to happen, everyone has to have sacrifices.”
But Senator Steve Stadelman says AFSCME’s issues are different from other public employee unions.
He says, “These are smaller unions, who have different issues regarding healthcare and salary issues. So I don’t know if it’s really comparing apples and apples.”
The senate will meet Wednesday, and neither Stadelman nor Syverson see any type of progress on the budget being made this week.
Syverson says, “The problem is with speaker Madigan canceling the [Illinois House meetings for the] entire week for the house. There seems to be no urgency for addressing these budgetary problems.”
Syverson says he does not see a budget passing until House Speaker Michael Madigan stops playing politics, and agrees to compromise with the governor. But Stadelman says lawmakers need to stop playing the blame game.
He adds, “I don’t think it’s helpful for one side to try to blame the other side. I think it’s the reason we don’t have an agreement.”