By Benjamin Yount | Illinois Watchdog
SPRINGFIELD — It will be a few days before the details are made public, but Illinois appears to have reached a deal with its largest public employee union.
Both the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees and Gov. Pat Quinn have announced a “tentative agreement” that would end nearly a year of contract talks and avoid a possible strike.
The Quinn administration had voided the last contract with AFSCME during months of contentious negotiations, but the governor on Thursday praised the new deal.
“At a time when the state is facing unprecedented financial challenges, this agreement is fair to both hard-working state employees and all taxpayers of Illinois,” Governor Pat Quinn said.
AFSCME 31 executive director Henry Bayer, who has been quite critical of the Quinn administration in the past and earlier this month warned union members to start preparing for a strike, said “AFSCME is very pleased that we were able to reach an agreement that protects our members’ standard of living, and is fair to them.”
Bayer says the details of the deal, including possible raises and the new cost of health care, will not be made public until the union ratifies the contract.
AFSCME represents 35,000 state employees, over 90 percent of Illinois’ public workforce.
You can contact Benjamin Yount at Ben@IllinoisWatchdog.org