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Arbitrator Says Governor Can’t Cancel Raises

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Gov. Pat Quinn (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Gov. Pat Quinn (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) – The state’s largest public employees’ union scored a victory on Tuesday in their fight to regain the 2% raises to which they’re contractually entitled.

But the governor’s office isn’t backing down in its effort to cancel the raises.

Gov. Pat Quinn canceled the raises for 30,000 workers, claiming lawmakers didn’t allocate enough money in the state budget to pay for them.

AFSCME Council 31 executive director Henry Bayer says too bad. Canceling the raises severely undermines the collective bargaining process, and state workers have already sacrificed to save money, Bayer said.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Alex Degman reports

“The arbitrator put the figure at $400 million,” says Bayer, referring to the report authored by independent arbitrator Edwin Benn. “Front line employees have stepped up to the plate, they have made sacrifices, and the governor should show some appreciation for all of that by agreeing to pay them that which he said he would a year ago.”

The governor’s office says it will appeal the decision, which requires the state to implement the increased salaries – with back pay – within 30 days.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Regine Schlesinger reports

“Funding these raises would mean that these agencies would not be able to make payroll for the entire year, disrupting core services for the people of Illinois,” Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman said.

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