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Union: Quinn’s Unfair Demands Have Left Contract Talks At Standstill

Gov. Pat Quinn

Gov. Pat Quinn (Credit: CBS)

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Hi! My name’s Regine Schlesinger and if that rings a bell, it probably...
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — First it was Mayor Rahm Emanuel with the Chicago Teachers Union, and now, another prominent Illinois Democrat is in trouble with a public employees’ union.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has e-mailed members, telling them contract talks with the state are in what it calls a virtual standstill because of unfair demands by Gov. Pat Quinn.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

AFSCME says the governor wants deep concessions that could mean a $10,000 hit to some state workers. The union calls the governor’s proposal “an insult to every state employee.”

But an aide to the governor says the state cannot afford to keep paying salaries and benefits at levels far above those of other unionized state workers in the country.

Budget spokesman Abdon Pallasch tells the State Journal-Register that even after the cuts, Illinois employees still would be doing better than others.

AFSCME’s contract expired June 30, but it remains in effect while negotiations continue. Part of the delay has been the resignation of a mediator and the failure of the two sides to agree on a replacement, AFSCME said.

The union is telling employees they might have to take what it calls “direct action” to move the negotiations.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)