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TSPR

The Western Illinois University administration and the union representing teachers and staff are headed to mediation after almost a year of contract negotiations.  The university's contract with the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) expired over the summer so both sides continue to operate under the old agreement.

About 30 people attended an informational meeting in Fort Madison Tuesday afternoon that was organized by the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). Representatives of PERB have been traveling the state ahead of hundreds of upcoming certification votes for public sector bargaining units.

The faculty will be back in class today for the start of finals week. The agreement was reached after long negotiations over the weekend including 16 hours Sunday.  Details won’t be released until a ratification vote later.

Professors at University of Illinois Springfield Go on Strike

May 3, 2017
NPR Illinois WUIS

Nearly 170 tenure and tenure-track professors at the University of Illinois Springfield went on strike Tuesday.

The school and the UIS United Faculty union have been  trying to work out a contract for 20 months. While salaries have been part of the discussion, the sticking points include issues of promotion and tenure. 

Almost every Lee County employee will get a pay raise on July 1, 2017, despite the fact that the county’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year is in the red by roughly $1.5-million.

State Workers Protest in Western Illinois

Nov 17, 2016
T.J. Carson

AFSCME members in Galesburg spent their lunch hour on Thursday chanting "What's disgusting? Union busting" and "2, 4, 6, 8, Rauner should negotiate."

Labor unions are attacking Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner for several vetoes issues late last week. The Republican governor rejected measures that would have raised wages for state contractors that take care of the elderly and disabled.

TSPR

Just a few weeks remain in the fiscal year and Western Illinois University is preparing to wrap up the books without much financial support from the state.

The university received only about 30% of its regular state appropriations. When that round of funding was announced in April, there was hope more money would soon follow.  But, Illinois lawmakers wrapped up the spring legislative session without passing a state spending plan for this year or next.

Unions landed a victory Tuesday: A tie at the U-S Supreme Court on a case perceived as do-or-die for public employee unions means current rules will remain in place. But Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he'll continue to try to ban so-called "fair share" fees.

The Illinois Supreme Court will be asked to re-visit an opinion it just issued March 24. State employees' salaries are at stake. 


afscme31.org

The rift between Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and the state's public employee union has escalated. Friday morning Rauner announced he's asking the state labor board to decide if negotiations with AFSCME have reached an impasse.

Another set of unions have reached contract deals with Gov. Bruce Rauner. Amanda Vinicky looks at whether it's really a sign the Republican isn't quite as anti-union as his critics allege.

A press release from Rauner's office proclaims he's agreed to terms on new collective bargaining agreements with electrical workers, boilermakers, bricklayers and painters, covering some 500 employees.

Gov. Bruce Rauner recently reached an agreement with a trio of unions -- representing some 300 plumbers, machinists and engineers and operators. But he's still at odds with unions representing the bulk of state employees: the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the Service Employees International Union.

SEIU represents home care workers -- people who help the disabled and elderly care for themselves. Denise Gaines, legislative director of SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, says now, these workers get paid to take important training.

News Analysis — On September 18, 2012, the year before Bruce Rauner declared his candidacy for governor, he shared his vision for a crisis that could help reshape state government.

Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Governor Bruce Rauner has spent much of his first few months in office talking about labor unions. He’s shared not only policy proposals, but also his ideas about the history of the union movement.

A legal battle over union fees is brewing, between Illinois Republican governor and Democratic Attorney General.

Illinois' Attorney General says Gov. Bruce Rauner had no authority to bring a fight over union dues to federal court. She's trying to dismiss the case.

Republican Gov. Rauner is trying to get rid of so-called "fair share" dues on two fronts: he's ordered state agencies to stop collecting them, and he's suing in federal court to toss out the underlying state law that requires them.

Twenty-seven unions, representing some 40,000 state employees, are taking the state's chief executive to court.

A lawsuit filed Thursday in St. Clair County circuit court says Gov. Bruce Rauner's executive order eliminating "fair-share" dues requirements was illegal.

A spokesman for Rauner says the lawsuit was expected, and that unions are trying to hold onto their power.

Gov. Bruce Rauner amped up his anti-union rhetoric Tuesday at a speech in Decatur, a city with deep labor roots.  The Republican bemoaned prevailing wage  requirements on public projects for costing the state extra, said Project Labor Agreements are synonymous with "uncompetitive bidding" and introduced a plan to create local right-to-work zones.  

Wiki Commons

In two controversial decisions this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court made it more difficult for unions to operate, and could make it more important to come up with innovative ways to do their work.

Rich Egger

Progressive Democrats are fighting back against employers that break the law by introducing legislation on Capitol Hill that makes free association with unions a Civil Right.

An Illinois home care worker argued that being forced to pay union fees violates her first amendment rights.

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken her side.

But it limited its decision to non-traditional public employees-- like home care workers, who are paid by the state but hired and fired by the people they care for.

TSPR's Rich Egger

Student-athlete unions won’t be coming to Western Illinois University anytime soon. But the possibility is still sparked some debate on campus.

A recent U.S. Supreme Court debate comes down to employees working at jobs where most of their peers want to be represented by negotiators they elect and share the costs of that representation, versus individuals who feel coerced into sharing the costs of achieving better compensation, and their narrow notion of free association and free speech.

Western UPI Chapter Sends Letter Opposing Cost Shift

Jul 19, 2013
Rich Egger

A public employee union in Illinois is criticizing several university presidents for backing a pension reform plan that includes cuts to benefits and a proposal to shift costs to university employees.

Bill Knight - March 1

Feb 29, 2012

General Motors in mid-February announced its highest annual profits ever -- $7.6 billion in 2011 profits on revenues of $105 billion. That’s not only an increase of 62% from the year before, it’s just two years since GM reorganized under federal bankruptcy law – helped by $82 billion in taxpayer money.