SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Leaders of a public-employee union say Gov. Bruce Rauner administration’s plans to implement bereavement leave for union members is meant to distract Illinois workers and the public from larger contract negotiation issues.
The State Journal-Register reports the contract terms will give American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees members paid time off for the death of a child or stepchild.
The administration says the move became possible after the Illinois Labor Relations Board ruled last week that contract talks between the state and the union are at an impasse. The decision allows bereavement leave to be implemented immediately.
An AFSCME spokesman said in a statement that the move is meant to divert attention from the administration’s push to hike employee health premiums by 100 percent while freezing wages for four years, cutting average worker’s pay by $10,000.