SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration says it wants to bypass a legal recommendation in order to expedite the resolution of its case on whether negotiations have stalled between the state and the largest state worker’s union.
Rauner’s administration says a quick resolution will help Illinois save $35 million to $40 million per month in higher health insurance costs for workers.
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees spokesman Anders Lindall says the move is a play by the governor to impose his own terms for a new contract. AFSCME members could decide on whether to stage a strike if the Illinois Labor Relations Board makes that determination. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that union said it thinks the request is without precedent.
Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said the use of an administrative law judge is optional under state labor laws.