Quinn appeals union pay decision


Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration has filed to appeal a judge’s decision ordering the state to make good on union pay raises.

Quinn withheld contractual raises for thousands of state workers beginning in 2011 because he said the General Assembly did not budget money to pay for them.

However, Cook County Judge Richard Billik ruled in December that the state must make good on the raises. He said the state should pay what it can now and pay the rest later at 7 percent interest.

 The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents most of the affected workers, issued a statement blasting Quinn’s administration for pursuing the appeal.

“The appeal needlessly prolongs the already costly and time consuming legal wrangling over Quinn’s failure to pay negotiated wage increases to some 30,000 employees in direct violation of union contracts,” AFSCME said. “By choosing to appeal instead of honoring the judge’s decision, Governor Quinn will subject employees to further lengthy delays in receiving wages they are owed.”

The union said such appeals can typically take more than a year to be resolved.

Quinn originally canceled raises for workers in 14 state agencies. Later, the administration determined there was enough money to award raise to workers in eight smaller agencies covering about 2,000 people. However, employees of the departments of Corrections, Human Services, Juvenile Justice, Natural Resources and Public Health still haven’t received them.

AFSCME’s contract called for workers to receive a 2 percent raise July 1, 2011; 1.25 percent Jan. 1, 2012; and another 2 percent Feb. 1, 2012.

The contract that called for those raises expired June 30. The state and AFSCME are still negotiating a new contract.

Doug Finke can be reached at 788-1527.