Contract negotiation change bill uncertain

From Illinois News Network

It’s unclear whether Governor Bruce Rauner plans to veto a measure passed by a Democrat dominated General Assembly that would prevent both a union strike and a management lockout.

Before the scheduled end of session last month Democrat majorities in both the House and Senate passed Senate Bill 1229. The provision would allow either side of a negotiation to declare a bargaining impasse which would allow for an arbitrator to intervene.

Bob Bruno with the School of Labor and Employment Relations for the University of Illinois says the reason for the legislation may be because unions feel the Governor’s economic proposals are too extreme.

“Maybe even threatening their very institutional existence and in that setting you just aren’t going to have a very cooperative partner.”

Bruno says non-public safety unions are looking for the same protections that public safety unions receive–binding arbitration.

“This state government doesn’t shut down, people continue to go to work, at the same time some changes may very well occur in the collective bargaining agreement. So it’s a legitimate tool that’s in the collective bargaining toolkit.”

In response to the status of the bill, the Governor’s office said politicians controlled by House Speaker Michael Madigan are siding with special interests over taxpayers rather than working on bipartisan compromise.

There was no response to whether the Governor plans to veto the legislation.

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