Contract talks continue with two weeks left

From Illinois News Network

The looming start to the next budget year with no budget deal in place is compounded by a soon-to-expire public employees contract. And both sides seem to be far apart from reaching a deal.

Bob Bruno, Professor of Labor and Employment Relations of the School of Labor and Employment Relations for the University of Illinois, says that what the two sides should focus on is a so-called “zone of settlement”.

“You actually have to have a set of proposals, a set of positions that it’s actually conceivable that the other side can react to in a legitimate way.”

Bruno said last week that from his vantage both sides are far apart and could be why a measure passed both chambers last month that would allow for third party binding arbitration if either side declares an impasse.

That would be a huge disservice to taxpayers, according to Greg Mourad, National Right to Work Committee’s Vice President for Legislative Affairs.

Mourad says that the so-called neutral arbitration boards are stacked with big labor sympathizers.

“Ultimately elected officials are supposed to be the final authority in the allocation of taxpayer revenues. But when bills like this pass, in the next year the union bosses are out there demanding that the legislature rubberstamp whatever pay hike the arbitrators decide on.”

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