Rauner, handful of unions reach tentative pacts

By Mark Fitton
Illinois News Network

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration said Thursday it has reached tentative agreements with unions representing roughly 300 engineers and operators, plumbers, steamfitters and machinists.

After several months of negotiations, the administration said, it has reached tentative, four-year contracts with International Union of Operating Engineers, the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry, and the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers.

The new contracts would cover workers at the departments of Agriculture, Central Management Services, Corrections, Historic Preservation, Human Services, Juvenile Justice, Military Affairs, Transportation, Veterans’ Affairs, and the Illinois State Police, according to the governor’s press office.

Terms were not released Thursday, the administration said, because they are generally kept confidential until the end of the ratification process. The contracts have yet to go before the union members for votes.

The administration previously reached agreements with Teamster locals representing roughly 4,600 members across the state

About 40,000 state employees continue to work without contracts as the Rauner administration remains in negotiations with the state’s biggest public-sector unions, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31.

By a series of agreements, the administration and those unions have agreed to stay at the bargaining table work toward a new contract without threat of lockout or strike.

The first-term Republican’s administration and those unions also remain at odds in a lawsuit being litigated in St. Clair County Circuit.

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