Health care workers sue over Legislature mandated pay hike

CHICAGO — Members of the Service Employees International Union Illinois have sued the state of Illinois for failing to make good on pay raises required under the new state budget.

The union and Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration are in the midst of a year’s long negotiation for a contract to replace the one that expired June 30, 2015.

At issue in the lawsuit filed Wednesday is a 48-cent-per-hour raise for home health workers lawmakers wrote into the budget enacted over Rauner’s July veto. The provision gave the state one month from the July 5 to increase the wage rates for those workers, who the union claims total about 28,000.

Rauner spokesman Jason Schaumburg says under the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act, agreements the state and the union reach over wage increases “take precedence over any conflicting law.”

–Associated Press

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