Quinn denies responsibility for cutting pay raises to state employees

July 12, 2011

(WBEZ/Tony Arnold)
Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn addresses reporters from Chicago's South Side

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn said Tuesday he had no choice but to cancel pay raises for 30,000 state workers. Members of the labor group AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, are picketing at various locations across Illinois Tuesday. They say Quinn had the authority to reallocate about $75 million to pay for the raises.

But Quinn said it was the responsibility of the legislature to appropriate the money, not his.

"The General Assembly did not provide any money for pay raises for the AFSCME state workers," Quinn said. "That is the long and the short of it. I cannot give them money that the General Assembly hasn't appropriated in terms of a raise."

AFSCME says the pay raise rejection was illegal and is bringing in an arbitrator to settle the dispute.