Quinn 'happy' to work with arbitrator over canceled union raises

July 8, 2011

The state of Illinois and a major labor union are inching toward arbitration of a labor dispute - something Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he's "happy" about.

Last week, Quinn cut $75 million worth of raises for some 30,000 union members. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, says that was illegal, and it's bringing in an arbitrator.

Quinn told reporters Friday that the state will work with the arbitrator, but added that won't change the fact that lawmakers didn't set aside enough money for worker raises.

"I want to make it clear that those who advocate just giving out the raises now and running short of money later in the fiscal year where you wouldn't have any money to respond to the needs of the people. That is not a proper course or prudent course to follow and I'm not going that way," Quinn said.

A spokesman for AFSCME says Quinn could have lobbied harder to get funding for raises during the legislative session.