WBEZ | labor union http://www.wbez.org/tags/labor-union Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Quinn maintains plan to close state facilities despite labor dispute http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-maintains-plan-close-state-facilities-despite-labor-dispute-92778 <p><p>Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn said he wants to move forward with proposed layoffs and closing seven state facilities despite an arbitrator's ruling that doing so would violate a contract with labor unions.</p><p>Arbitrator Edwin Benn ruled on Monday that Quinn’s plan to close several prisons and mental facilities would violate an agreement with AFSCME, the state's largest public employees union. Last year’s contract guaranteed no members would be laid off through mid-2012 if the union agreed to cost cutting measures.&nbsp;</p><p>Quinn’s proposed closings would eliminate an estimated state 2,000 jobs. He said cuts need to be made to the state’s budget and blames the Illinois lawmakers for not giving him enough money to run the government.</p><p>AFSCME spokesperson Anders Lindall said the state should honor that agreement despite its budget problems.</p><p>“It can't take in the benefits with one hand and then walk away when it's inconvenient for it to keep its commitments,” Lindall says.</p><p>In a statement, Quinn’s office said it will go to court in hopes of going forward with the closings and layoffs.</p></p> Mon, 03 Oct 2011 22:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-maintains-plan-close-state-facilities-despite-labor-dispute-92778 Quinn meets with Emanuel on McCormick Place http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-meets-emanuel-mccormick-place-89668 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-26/RS3064_AP100113026742-Seth-Perlman-2010-SOS.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn wants to negotiate with&nbsp;unions to keep labor reforms at Chicago's McCormick Place&nbsp;convention center.</p><p>But he also says he and top lawmakers are ready to bring&nbsp;legislators back to Springfield in September to fine tune any&nbsp;necessary legislation.</p><p>Quinn met Tuesday with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the state's four&nbsp;legislative leaders about ways to keep the work rule changes.&nbsp;</p><p>A federal judge ruled in March that many of the labor reforms&nbsp;lawmakers wanted at McCormick were illegal because they went beyond&nbsp;the terms of union contracts.</p><p>The judge also ruled legislators overturned collective&nbsp;bargaining rights in violation of the National Labor Relations Act.</p><p>Some conventions have pulled out of the city because of the high&nbsp;cost to host events at McCormick.</p></p> Tue, 26 Jul 2011 20:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-meets-emanuel-mccormick-place-89668 Emanuel to lay off 625 workers after union misses deadline http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-lay-625-workers-after-union-misses-deadline-89207 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-15/IMG_0816.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Friday he's laying off up to 625 city workers, after labor leaders blew a Friday deadline to come up with a list of cost-saving measures in order to avoid pink slips.</p><p>"I took the steps because I cannot wish away this budget shortfall," Emanuel said. The layoffs will hit the city's water department call center, city custodians, and the office that manages health benefits for city workers. His plan will also lead to a 75 percent force reduction of the seasonal workforce at the Department of Transportation, which would mean fewer street and sidewalk improvements this year.</p><p>Layoff notices will begin going out next week, said a mayoral spokeswoman.</p><p>The mayor also used his remarks to slam union leaders for not agreeing to a menu of of compensation and work rule changes he said would have precluded pink slips. His proposal, outlined to the public in its entirety for the first time Friday, would eliminate sick pay for city trade workers, lengthen the work week, and reduce pay for overtime, among other changes.</p><p>The mayor said his administration would meet with labor leaders on Monday, but he wouldn't say whether he would cancel the layoffs if union workers agree to the work rule changes he'd pushed for.</p><p>Chicago Federation of Labor President Jorge Ramirez responded to the mayor's decision on Friday afternoon. Ramirez said he was unaware of the deadline and that he and other leaders would continue to work on their own cost-saving plan. He said the CFL has hired an outside consultant to help come up with a proposal.</p><p>Ramirez said the unions were left in the dark about Emanuel's proposed work rule changes.</p><p>"They have never been formerly presented with anything, they haven't been asked to sit down in a formal way, and this is something shouldn't have caught the city by surprise," Ramirez said. "We told them there was a process from the very first meeting that we had. We suggested to them that they engage it if they intend to do anything like that, and they just chose not to."</p><p>Emanuel's administration inherited the labor dispute from former Mayor Richard Daley. The Daley administration balanced its 2011 budget, in part, by squeezing concessions and furlough days from unions. But that labor agreement expired last month, leaving the Emanuel administration to come up with about $31 million in savings to close out the budget year.</p><p>Emanuel has said he is against imposing more furlough days on city workers and he previously ordered a partial hiring freeze. He also said seven city-run health clinics will turn over primary care services to federally funded clinics. Emanuel said the measures would save $20 million.</p></p> Fri, 15 Jul 2011 15:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-lay-625-workers-after-union-misses-deadline-89207