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Chicago City Council Approves State Union Bargaining Resolution

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A resolution urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to return to the bargaining table with state workers and their union has cleared a hurdle in the City Council.

WBBM's Craig Dellimore reports.

The Chicago City Council's Workforce Development Committee approved a resolution sponsored by Alderman Howard Brookins, pleading with the governor to "bargain in good faith" with AFSCME, the largest state employees' union.

Human services worker Samia Miles, who claimed she has a chronic medical condition, said the governor wants to impose his own contract terms on workers, doubling their health care costs.

"The idea of paying thousands more for my health coverage is devastating, but it doesn't matter to a millionaire governor," she said.

DCFS Clerk Aracely Tirado said the increase in health care costs would basically be a big salary cut.

"I know how the governor wants everyone to believe that state employees all make the big bucks. But it's just not true," she said.

Reporters asked Brookins if he thought Rauner would listen to the Council. The alderman did not think so, but hoped the governor would hear the media and the public.

AFSCME members have authorized a possible strike. The Governor's office issued the following statement in response to the City Council's decision:
"Our Administration negotiated with AFSCME leadership for 67 days while it was clear they had no plans of compromise on their agenda. Our proposals like overtime kicking in after 40 hours, the use of volunteers and a merit pay system are nothing out of the ordinary, and have been agreed upon by 20 other public employee unions.  We continue to invite AFSCME to put aside its unaffordable demands, remember the taxpayers who have to pay state employee salaries and benefits, and work with us to implement common-sense proposals."

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