Local state workers can expect to receive money owed to them soon. In a statement by The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees yesterday, owed step raises that were cut off by former Governor Bruce Rauner will be paid to workers by the end of September according to the State Journal Register.
Governor J.B. Pritzker said that the step raises will be paid first to employees both past and present by the end of September and that interest due on the held money will come at a later time. Prtizker believes that the income is needed now for those workers who are owed that money and that the interest still needs to be properly calculated. In all, Pritzker’s office believes that the State of Illinois owes between 25,000-30,000 workers somewhere north of $370 million dollars.
All of Illinois remaining workers were placed on their proper step on April 1st. Former governor Rauner had suspended the step raises after AFSCME’s (AFSK – MEE) contract expired on June 30, 2015. Illinois courts later ruled that the raises should have continued while the new contract was negotiated. The courts also ruled that the workers were entitled to any interest accrued by the state while the step increases were suspended.
Illinois lawmakers recently included the money to pay workers and to cover any increases in the new state budget. Governor Pritzker’s office said in a statement that Illinois’ Central Management Services will be sending information to state agencies next week on how to proceed with issuing the payments to workers. In the meantime, AFSCME’s 70 local chapters will continue to hold meetings and vote on the recently-agreed to contract with the governor through June 21st. Terms of the new contract have not been revealed.
The step increases include the currently employed workers in the state of Illinois, retirees, those who have left public-sector jobs, and estates of deceased workers. AFSCME currently represents 40,000 people in the state of Illinois.