The largest state employee union in Illinois has announced the results of the strike authorization vote.
AFSCME members have spent the last few weeks voting on whether to authorize a state worker strike. 81 percent of AFSCME members have voted to give the union bargaining committee the authority to call a strike. The vote does not necessarily mean that there will be a strike. The bargaining committee will meet in the coming days to chart its path, and pending litigation could also play a role in whether or not state workers will walk off their jobs for the first time in Illinois.
28 thousand of the union’s 38 thousand members are eligible to take part in the strike, while Corrections personnel are forbidden from striking. The Rauner Administration says a strike would be illegal for all state workers, based on an agreement signed last fall.
AFSCME has been without a contract since summer 2015. Negotiations have dragged on for months, with 67 days of meetings, 24 formal negotiating sessions and more than 300 different proposals exchanged between the two parties.