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Quinn, AFSCME Meet Over State Budget Cuts

By Kevin Robinson in News on Aug 19, 2009 8:20PM

2009_8_state_seal.gif Governor Quinn and Henry Bayer, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees met this week over ways that the state and the largest union representing state employees could work out ways to save Illinois money. But neither party had much to say about the conversation. Quinn termed the meeting "constructive", and said that his office will meet with members of the union's bargaining committee to discuss avoiding potential layoffs or furlough days.

AFSCME had more to say, but didn't yield much on the substance of the conversation. Bayer said in an e-mailed statement:

"This meeting was held at our union's request to urge the governor to rescind the state employee layoffs he has threatened. I told the governor that layoffs will harm vital services that Illinois residents rely on. They will also hurt families and our economy by throwing thousands of men and women out of work...the administration must present to the body of local union presidents representing state employees any proposals that would required reopening our contract...Any decision regarding changes to the contract will ultimately be made by our members themselves."

Given that AFSCME wasn't too keen on yielding to Mayor Daley, it remains to be seen if anything will come of the talks. If the comments section of the State Journal-Register are any indication, this may end bitterly.