Letter from the President:
Hard to believe we are not too far away from asking for Contract Suggestions, holding the election of Delegates etc. for the upcoming Contract Negotiations. We will meet with management in December of 2014 then every other week starting in January 2014. This seems way to soon.
It could be a very uphill battle, not that any contracts are easy to negotiate, if Rauner is elected Governor. He has already gone on the record about cutting salaries, pensions and headcount of the Union employees.
2014 primary: Union efforts hold Rauner to narrow win
Despite an unprecedented $12 million in campaign spending, billionaire venture capitalist Bruce Rauner barely escaped the March 18 Republican gubernatorial primary, after union members all across Illinois came together to reject Rauner’s unrelenting attacks on working people and their right to have a voice in the political process.
Rauner had spent millions to saturate the airwaves with ads falsely attacking public employees and their unions, along with equally dishonest attempts to portray himself as a “regular guy” and respected businessman.
Without organized labor, Rauner very likely would have gotten away with hoodwinking Illinois voters. Pollsters predicted a double-digit margin of victory that would put momentum behind Rauner’s attacks.
Instead, Rauner only narrowly survived elimination. Though he eked out a bare two-point win (40-38) over Senator Kirk Dillard, observers agreed that Rauner was wounded, and credited the Illinois labor movement in large measure for that dramatic shift. As the Chicago Sun-Times put it, “After going unchallenged for most of the early primary season, it turns out that the Rauner campaign bleeds when opponents fight back.”
Rauner made public employees and their unions the #1 target in his campaign. He claimed that public employees who join unions are engaged in a “corrupt” enterprise and that public employee unions should not be allowed to exist. In a blatant attempt to mislead voters, Rauner alleged that public employees had “bribed” politicians to give them big pay increases and “free” health care.
That’s why, when some 500 delegates from local unions across the state came to Springfield for the AFSCME PEOPLE Endorsement Conference in January, they voted overwhelmingly to make the defeat of Bruce Rauner a top priority for our union.
The results of those efforts were significant. Just a few weeks ago, polls showed Rauner with a 20-point lead over all other Republicans, and Dillard stalled near 8%. But when all the votes were tallied yesterday, Dillard jumped to 38, and Rauner barely got by.
That’s what can happen when working families come together through their unions: We can take on a billionaire with the deepest pockets ever seen in Illinois politics—and almost win.
04/21/14 Membership Meeting location change:
We will be meeting at 5:30 pm at the AFSCME Council 31 headquarters, we will use the front conference room.
AFSCME, C-31 headquarters
615 South 2nd Street
Springfield, IL 62705