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Union Workers Picket Treasurer's Office

Updated: Friday, May 30 2014, 03:53 PM CDT
ILLINOIS -- UPDATED May 29, 5:57 p.m.
Employees from Treasurer Dan Rutherford's office are holding an informational picket to urge the treasurer to settle on a new union contract.

The group representing these workers, AFSCME, says the 30 front line employees have been working under a collective bargaining agreement that was set to expire in June 2012. Since that time, the treasurer has refused to settle a fair agreement, and reduced healthcare benefits while increasing premiums.

"I hope we can get serious at the table," treasurer's office employee and AFSCME member Nicki Mason said. "Like I said, it's been two years. It's becoming ridiculous. We are not asking for anything outrageous. We understand fiscal responsibility."

Rutherford says his office has stood ready to bargain with AFSCME since January 2012, before their contract expired. He adds they held off negotiations last year while AFSCME negotiated a master contract with the governor, and the two parties have met nearly a dozen times since.

Contract negotiations resume on Friday.

UPDATED May 29, 1:44 p.m.
The treasurer's office released the following statement regarding the picketing:
* The Treasurer's Office has stood ready to bargain with AFSCME since January 2012, prior to the expiration of the last collective bargaining agreement on June 30, 2012.
* At AFSCME's request, the parties initially agreed to postpone negotiations while AFSCME negotiated a master contract with the Governor's Office. Since April 2013, when negotiations began, the parties have met 10 times in good faith to bargain a new contract.
* Over the last two contracts, since July 2004, AFSCME members in this bargaining unit have received 14 annual or semi-annual raises in the rate of pay, resulting in a more than 37 percent increase in pay in raises alone.
* AFSCME members also received so-called "step" increases on an annual basis under prior contracts. A typical AFSCME employee just beginning employment in 2004 could have received an almost 70 percent increase in compensation over the last two contracts with the benefit of both raises and step increases.
* As a separate constitutional office, the Treasurer's Office has the right and obligation to bargain its own contract with AFSCME, and is committed to a fiscally responsible collective bargaining agreement.Union Workers Picket Treasurer's OfficeUnion Workers Picket Treasurer's Office

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