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UPDATE: Rauner Issues Executive Order Attacking Fair Share

2/13/2015

BREAKING UPDATE 2/13/15

And so it continues....just hours after Comptroller Munger and Attorney General Madigan announced they will not implement the Governor's illegal Executive Order to withhold fair share payments from state employees, Rauner has created a "work around."

As first reported on the Capitol Fax blog late this afternoon, Rauner's office said:

State agencies under the control of the governor’s office will withhold unfair share fees when processing payroll. Additionally, agencies will retain an amount of money equal to the withheld unfair share fees until the legal issues are resolved.

Statehouse reporter Rich Miller accurately explained:

So, instead of ordering the comptroller to violate state law and state contracts, the governor’s gonna do it himself. Sheesh. 

Remind us again how this will help the state's fiscal situation, Governor Rauner? It seems more like you just don't like to lose.

Keep watching ift-aft.org for updates on this story.


UPDATE 2/13/15

Following a breaking Capitol Fax report that Comptroller Leslie Munger (R) and Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) will not implement Governor Rauner’s Executive Order regarding fair share fees, IFT President Dan Montgomery issued this statement:

“As we said earlier this week, the Governor’s actions were a blatantly illegal abuse of his power, so we’re glad to see a bipartisan confirmation that the constitution still matters. A democracy does not allow one man to implement his ideological will as he chooses, and so Comptroller Munger and Attorney General Madigan rightfully put the law over politics. As he considers his upcoming budget plan, the Governor would be wise to do the same. Our state has serious financial challenges, and Governor Rauner’s out-of-touch, partisan attacks on middle class families and the unions who give them a collective voice isn’t the way to solve them. Let’s hope we can start working together in earnest next week.”


2/9/15

In a blatant abuse of power, Governor Bruce Rauner signed an Executive Order today blocking thousands of state employees from paying fair share fees.The Governor also announced that he has filed suit in federal court to have fair share provisions declared unconstitutional.

Fair share fees are payments required of individuals who receive the pay and other contractual benefits negotiated by the union but who choose not to join. The Governor's order may impact a small number of IFT state employee members, but it does not impact teachers or other employees in K-12 school districts or higher education faculty.

Rauner's announcement makes it clear once again: While the state is suffering from significant fiscal problems, the new Governor's priority is to attack middle class families and the unions who represent them rather than find real solutions to our challenges.

In response, IFT President Dan Montgomery vowed that our union will proudly stand and fight alongside others to oppose Rauner's overreaching order.

“Our state has big financial problems, and the new Governor's ideological and illegal attacks on working families isn’t the way to solve them.

Today’s action further demonstrates that despite proclaiming his grave concern for the state budget, Governor Rauner’s first actions have been brazen, out-of-touch attacks on the middle class and the unions who give them a collective voice.

Rather than offer concrete solutions on how he will better fund our public schools and services, the Governor continues to engage in unproductive, partisan politics.

Today’s executive order is an abuse of power and the democratic process, and we won’t stand for it. We are exploring all legal options at this point, and we fully intend to hold this Governor accountable to the U.S. Constitution, Illinois law, and collective bargaining agreements."

AFSCME, which represents thousands of state workers, strongly condemned the Governor's attack.

“Child protection workers, caregivers for veterans and the disabled, correctional officers and everyone else employed by state government has a right to a voice at work and in the democratic process through their union.

Bruce Rauner’s scheme to strip the rights of state workers and weaken their unions by executive order is a blatantly illegal abuse of power.

Perhaps as a private equity CEO Rauner was accustomed to ignoring legal and ethical standards, but Illinois is still a democracy and its laws have meaning.

It is crystal clear by this action that the governor’s supposed concern for balancing the state budget is a paper-thin excuse that can’t his his real agenda: Silencing working people and their unions who stand up for the middle class.

Our union and all organized labor will stand together with those who believe in democracy to overturn Bruce Rauner’s illegal action and restore the integrity of the rule of law.”

The legality of Rauner's Executive Order was immediately called into question. Senate President Cullerton was quoted in Capitol Fax saying:

“Our legal staff is reviewing the Governor’s executive order regarding fair share. At the same time, I look forward to hearing the Governor’s budget as we search for common ground to address our fiscal challenges.”

Some lawmakers have also questioned the timing of Rauner’s action, which ironically comes as the state is due to negotiate a new contract with AFSCME. As reported in the Herald Review:

"Why now with so much on the table?" asked state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields. "It seems like every public statement of his is a declaration of war."

The IFT is working to determine the best course of action in light of today's events. Check back for updates as they become available.

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