Saturday, July 2, 2011

AFSCME: Quinn "even lower" than Governor Walker

UPDATE: To their credit SIUC Unions United seem to have learned from 2011 and the run-ins with the Illinois Democratic establishment. See this latest story from their blog.

The Southern Illinoisan reports on Quinn's backpedaling on a deal negotiated with AFSCME, the union representing many local and state workers.

Here is another story on the union's response. Some choice excerpts:
“Today Pat Quinn has shown that his signature on such negotiated agreements is not worth the paper it’s printed on."
“Republican governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Chris Christie of New Jersey and others have recently sought changes in law to eliminate the right of collective bargaining for public employees. By choosing to simply ignore a legally binding agreement, Pat Quinn has sunk even lower. Not only is Quinn’s assault on public employee collective bargaining unprecedented in the four decades of state employee bargaining in Illinois, given his repeated criticism of Walker and others, it is utterly hypocritical."
This past year union negotiations bogged down at SIUC. There are many factors at play but anyone watching Springfield knew that the vast right-wing conspiracy theories, the obsessive demonization of Cheng, and the Support Wisconsin rhetoric was distracting from a simple reality: politicians of either party "go where the money is" (the old bank robber quote). Illinois politicians (both parties) made a helluva mess and went first after pensions (look for that again; Quinn stayed silent during the whole effort to slash union pension benefits). A massive "temporary" tax increase didn't close the huge gap so our future will be determined in part by what happens with SIUC negotiations but the greater threat to our future benefits is from Springfield.

And, no, at last word the Koch brothers were not behind Quinn, Emanuel and Madigan's recent measures. Liberal Chicago billionaires supported these changes. Exhibit A: Penny Pritzker, national finance chair for Obama in the '08 election, doing her part for/with Emanuel in undermining the ability of unions to strike in Cook County. For more on the reliably Democratic billionaires, read this piece.

I'm "shocked! shocked!" to find that leading Illinois Democrats, from the governor on down, will back stab unions. Say it ain't so! Where is Obama to chide our governor? Welcome to Illinois politics."See no evil, hear no evil" as long as the Democrats are in power.

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