Retired state workers in Illinois now know how much they will be required to contribute to their health care costs. The details are in the tentative contract agreement between the state and AFSCME.
The pact also will give the state the savings it had already been counting on.
Until now, state and university employees who retired after long government careers had not been required to pay any health care premiums. A new state law changed that, but how much they would pay was subject to contract negotiations, which dragged on for 15 months.
After 15 months of negotiating, Illinois' largest government-employee union has reached a tentative contract deal with the administration of Governor Pat Quinn.
AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall said the specifics will be kept private for now.
“It's a three-year agreement. The details are going to be reviewed by our entire rank-and-file membership. ... The ratification process will get started the week of this coming Monday, March 4," Lindall said.
Illinois’ largest public employees' union is talking more about a strike. Henry Bayer, Executive Director of AFSCME, said contract talks with the governor's office are going nowhere.
Bayer told Illinois Public Radio that a strike is a real possibility, and he said Governor Quinn is the catalyst. Bayer said Quinn's termination of the union's previous contract and his attempts to force cuts in pay and benefits has workers ready to go on the picket line.