Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Statement from State Representative Mike Unes

State Representative Mike Unes
Regarding Scheduled AFSCME Protest on HB 580


For Immediate Release                                                                                     Contact: Rep. Mike Unes
         March 29, 2016                                                                                                                                (309)620-8631



The “all or nothing” arbitration in HB 580 takes away collective bargaining, and I don’t believe that is fair to anyone. The best approach is and always has been for both sides to collectively bargain a contract that is fair to all concerned.

Last fall, both sides signed a tolling agreement, which is a binding contract that established a path to resolution in the event that the parties believe the other side is not negotiating in good faith—and that’s the point they’re at right now.  Therefore, there is already a clear and mutually agreed upon path forward via a signed contract by both AFSCME and the administration. A contract is a contract—and that’s exactly the position I took previously in supporting our teachers and state employees against unconstitutional pension bills, as well as when their current retiree health care agreements were called into question.

I believe that ultimately, both sides will end up back at the bargaining table, and when they do, I will continue to implore them each to engage this effort in good faith to obtain an outcome that is fair and suitable to all concerned.


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