This afternoon, the Quinn Administration said it is unilaterally freezing employee pay at 14 state agencies.
The Department of Central Management Services says the General Assembly didn't appropriate additional funding to cover the cost of scheduled pay increases.
That's some 77 million dollars negotiated during the Blagojevich administration.
AFSCME, the largest state employees union, is threatening immediate legal action to restore the raises.
AFSCME released the following statement: "The Governor’s defense of his actions is based on the flimsiest of legal rationales. The original budget submitted by Governor Quinn to the General Assembly included funding for negotiated pay raises, but legislators of both political parties launched an all-out assault on state employee pay increases and claimed the legislature was not bound by the “no layoff” agreement negotiated by the Governor. In the end, they sent the Governor a budget that cut the General Revenue funds for many agencies by 7-25%--a budget which he made the decision to sign."
"The union’s attorneys do not believe there is any legal basis for the Governor’s claim that he has been forced to act in contravention of legally-negotiated collective bargaining agreements due to the actions of the General Assembly. In almost four decades of bargaining with the State, no governor has ever attempted to unilaterally deny employees negotiated pay raises."
The state agencies or boards affected by the ruling are Criminal Justice Information Authority, Corrections, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission, Historic Preservation, Human Rights Commission,
Dept. of Human Rights, Human Services, Labor, Natural Resources
Public Health, Revenue, Guardianship and Advocacy, Juvenile Justice and the Prisoner Review Board