IL State Workers, Governor Reach Tentative Deal: John O'Connor and Sophia Tareen of the Associate press report that yesterday, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) reached a tentative deal with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn that will narrowly avert the first-ever public workers' strike in the state of Illinois. An AFSCME spokesperson said the deal will include a pay raise. However, employees will also take on increased health care costs.
“AFSCME is very pleased that we were able to reach an agreement that protects our members’ standard of living, and is fair to them and all Illinois citizens, even in these very challenging economic times,” Council 31 Executive Director Henry Bayer said in a statement.
The Governor's office had been negotiating with AFSCME officials for more than a year before last night's deal was struck. Illinois' unfunded pension, liability, the worst in the country, currently stands at $96 billion. As such, it is probably safe to assume that this will not be the last bit of labor unrest in Illinois.
Vegas Taxi Drivers Announce Plans to Strike: Tim O'Reilly of the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes that taxi drivers working for Yellow Checker Star Transportation plan to walk off the job at midnight Sunday after the company unilaterally implemented its last best contractual offer at the beginning of February. The drivers, represented by the Industrial Technical Professional Employees Union (ITPEU), account for a full quarter of Las Vegas' taxi fleet.
"The strike date could change if the employer comes back with a better offer, but that is doubtful," union spokeswoman Nicole Korkolis said.
The Nevada Taxicab Authority, the agency responsible for licensing cab drivers in the city, already has plans in place to distribute licenses to replacement cab drivers if and when ITPEU drivers begin to strike. We will keep you posted as this situation develops further.
Providence Hospital Workers Deliver Strike Notice: Rolf Boone of the NewsTribune reports that hospital workers at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Washington state have delivered notice to hospital administrators of their plan to strike from March 11 to March 16, 2013. The workers, represented by the Service Employees International Union, have grown increasingly frustrated by the hospital's refusal to expand its health care plans.
“If Providence still won’t make a commitment to affordable care, the strike will grow with 150 RNs, social workers, licensed practical nurses, and support staff from SoundHomeCare and Hospice joining the strike for three days starting March 13,” the SEIU said in a news release.
A hospital spokeswoman told reporters yesterday that the hospital already has contingency plans in place in case the strike goes forward. Furthermore, the hospital emphasized in a statement that it is prepared to resume negotiations at the bargaining table.