The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31 in the State of Illinois recently negotiated a new contract agreement with the state government. The 2022-2026 contract, which covers approximately 40,000 public service employees, includes several notable provisions.
One of the most significant changes in the new agreement is a wage increase for all employees. This increase is a combination of a base-pay raise and a series of lump-sum payments. The total increase over the four-year contract period varies slightly depending on an employee`s job classification, but for most workers, it will equate to an average pay increase of about 11%.
In addition to the salary increase, the new contract includes several other benefits for AFSCME members. These include increased health insurance premium subsidies and a new paid time-off program for employees who wish to attend union training programs. The contract also clarifies and strengthens workplace safety protections for workers.
The negotiations for this contract were complex and often contentious. AFSCME had been without a contract since 2015, and talks for a new agreement had been underway for months. At various points in the process, union leadership threatened to strike, and the state government threatened to impose its own contract terms if an agreement couldn`t be reached.
Ultimately, both sides were able to come to a compromise that satisfied most of their demands. The AFSCME Council 31 contract is now in effect and will remain so until 2026.
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