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Public Employees Rally for Raises at Statehouse

A long-fought battle between state government and the AFSCME union came to the forefront again Thursday.  State government workers from the union rallied at the capitol to call for periodic raises they say the state owes them.

Roberta Lynch, AFSCME’s Executive Director in Illinois, says even though the state Supreme Court sided with the union, workers have yet to see the money.

“None of them are being paid at the rate they were promised when they were hired. That’s a violation of ethical standards in my book, and it’s a violation of the law in the eyes of the court system in our state.”

A spokeswoman for the Governor's office says a final decision on step increases withheld in 2015 will be up to the state's labor relations board. A separate measure to give workers in some agencies money owed from as far back as 2011 awaits action in the Illinois state Senate.

Just months after he took office in 2015, Governor Bruce Rauner let AFSCME’s labor contract expire, and refused to grant any more periodic raises.

Sam is a Public Affairs Reporting intern for spring 2018, working out the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.