AFSCME Rally: Governor Quinn, Keep Your Word!

by , posted on Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

During a tough 2010 political campaign, Governor Quinn negotiated raises with members of the American Federation State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union.  On July 1, 2011, Governor Quinn cancelled those raises for more than 30,000 state workers.

This afternoon, fifty to seventy-five citizens rallied in Aurora, IL to call on Governor Pat Quinn to keep his word and honor long overdue wage increases for state

workers.  The Aurora event was part of a statewide, 75-rally day of action and a majority of the participants were AFSCME members.  Representatives from other unions and local businesses also participated in the action. 

AFSCME Local 2833 President Ruby Robinson said, “this is not just about negotiated pay increases, this is about protecting the right to collectively bargain for all union members in Illinois.” 

 Robinson also said that

Governor Quinn made the decision without contacting state employees or union representatives.  “No other governor in the past, not even Blagojevich, has done this,” said Robinson.

Failure to honor the collectively bargained contract does not fall only on Quinn’s shoulders.  The excuse that Quinn has provided is to simply blame the Illinois General Assembly for failing to appropriate enough money in the budget.

Another AFSCME spokesperson, Ade Alagbala, said the decision was unfair.  “To take our wage increases, negotiated raises, is not fair and no excuse is good enough,” said Alagbala.

Perhaps the most refreshing part of the rally was the incredible support that came from Aurora citizens who were driving by.  Honks and waves were frequent and one couple even stopped by to join the rally.  Lisa and Matt said were just driving by and decided to stop because they saw people who were standing up for somthing.  “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, so we stopped by to support this cause.  It is the right cause,” said Matt.

Here are some more pictures:

AFSCME 8                 AFSCME Rally

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