After months of negotiations between union representatives and Commonwealth officials, an interim agreement was reached on 30 May. The State Policy Committee of Council 13 unanimously approved the agreement. Under a 2016 law, the state`s independent tax office is required to conduct an analysis of the costs of the agreements before the administration can approve. This report is a measure of transparency, but it has no influence on the administration`s ability to move forward with treaties. In addition to these general wage increases, most employees will see additional “step increases” that, in April 2020, April 2021 and January 2023, will average about 2.25 per cent for their increase in the state level. AFSCME is the largest of the unions representing state government employees and its contract generally defines the most important conditions for most other collective agreement units. AFSCME represents 33,500 people, or more than 40 per cent of the state`s current labour force. To quote AFSCME President Lee Saunders in a recent column, the administration found on Friday that the same contractual terms were also ratified by union members representing public spirits traders. A dozen other contracts, covering staff staff up to Capitol Police, have yet to be completed. In another important aspect of the agreement, there is no change to the current 2.5 per cent wage deduction for health insurance. The full results of the votes will be published in AFSCME13.org in the coming weeks. A final step is needed when the new contracts become final: civil servants make their voices heard and demand respect – in the organizing trenches, at the negotiating table and in national capitals. In Delaware, AFSCME members have recently gained better access to wage negotiations.
In Illinois, a new contract gives state employees, among other things, their first general pay increases in five years. “These contracts will allow us to better compete for talent in the labour market and retain high-performing employees who already work for us,” he said in a press release announcing the ratifications. “The pay increases in this four-year contract are significantly higher than in the previous three-year contract,” said Nate Benefield of the Commonwealth Foundation.