The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) recently announced a tentative agreement with the state of Illinois, which would provide for wage increases, increased health care coverage, and other benefits for thousands of state employees.
Under the agreement, which still must be voted on by AFSCME members and approved by the state legislature, state workers would receive a 1.5 percent raise retroactive to July 1, 2017, and another 2.1 percent increase next year. They would also receive additional step increases based on their years of service.
In addition, the agreement includes provisions for additional paid time off, better health care coverage, and increased tuition assistance for employees seeking to further their education.
AFSCME officials have praised the tentative agreement, stating that it represents a significant step forward for Illinois state workers who have been struggling to make ends meet in the face of high health care costs and stagnant wages.
The agreement also represents a victory for the labor movement in Illinois, which has been under attack in recent years as the state has struggled with budget deficits and an unfriendly political climate.
However, the agreement is not without its critics, particularly among those who believe that state workers are already well-compensated compared to private sector employees.
Despite these concerns, the tentative agreement represents an important step forward for Illinois state workers and the labor movement as a whole. If approved, it will provide much-needed relief for thousands of workers who have been struggling to make ends meet in an uncertain economic climate.