Statement by Rep. Kelly Cassidy:
This morning, Governor Rauner declared an impasse in negotiations with AFSCME, the union that represents over 38,000 child protection workers, nursing aides, correctional officers, human service workers and other state employees. Prior to this week, there was no indication negotiations would be broken off, and AFSCME has expressed their willingness to continue to bargain and work to find common ground.
Declaring an impasse creates chaos and is not the path to reaching a fair agreement. Negotiations are inherently difficult, but dedication to working through differences and achieving compromise is critically important.
Our state employees that help to keep us safe, respond to emergencies and care for our most vulnerable deserve more than bad faith negotiations and brutal cuts. Their work is vitally important, and putting in whatever effort it takes to reach a fair agreement is equally important.
I strongly urge all parties to recommit to sincere negotiation and work through the process to achieve compromise. While it is unclear what the result of an impasse could be, a strike or lockout would be devastating. Our social service system has already faced crushing difficulties under the budget impasse, causing many organizations to reduce services or shut their doors. This would further reduce critically important services for our most vulnerable citizens.
Office of State Representative, Kelly M. Cassidy, 14th District