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While Illinois Goes Broke, State Union Employees Get 14% Raises


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Big Government:

While Illinois Goes Broke, State Union Employees Get 14% Raises
by John Bambenek

It is no secret that Illinois is going broke with over $6 BILLION in unpaid bills to social service providers, Medicaid doctors, mental health providers and schools. It is also no secret that the state has a $13 BILLION budget deficit that the Chicago Democrats who control the entire state failed to address. Next year’s budget deficit will be around $15 – $16 BILLION assuming the economy doesn’t do a double dip recession.

Just last week, Illinois overtook California as the riskiest state to insure against default on bond obligations. You would think cause a sense of urgency among the elected Democrats who control the state. You would be wrong.

Yesterday, we learned from the Associated Press that the Governor was busy doling out 20% raises to his top staff. While the rest of us worry about having jobs, see our hours cut and our pay stagnates, political cronies in the Quinn administration get fat raises.

This would typically be the kind of story the public sector unions would jump on. Not in Illinois because the Democrats and unions like SEIU and AFSCME are part of the same corrupt political class that has driven the state into a ditch. There is also another reason.

On July 1st this year, 40,000 or so AFSCME state employees happily collected a 7% percent “cost of living adjustment”. July 1st next year, they will get another 7%. In short, in 2 years, they will get a 14% raise. Even in good years, 7% is well over inflation. The timing of these raises were also very well coordinated.

While AFSCME game back some of their raises in previous years (which only made them fairly generous instead of downright luxurious) this pay raise is designed to come right before the election. It just so happens that Democrats are having a bit of trouble this year, in particular, Governor Quinn. These state employees will be getting a nice Election Year raise courtesy of Governor Quinn.

And the labor bosses aren’t stupid either. Quinn’s Republican opponent State Senator Bill Brady is running to bring fiscal sanity back to Illinois. The union bosses will happily tell their people that if they want to keep getting double-digit raises, they need to volunteer for Quinn. 40,000 campaign volunteers is nothing to laugh at.

Meanwhile, compassionate Democrats have left those who depend on government services waiting, sometimes up to 6 months, for their providers to get paid. Sorry guys, they have an election to win, you can wait.

This November, the election will determine if the voters are stupid enough to keep these Chicago Democrats in charge who spend while the state is broke. And these are the people who are in charge now in Washington DC as well where passing a budget is even too much work.
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