Law professor's paper addresses ongoing battle between AFSCME and Governor Rauner
A recent paper by Chicago-Kent College of Law Professor Martin Malin reviews and evaluates the current state of negotiations between American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the State of Illinois.
The AFSCME–State of Illinois Negotiations: Traveling in Uncharted Waters, published in the current issue of the Illinois Public Employee Relations Report, examines the unsettled issues the parties face and recaps the litigation before the Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB) and the ILRB's decision that the parties are at impasse in their negotiations.
The paper also discusses the issues raised by the ILRB's decision and the legal issues that lie ahead if the state implements its final offer and if AFSCME strikes. The article observes, "Both sides face substantial legal risks. In normal times, such significant legal risk on both sides of a dispute leads parties to find compromises to resolve the dispute." "But," it asks, "are we currently in normal times?"
Among other points the article makes is that, while the current discussion in Illinois assumes that if the parties are at impasse, the State may implement its final offer unilaterally, there is no legal authority in Illinois so holding, and legal authority in Pennsylvania, whose public employee collective bargaining was a model for the Illinois statute, holds to the contrary.
Professor Malin is the director of Chicago-Kent's Institute for Law and the Workplace. He has published more than 75 articles and six books, including Public Sector Employment: Cases and Materials, the leading law school casebook on public sector law. An arbitrator and mediator, he serves as vice president of the National Academy of Arbitrators. He also serves, by appointment of President Obama, as a member of the Federal Service Impasses Panel, which resolves impasses in collective bargaining between federal agencies and unions representing the agencies' employees.
Founded in 1888, Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, a private, technology-focused, research university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law.