Dear colleagues:

This week, the Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB) declared an impasse in the state’s protracted contract negotiations with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The board’s unanimous decision has implications for the University of Illinois System because healthcare costs for our faculty and staff are established based on terms negotiated in the state's AFSCME contract.

The impact of the ILRB’s decision is still unknown because a written ruling has not yet been issued and may not be available until next week. It could open the door for the state to implement its final bargaining offer, which may increase employee healthcare costs. However, AFSCME is asking the state to restart negotiations, and has publicly indicated that it anticipates appealing the ILRB ruling in state court. Therefore, these issues may not be resolved for many months. 

Although the labor board ruling may be a noteworthy step in the process, it is impossible to predict with any certainty the end result and impact on University employee healthcare costs during this lengthy ongoing litigation and negotiation process.

In the meantime, U of I System leaders continue to voice concerns to state leaders, including advocating on behalf of faculty and staff about the state’s claim payment delay. Our efforts have helped spur some progress on dental claims, and we continue to vigorously oppose the state’s suggestion that it may collect premiums retroactively. These advocacy efforts will continue.

I hope you will join our advocacy efforts, and I will continue to update you as the process unfolds.



For more information:

November 16, 2016, Chicago Tribune story

Q & A from this summer’s Healthcare Information Sessions

State Healthcare Update Webpage

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