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Responding to the possibility of a strike by state employees, Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has launched a new website to try to recruit workers who could fill in during a walkout.The Republican governor has been at odds with the state's largest public...

Rauner looks for temporary state workers amid strike threat

Responding to the possibility of a strike by state employees, Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has launched a new website to try to recruit workers who could fill in during a walkout.The Republican governor has been at odds with the state's largest public...

Rauner looks for temporary state workers amid strike threat

Responding to the possibility of a strike by state employees, Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has launched a new website to try to recruit workers who could fill in during a walkout.

The Republican governor has been at odds with the state's largest public employee union over his proposed contract terms, which would adjust overtime pay, significantly increase workers' contributions to their health care plans, and give the state greater freedom to privatize duties that are now performed by unionized state workers.

More than 80 percent of the members of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 last week voted to authorize a strike. That gives the union the ability to threaten — or execute — a work stoppage at some point in the future after giving Rauner five working days' notice. While no strike has been called and union leaders have said they want to continue negotiations instead, the jobs website is Rauner's latest response to the threat.

"This website is part of the Rauner Administration's on-going attempt to modernize the state's technology services to better serve taxpayers, as well as to prepare for a possible strike against taxpayers by AFSCME," the administration said in a news release announcing its move. "Submissions to the website would provide a way for state agencies to efficiently identify those who could work on a temporary basis. Although individuals would be hired on a temporary basis in response to the strike, the State would then begin taking steps necessary to fill positions permanently."

The long contract dispute is tied up in court, so Rauner so far has been unable to unilaterally install his new terms. AFSCME has warned that bringing in new workers could endanger people who rely on state services.

"AFSCME members investigate child abuse, care for veterans and the disabled, respond to emergencies and more," union spokesman Anders Lindall said. "These jobs require years of experience and training. For Gov. Rauner to seek temporary strikebreakers in place of skilled and dedicated professionals is a recipe for disaster for the people of Illinois."

Union authorizes strike, Rauner doesn't budge Kim Geiger, Monique Garcia and Haley BeMiller

The largest state employee union on Thursday made its latest move in a years-long chess match against Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, announcing its members had taken the unprecedented step of authorizing a strike.

That doesn't mean state workers will walk off the job — union leaders made a point...

The largest state employee union on Thursday made its latest move in a years-long chess match against Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, announcing its members had taken the unprecedented step of authorizing a strike.

That doesn't mean state workers will walk off the job — union leaders made a point...

(Kim Geiger, Monique Garcia and Haley BeMiller)

kgeiger@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @kimgeiger

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

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