After meetings with the state’s top union leaders failed to result in a compromise on possible furlough days or pay freezes for union workers, the Governor’s office said it will be forced to lay off thousands of state workers, according to Senator Tim Bivins.

Governor Pat Quinn, prompted by this year’s budget shortfall, had asked union representatives to reopen the terms of their contracts, to accept furlough days and pay freezes for union workers. The Governor’s office said that both were necessary in order to forgo widespread state layoffs; however, no agreement could be forged between the Governor’s staff and representatives from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

Union representatives contend that even if union employees took furlough days and did without pay increases, the state would see at least 1,000 layoffs. AFSCME noted that the sacrifices made on behalf of the AFSCME employees would provide limited financial assistance to the state. Instead, union leaders suggested Illinois alter or terminate expensive state contracts and reduce the number of top-tier employees.

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