SPRINGFIELD, ILL.(AP)-Hundreds of state workers took to the streets today in Springfield and around the state to tell the governor they’re not happy he’s reneging on their contract.
The main rally outside the Willard Ice Building, which houses the state’s Department of Revenue, was one of more than 75 rallies held across the state demanding the governor give many state employees the 2 percent raise stipulated in their contracts.
34-year department employee Cheryl Redpath says the office atmosphere is the worst she’s ever seen. “[The state has] laid off employees, the workload has doubled and tripled, we’re not getting any help because we can’t afford it. It’s just bad,” Redpath says.
Gov. Pat Quinn has defended his pay freeze order, saying the Legislature didn’t give him enough money to give raises to the 30,000 employees contractually entitled to one.
Redpath says that’s the governor’s way of “weaseling out” of his responsibilities. “He’s blaming everybody else for his actions,” she says. “He didn’t have to sign that. He could have said ‘no, that’s not going to work. You need to take it back to the table. We need to have all these agencies getting their raises like they were promised.”
Copyright Associated Press