But an administration
official said Wednesday that even with a budget deficit of $11
billion or more, the Democrat achieved important victories --
avoiding mass layoffs, costly litigation and setting a "tone" for
The American Federation of State, County and
Municipal Employees agreed to delay portions of wage increases
during the next year and ask members to take voluntary unpaid
furloughs in exchange for avoiding most of the 2,600 layoffs Quinn
sought last summer.
The layoffs were part of $1 billion in budget cuts Quinn
announced in June, along with requiring all employees to take 12
unpaid furlough days to save $310 million.
But that was after Quinn sought wage concessions and voluntary
furloughs from AFSCME, budget director David Vaught said.
"The governor believes we've achieved our basic objective to try
to achieve savings through shared sacrifice without creating the
more disruptive aspect of layoffs," Vaught said.
AFSCME filed a lawsuit over the layoffs and a judge stopped them
but told both sides to work out an agreement, which they did on
"It protects the essential public services our members provide,"
AFSCME Executive Director Henry Bayer said in a statement. "Illinois
families need those services more than ever in this deep recession."
The union's 40,000 members are scheduled to get two pay increases
totaling 4 percent during the next year, but will give up half of
that. However, what they forgo now will be due in June 2011, and
earlier if the state generates new revenue, such as a tax increase.
That will save $41 million, the budget office says.
The union will urge members to take up to 10 voluntary furlough
days, saving an estimated $77 million. Restructuring of group
insurance will save another $70 million.
About 150 layoffs remain scheduled in various agencies outside
the Corrections Department. That savings takes the total over $200
Vaught acknowledged that with a deficit of $11 billion or more,
budget-cutting of this size seems inadequate.
But every bit helps "and you also set a tone of taking
unprecedented steps, the tone of shared sacrifice, the tone of
'everybody's in this,'" he said.