A Comprehensive Review of the Most Absurd Benefits in the AFSCME Collective Bargaining Agreement

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) – the state’s largest government-worker union – does all it can to perpetuate the myth that it is the “little guy,” or victim, in the union’s contract negotiations with Gov. Bruce Rauner. But the evidence paints a very different picture. Illinois state workers are the highest-paid state workers in the nation when adjusted for cost of living, and AFSCME workers receive platinum-level health care at little cost. Most AFSCME workers also get free health insurance at retirement, a benefit worth $200,000 to $500,000 per employee. AFSCME has secured many generous privileges for its employees in its contract with the state. These perks include generous compensation in addition to salary, extensive opportunities to obtain time off, and lax disciplinary procedures for late or absent employees, as well as benefits extended to AFSCME employees from agreements the state makes with other bargaining units. Taxpayers simply can’t afford to continue paying for these extravagant benefits. While private-sector salaries remained virtually flat between 2005 and 2014, AFSCME worker salaries increased by more than 40 percent. Taken together, benefits provided to AFSCME employees vastly exceed anything Illinois’ private-sector workers experience. And yet AFSCME continually demands more – and wants the state’s taxpayers to pay for it.

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