Labor board denies Rauner request to expedite union case

A state labor board has denied a request by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration to bypass an administrative judge and expedite ruling on whether negotiations have stalled with Illinois’ largest public workers’ union.
    
The decision means the contract negotiations case with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees will proceed as it has for months, with an administrative law judge. She’ll give her recommendation to the board, possibly by November.
    
Illinois Labor Relations Board members, appointed by the governor, voted unanimously Thursday.
    
They contend intervening early wouldn’t save time or money as Rauner’s office argued.
    
Material from the judge’s hearings is voluminous with over 5,000 pages of transcripts. The board’s attorney says it’ll take members time to study. Also, there’s little legal precedent for bypassing an administrative judge.

Rauner’s office released the following statement from Jason Barklay, general counsel to the governor, about the labor board’s decision:

“While we are disappointed in the result, we voluntarily agreed to these impasse proceedings with AFSCME and will continue to respect and follow the Labor Board’s decisions throughout.  This will hopefully also put an end to the reprehensible attacks that AFSCME has made against the independence and integrity of the administrative law judge and the Board.”

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