Protesting for promised pay raises


Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - Ryan Brooker

ANNA, Ill. — The heat didn't stop about 50 Illinois state workers from voicing their displeasure over a measure they said is illegal.

"We are here to say no to Governor Quinn," said Cary Quick.

Quick joined his co-workers at the Choate Mental Health Facility in Anna. He's picketing and protesting, demanding the $75 million in raises 30,000 state employees were promised in their latest contract. But Governor Pat Quinn said there is no money for the raises so he's freezing their pay, something Bonnie Brimm doesn't understand.

"Him doing this makes you angry and upset," said Brimm.

"He has not even spoke with us on wanting to come to the table and try to work something out," Quick said.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees care for the elderly, including veterans and those with disabilities and parolees.

Quick, a 13-year state employee, said his job as a mental health technician is as priceless as the lives he serves.

"Without us to do that, I would hate to think what would happen to the individuals we serve," he said.

AFSCME filed a lawsuit with the state on Friday claiming Governor Quinn's pay freezes are illegal. With that lawsuit, the workers are hoping the state will be required to come back to the drawing board and reinstate the pay increases.