An arbitrator has sent the dispute over promised pay raises for state workers back to a Cook County judge, with a warning.
Arbitrator Edwin Benn says it’s the job of the courts to settle the law on whether Illinois is obligated to fulfill the contract with its employee unions, and says the decision will have a direct impact on all future collective bargaining.
Governor Pat Quinn has refused to pay those raises, saying lawmakers failed to appropriate money for them.
AFSCME sued, and the judge ruled that Illinois did not have to pay money that had not been approved by lawmakers.
He then sent the case back to Benn to determine if there really was insufficient money for the raises. But Benn says that’s a question for a judge, not an arbitrator.