WHAT IS AFSCME?

AFSCME STANDS FOR THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES

AFSCME stands for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. It is a public-sector labor union funded by mandatory dues taken from the paychecks of government workers. AFSCME represents approximately 35,000 state employees throughout Illinois, or about .3% of the state’s population.

WHAT AFSCME HAS

Over the last decade, Illinois state employees have received 27 pay raises. Today, they are the highest paid state employees in the nation, making over $66,000 per year – over $15,000 higher than the average wage in Illinois. On top of their high salaries, they only have to work 37.5 hours per week. After 37.5 hours, state employees get paid overtime. 

State employees also have some of the most generous benefits in the nation. They receive Cadillac-level health care coverage, but only cover a fraction of the costs. Taxpayers pick up nearly 80 percent of the average employee’s coverage. That costs taxpayers almost $15,000 per year, per worker.  In fact, total average compensation for AFSCME employees, including wages, health insurance, pension contributions, and other benefits is over $100,000 annually.

WHAT AFSCME WANTS

AFSCME has proposed double digit wage increases. They want taxpayers to continue to provide an outsized subsidy for health coverage that is more than most private sector workers receive. They are still demanding overtime after 37.5 hours per week. And they want state workers to automatically get pay increases based on longevity, regardless of ability or productivity. 

WHAT THE STATE OFFERED

The state proposed freezing wages while allowing all employees to keep their current salary levels. The state wants overtime to start after 40 hours, like in most private sector jobs. The state wants to introduce merit pay, so the most productive workers can earn more. And the state, which has reached contract agreements with nearly 20 other unions, wants employees to contribute more towards their healthcare costs so the state can provide great benefits at a cost that is more affordable for taxpayers.

AFSCME BY THE NUMBERS

  • $66,000 AVERAGE SALARY The average salary an AFSCME Illinois state worker gets per year, making them the highest-paid government employees in the nation.
  • 27 RAISES The number of raises all AFSCME members have received over the last 10 years, costing Illinois taxpayers more than $3.5 billion.
  • 37.5 HOURS IN WORK WEEK The number of hours AFSCME members work per week. If they work a standard 40-hour workweek, overtime pay kicks in.
  • $3 BILLION COST TO ILLINOIS TAXPAYERS The additional cost to Illinois taxpayers if AFSCME’s proposal is implemented.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The state is offering a fair contract to AFSCME employees, but the union bosses won’t accept it. Nearly 20 other labor unions have agreed to similar state contracts, but AFSCME has refused and is instead asking for a double-digit pay raise. AFSCME’s proposal would hurt our state. If the AFSCME union bosses get their way, our taxes will increase and funding for education, social services, and repairs to our infrastructure will decrease.

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