Feb 28, 2017 11:10 AM EST

Illinois Jobs: Rauner Launches New Job Portal Amid Threats Of AFSCME Strike

Governor Bruce Rauner has rolled out a new job portal that would hire temporary workers in case the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) pushes through with a strike.

Rauner's administration is preparing for the looming strike among AFSCME, and its first response is to launch a website, called "Working for a Better Illinois." Through this, the government hopes to hire temporary workers in the event that AFSCME decided to go on a strike, Fox Illinois reported.

The new job portal, https://statejobs.illinois.gov/, is pretty basic. It asks for information such as the name, contact details and address, three counties they would prefer to work at, their availability for a permanent position and temporary position, and the job category they would like to be considered in.

The AFSCME has 38,000 state workers under its wings, 28,000 of which are eligible to join the strike. Last week, 81% of the members of the union authorized a strike against Rauner's government. They are advocating for the governor to negotiate with them a better employment contract, as reported by The State Journal-Register.

"We genuinely hope AFSCME leadership will choose not to strike against taxpayers," said Rauner's General Counsel Dennis Murashko in a statement. "However, we must be prepared to continue government operations and provide services that citizens deserve and expect."

AFSCME union officials likewise wanted to avoid a strike and hope to begin negotiating with Rauner again over employment contract terms. However, Rauner last week reiterated his unwillingness to do so. The AFSCME's bargaining committee is yet to make a final decision regarding a possible strike.

Meanwhile, KFVS 12 reported that the state has signed labor agreements with 20 unions. The terms include overtime pay for time worked beyond 40 hours of work, pay based on performance instead of seniority, and allowing volunteerism, among other things.

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