CHICAGO — Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza today reaffirmed her support for thousands of state workers owed back wages for over three years and dismissed Governor Bruce Rauner’s assertions that it would be overly burdensome for state agencies to calculate legally guaranteed salary payments owed to more than 24,000 state workers.
“This foot dragging is taking place despite clear direction from the courts and independent arbitrators to identify costs associated with the contractually established state employee salary adjustments and step increases long overdue to employees,” Illinois Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza said.
“Governor Rauner cannot use his own ineptitude as an excuse to ignore court orders and trample basic worker rights,” Comptroller Mendoza said. “His pursuit of an extreme anti-worker agenda that underlines his irresponsible and illegal delay in estimating the contractual liabilities that continue to grow is fiscally unsupportable. The critical issue of basic fairness aside, this information needs to be incorporated into the state’s financial statements and the lack of data complicates budgetary and cash management planning for the current fiscal year and beyond.”
Comptroller Mendoza said the issue can’t be fully resolved until the Rauner Administration finalizes the scope of retroactive costs associated with this issue and that a necessary and achievable first step is to determine the actual salary levels payable to current employees subject to the administrative and judicial orders. The Rauner Administration continues to dispute the duration of time that back pay is owed.
Comptroller Mendoza vehemently disagrees with Governor Rauner’s position. Furthermore, she contends that at the very least, state agencies could establish appropriate salary levels based on time frames that even Governor Rauner concedes are valid.
“I believe that workers are owed over three years of raises denied by Governor Rauner and that the sooner he acknowledges this fact, the better. He has no excuse for failing to identify the costs associated with this issue in a timely manner,” said Comptroller Mendoza.
“It’s particularly ironic that this Administration has expended hundreds of millions of dollars for Information Technology consultants with the goal of improving administrative functions at the same time he whines that basic payroll costs can’t be calculated because it’s too difficult,” she said.
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