And Now for the Bad News —

After intense lobbying by Gov. Pat Quinn, the state Senate capped off its “lame duck” session by enacting SB 1556, which would strip collective bargaining rights from thousands of former merit compensation employees. The House of Representatives has already passed the measure and Quinn will undoubtedly sign it when it arrives on his desk.

The legislation failed to win a majority in a vote earlier on Thursday, but only hours later, two senators changed their vote, allowing the bill to pass.

Once it becomes law, the bill will take away bargaining rights from thousands of workers under the jurisdiction of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller or Treasurer. It does so by broadening the definition of “manager” to include employees who are merely required to carry out the “effectuation of management policies or practices.” Under these criteria, tens of thousands of public employee in Illinois would find themselves faced with losing their rights to union representation.

Senator Don Harmon filed a motion to reconsider which places the bills transmission to the Governor temporarily. We’ll keep you posted on any developments.

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