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Council 31 of the American Federation of State v. Pat Quinn

September 7, 2011

COUNCIL 31 OF THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY, AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES,AFL-CIO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PAT QUINN, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS;
MALCOLM WEEMS, THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CENTRAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES, AND THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough United States District Judge

E-FILED Wednesday, 07 September, 2011 05:27:36 PM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION SUE E. MYERSCOUGH, U.S. District Judge:

The Court now considers Plaintiff Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO's ("AFSCME") Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, or Alternatively, For a Preliminary Injunction. See d/e 9 (Injunction Motion). The Court also considers Defendant Governor Pat Quinn's, Defendant Malcolm Weems', and Defendant State of Illinois' Motion to Dismiss (d/e 7). For the reasons stated below, the Injunction Motion will be DENIED and the Motion to Dismiss will be GRANTED.

RELEVANT FACTS

AFSCME is the main union representative of the employees who work for Defendants, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and his Acting Director of the Illinois Central Management Services Malcolm Weems. AFSCME negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with the State of Illinois effective from September 5, 2008, to June 30, 2012 (the "CBA").

The CBA sets forth a schedule of general wage increases that provides for a 1.5% increase on 01/01/09, a 2.5% increase on 7/01/09, a 2% increase on 1/01/10, a 2.0% increase on 07/01/10, a 2.0% increase on 01/01/11, a 4% increase on 07/01/11, and a 1.25% increase on 01/01/12. The CBA provides for step and longevity increases as employees pass their "anniversary dates" during each fiscal year. AFSCME has agreed to wage concessions in the CBA twice in the last18 months to address state budgetary shortfalls.

In January 2010, the State and AFSCME 31 agreed to $300 million in changes to the CBA in order to address the State's projected budgetary shortfall for the 2011 fiscal year. In the fall of 2010, the State and AFSCME again negotiated cost-savings agreements. The two cost-savings agreements saved the State an additional $100 million in the State budget for the 2012 fiscal year.

On May 31, 2011, the State legislature passed appropriations measures to fund State government for the 2012 fiscal year. The budget for the State for the 2012 fiscal year is approximately $58.5 billion. The general revenue portion of that budget, which funds the operations of the agencies subject to the Governor, is approximately $32 billion. On June 30, 2011, the Governor approved those measures. The Governor identified $376 million in budget cuts that he was implementing by line-item veto. Id. The parties do not indicate what effect these budget cuts have had on their dispute other than to say that the cuts will prevent raises due under the CBA.

On July 1, 2011, Defendants enacted emergency rules amending Illinois' State Pay Plan. That same day, Director Weems issued a Memorandum freezing the general wage increases due under the CBA and cost-savings agreements to AFSCME-represented employees in 14 state agencies for fiscal year 2012. The Memorandum also froze the step and longevity increases required by the CBA. The emergency rules permanently eliminated $75 million in pay raises due to 30,000 State employees under the express terms of the CBA.

On July 8, 2011, AFSCME filed a 5-count Complaint against Defendants. See d/e 1. That Complaint was superseded by an Amended Complaint AFSCME filed on July 20, 2011. The Amended Complaint alleges that Defendants: (1) are liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because they impaired a contract in violation of Article I of the U.S. Constitution; (2) are liable under § 1983 because they violated AFSCME-represented employees' 14th Amendment right to equal protection; (3) impaired a contract in violation of Illinois law; (4) violated AFSCME-represented employees' right to equal protection under Illinois law; and (5) breached a contract in violation of Illinois law. See d/e 4.

On August 9, 2011, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss. See d/e 7. Defendants argued that the Eleventh Amendment bars any monetary relief and that AFSCME's allegations fail to state a claim. Alternatively, Defendants contended that this Court should abstain from hearing this case because similar claims are pending in an unresolved state court case. Id., citing State of Illinois (Central Management Services) v. American Federal of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, Case No. 11-CH- 25352 (Cook County Circuit Court) (Billik, J.) (appeal of arbitration award issued in In the Matter of the Arbitration Between State of Illinois and AFSCME Council 31, Case No. 10.25 (Benn, Arbitrator (July 19, 2011))(requiring State to immediately pay 2% raises)). The state court case is currently stayed pending resolution of this case.

On August 19, 2011, AFSCME filed its Injunction Motion. On August 25, 2011, AFSCME responded to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. AFSCME's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss concedes that Count III (impairment of a contract in violation of Illinois law); Count IV (violating AFSCME-represented employees' right to equal protection under Illinois law); and Count V (breach of contract in violation of Illinois law) must be dismissed. See id. (d/e 12) at 2-3. AFSCME also concedes-in apparent recognition of the Eleventh Amendment hurdle-that this Court does not have authority to award any backpay sought by AFSCME. Id. at 3. However, AFSCME still seeks a declaratory judgment concerning the pay freeze's alleged unconstitutionality under Article 1, § 10 of the United States Constitution.

This Court set the Injunction Motion for hearing on August 31, 2011. At that hearing, counsel for AFSCME stated that AFSCME was not seeking injunctive relief as to its 14th Amendment Equal Protection claim. Rather, AFSCME sought injunctive relief based on Count I-Defendants' alleged liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 due to their impairment of a contract in violation of Article I of the U.S. Constitution.

At the August 31, 2011 preliminary injunction hearing, AFSCME tendered and this Court admitted documentary evidence consisting of copies of the CBA, Defendants' various memorandums, a budget forecast, etc. See AFSCME's Exhibits 1-11. AFSCME also presented live testimony via witness Anne Irving, AFSCME's Director of Public Policy. Ms. Irving testified extensively about Illinois' budget and the appropriations process. Of particular importance, she stated that the Governor could use the special ...


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