Rauner, public unions not close on contracts

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The contracts for more than 40,000 Illinois state workers will expire at the end of the month. But it appears their unions and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s negotiating team aren’t close to agreeing on new ones. The impasse has gotten more public attention recently with union members staging nearly 100 protests throughout Illinois. The state’s contracts with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and those with roughly two dozen smaller unions representing roughly 5,000 nurses, police officers and others expire June 30. If agreements can’t be reached in time, it’s possible that the unions and Rauner could agree on contract extensions of several months to help facilitate negotiations under a lower-pressure setting, as has happened under past governors. If not, a strike or lockout could occur.