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Appeals court sides with Quinn on denying pay raises

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SPRINGFIELD — A federal appellate court has upheld Gov. Pat Quinn's decision last year to deny state employees pay raises.

By Andrew Thomason

SPRINGFIELD — A federal appellate court has upheld Gov. Pat Quinn's decision last year to deny state employees pay raises.

In July, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District in Springfield, when Quinn refused the 2 percent pay raise to 30,000 state employees The district court sided with Quinn, and AFSCME appealed.

On Thursday the Seventh U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld the decision.

"It is regrettable that (Quinn) has provoked litigation instead of complying with the contract and the law. We disagree with yesterday's federal ruling and will consider further steps," Anders Lindall, spokesman for AFSCME, said.

An arbitrator sided with AFSCME last year, though that decision had no legal teeth to force the governor to hand out pay raises. AFSCME last year filed a separate suit regarding the pay raises in the Cook County Circuit Court. That decision is pending.

Quinn originally denied the raises because he claimed lawmakers failed to appropriate the $75 million needed to cover them.

"We agree with the court's decision. As we have indicated in the past, the (current) budget passed by the General Assembly did not include an appropriation to pay these raises," Kelly Kraft, Quinn's budget spokeswoman, said.

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