Unions asks arbitrator to decide canceled raises

By the Associated Press | July 7, 2011 | 3:29 PM EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A major state employee union has asked an arbitrator to decide whether Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn can cancel scheduled raises for thousands of workers.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees sought the ruling Thursday. Quinn announced last week he was canceling the $75 million in raises to help deal with the state's budget crisis.

His administration has notified 14 state agencies and employee unions that raises won't be paid as required by contract because lawmakers didn't include enough money in the new state budget.

The union contends that Quinn's action violates their contract. The union says going to an arbitrator doesn't prevent a possible lawsuit later.