As a lifelong Democrat working in the private sector, I’m disappointed by AFSCME’s (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) contract stalemate. We are all aware of the dire situation facing Illinois, yet AFSCME is asking for an overall increase in pay and benefits for its members.

It wants overtime pay after just 37.5 hours per week, and nearly 80 percent of health care insurance covered. In the private sector, many people work 50 hours a week with no overtime and pay thousands per year for insurance.

When we hear the demands of AFSCME, it is hard to be sympathetic. State employees definitely deserve a good wage and benefits, but when compared to the private sector, it seems they can make some concessions.

No, AFSCME is not solely to blame for the current financial mess, but without some compromise, we’ll continue to see tax increases, layoffs, and other cuts.

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Devin Hansen

Rock Island

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