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Illinois Secretary of State employees want same maternity leave policy as other state employees

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020  |  Article  |  By Greg Bishop | The Center Square

Secretary of State (80)

Two union locals working on a contract with the Illinois Secretary of State are prepared to strike if they don’t get their way.

Deneen Taylor, a field service director with the Illinois Federation of Teachers, said Local 4407 runs all the IT for the Secretary of State.

“And Local 4408, we have employees under the State Library, the State Archives, securities personnel and they run the capitol complex property as well,” Taylor said.

She said with the automatic voter registration program, REAL ID and other demands on employees, they want better pay and more staff. They also want raises and the same maternity leave other constitutional officers are offering employees. That policy is ten weeks of leave for mothers and fathers.

“The other four constitutional officers have set a bar for those types of leaves, and we have just requested the Secretary of State to fall in line with that and he has not,” Taylor said. “As well as what is on the table, leave is not the same for males and females.”

She said the union voted down the administration’s last offer and authorized a strike.

When asked about the concerns last week, Secretary of State Jesse White said he plans to sit down with the union.

“With regard to the employees who were picketing yesterday, we will meet with them next Friday,” White said. “And we believe that will probably be resolved.”

That meeting is on Feb. 14.

White said of the mandates on the office, one is an unfunded mandate.

“The REAL ID was a big one,” White said. “It was forced on us by the federal government and we have put everything in place to make sure that we can accept the documentation and the information from these individuals.”

White said he has enough resources to do the job, but said he may ask for more money from state lawmakers in the upcoming budget.