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Governor Hopeful of Avoiding Strike By State Workers

State workers are preparing to hit the picket lines.  

Governor Quinn says he hopes they can reach a deal before that happens.  "We're negotiating.  I think all of us are in good faith. Everybody understands it is a tough time economically for our state.  I'm hopeful we can get a good agreement that is good for the taxpayers and good for the workers who work so hard," said Quinn.  

Quinn says he thinks AFSCME leaders understand the financial issues facing the state, and he believes they'll be able to work out their differences soon.  He says both sides will have to give and take in order to reach a reasonable agreement.  

But union leaders say they've given enough.  They've agreed to take no pay raises for the first year of the contract but Quinn says no pay hikes should be allowed for three years.  

Quinn denies claims that he's pushing state workers toward the picket lines.  "I don't do that.  No, I think it is important that I push for the taxpayers of Illinois.  I have an oath of office to represent the people of our state.  Everyone knows we have a tough financial time in the state of Illinois and we have to make some adjustments," said Quinn.

The union could vote to authorize a strike in the next few weeks.    

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