Pritzker restores wage increases, signs pay-equity order

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Gov. J.B. Pritzker used his first full day in office to restore frozen wage increases for unionized state employees.

The Democrat also took other pro-worker action Tuesday at the state Capitol.

Pritzker announced that union employees would begin getting seniority-based “step” increases in pay. Those contractually required increases were frozen by former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner four years ago during still-unresolved contract negotiations.

Pritzker did not say how much the extra pay would cost. It is not retroactive.

The governor also signed executive orders to prohibit state agencies from asking prospective employees their salary histories. Advocates believe it’s discriminatory toward women who enter and leave the workforce more often. Pritzker likely will sign a law on the issue this spring. Rauner vetoed it twice.

Pritzker was sworn in Monday as the 43rd governor of Illinois.

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