AFSCME

Illinois House Adjourns Without Vote on Pension Plan

Jan 7, 2013

Over the protests of state employee unions, an Illinois House committee gave bipartisan support to a plan intended to repair Illinois' underfunded pensions.  But the full House adjourned Monday without taking a vote.

The legislation would leave workers paying more for a smaller retirement benefit.  House Republican leader Tom Cross said the change is necessary given the condition of Illinois' pension systems.

State Workers Propose Illinois Pension Plan

Dec 19, 2012
Rich Egger

State employee unions say the leading proposals to fix Illinois' public employee pension systems are all fatally flawed, so they proposed their own plan.

Workers point out any attempt to plug the $96 billion funding shortfall must respect the state Constitution, which says benefits "shall not be diminished."

The proposals backed by Governor Pat Quinn and other political leaders attempt to get around that in order to cut retirement benefits. But AFSCME Legislative Director Joanna Webb-Gauvin said those ideas will ultimately fail in the courts.

Illinois’ friends of labor must be feeling a double-whammy double-cross , as Gov. Pat Quinn last month terminated the state’s contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and House Speaker Mike Madigan revived his dormant resolution to limit raises to people who work for the state.

Rich Egger

40,000 state employees in Illinois no longer have a contract.

Governor Pat Quinn on November 20 took the unprecedented step of terminating Illinois' contract with the state's largest public employees union, AFSCME.

The contract expired in June, but the two sides agreed to multiple extensions as they negotiated over a new one.

Rich Egger

It's class warfare, on the policy front.

A letter from the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago shames Illinois lawmakers for not doing anything to address the state’s growing pension debt.

President Ty Fahner said unless there is a major overhaul, the systems will collapse under their own weight.

Retired state and public university employees in Illinois will have to pitch in for their health insurance under a measure approved by an Illinois House committee.

Free health insurance is a benefit given to retirees who worked long careers in Illinois government. Legislators who serve as little as four years also get free health care when they retire.

Warren County's AFSCME employees have a contract for the first time since November 30th 2010.

The county and the union did not hold regular negotiations for nearly two years.

The chairman of the county's finance committee, Mike Pearson, said the delay means it will be a while before employees realize their raises.

He said, “There will be some retroactive pay there so that'll take a few days or weeks to get distributed on a normal payday.”

The largest public employees union in Illinois said Governor Pat Quinn is a hypocrite and its members took their complaint to the state Capitol one day after the governor gave his State of the State speech.

AFSCME said Quinn's announcements of new programs don't square with his stance that Illinois is too broke to afford union pay raises.

The  union represents prison guards, welfare counselors, and thousands of clerical and administrative state employees.

AFSCME said it's time for Quinn to change his mind  and pay the raises state workers were guaranteed.

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