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We Are One Illinois Union Coalition Urges Governor Pat Quinn to Veto Chicago Park District Pension Bill (SB 1523)

The following statement is attributable to the We Are One Illinois coalition of unions regarding the passage of Senate Bill 1523, intended to affect the Park Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago:

"Characterizations that affected unions negotiated and agreed to Senate Bill 1523 are inaccurate. The bill was not the final product of any negotiations. Furthermore, SEIU Local 73, a coalition member which represents 80% of the affected employees and retirees, opposes the bill, as does our coalition.
"SB 1523 unfairly slashes constitutionally-protected pension benefits and harms the retirement security of thousands of individuals and their families. Like most Illinois public servants, Chicago Park District employees and retirees are not eligible for Social Security.

“Yet the bill drastically hikes retirement ages by eight years, reduces payments to those disabled by an injury on the job, and greatly increases employee contributions. Current retirees will particularly be burdened by deep cuts to the cost-of-living adjustment. This is not a negotiated compromise, but merely an effort to illegally take modest, hard-earned pensions from senior citizens, the disabled, and the current workforce.

"Contrary to assertions by House Speaker Michael Madigan, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made clear his desire to expand this plan beyond the Chicago Park District. This bill should be stopped in its tracks. We urge Governor Pat Quinn to protect the constitutional rights and life savings of working families and retirees and veto SB 1523."

 

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