Category Archives: Union

Radogno Weight in on Illinois Pension Debate

Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno shows no sign of backing down in her opposition to the biggest hurdle in the pension reform debate. Shifting pension costs from the state to local school district remains a non-starter, she says.

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Tribune on School Closings: “This Will be Painful”

Last month the Chicago Teachers Union strike became a national symbol of the clash between government and teacher unions in how to implement education reform. Expect more national attention as Chicago prepares to close more than 100 schools as it faces a budget gap of $1 billion. “Make no mistake: This will be painful. But scores of schools must be closed,” says the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago Teachers Union, Laborers Local 1001 & Local 9 File Suit

Lawmakers this year enacted only one pension reform measure: a new law aimed at keeping private-sector employees out of public-sector pension plans. The purpose was preventing employees of public worker unions from joining the pensions of the workers they represent. The Chicago Teachers Union, laborers’ Local 1001 and Local 9 of the electrical workers’ union filed a lawsuit Monday in Cook County saying the new law violates the state constitution’s prohibition on reducing benefits of those enrolled in pension plans.

 

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Wall Street Journal Dissects Illinois’ “Double Helix” Situation

The Wall Street Journal editorial page sure knows how to turn a phrase. On the cause of Illinois’ wretched financial situation, the WSJ blames “the double helix of government unions and Democratic politicians.” It may not be quite that simple, but who can’t appreciate a phrase that catchy?

 

Opposition to the Illinois Pension Amendment Forming Unlikely Partners

You don’t often see the conservative Illinois Policy Institute, the Illinois Green Party and the state’s largest employee union united for a cause. But when the cause is a constitutional amendment that may or may not have an effect on the state’s disastrous pension situation, their hands are joined in opposition. Derided last spring as an empty and meaningless gesture by the General Assembly, Constitutional Amendment 49 suddenly has become controversial.

Illinois Blames Politicians, not Unions on the Pension Crisis

Illinoisans aren’t stupid when it comes to the cause of the pension crisis: They blame the politicians, not the unions.  And they’re right. It was lawmakers who skipped nearly $30 billion in payments to pension systems over the years and failed to take any action as the state’s liability exceeded $83 billion. Your thoughts?

More Possible Teacher Strikes To Come?

The Illinois Policy Institute has never minced words in expressing its dislike of public sector unions. Last month’s teachers’ strike in Chicago, the IPI says, has emboldened public unions across Illinois – from downstate teachers’ unions to the 39,000 AFSCME members under Gov. Pat Quinn’s control. Those unions are positioning themselves for possible strikes, the IPI writes in a report titled “Contagion: Nothing Spreads Like Greed.”

Pat Quinn Brazillian AFSCME’s Greet Him

Pat Quinn Brazillian AFSCME's Greet Him

In late September, Gov. Quinn took a six-day junket to meet with CEOs and politicians in Brazil. Public employees and labor leaders there were waiting with their own “Pat Quinn Truth Squad”! The signs in Portuguese read, “Governor Quinn, Bad for Workers”. In this photo: Graca Costa (left), president of the National Confederation of Municipal Workers (CONFETAM), and Vagner Freitas (right), president of the Unified Workers Central (CUT). — in São Paulo, Brazil.

IL Unionized Government Workers benefits are “Unsustainable”

Negotiations between Gov. Pat Quinn and the state’s largest employee union have ground to a halt. In an email to members, AFSCME says the administration wants to freeze wages for two years, among other thing. The administration was explicit in its response: “The union of state government employees fails to recognize that the salaries and benefits the average state employee receives are unsustainable and at levels far exceeding the salaries and benefits of other unionized state workers across the country.” http://bit.ly/QEZBfG

Former Teachers Union Lobbyist pulls $1,000,000 yearly Illinois pension

If you’re a private sector employee and watched your 401(k)’s value plummet four years ago, this Chicago Tribune story will make your blood boil. Had you worked a few years for state government then worked for a public sector union, you could have rolled that unpredictable 401(k) into a guaranteed defined-benefit pension — paid by a system funded by your tax dollars. http://trib.in/SecWPD

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