Illinois has a chance to pass smart and fair pension reform legislation that was developed collaboratively with public employees, who were willing to accept cuts in their retirement benefits to ensure long-term stability of the state's pension system and its commitment to its employees and retirees, AFT president Randi Weingarten says.
On May 9, the Illinois Senate passed SB 2404, which the Illinois Federation of Teachers supports, and the bill now goes to the state House for consideration.
"Instead of focusing on blaming, scapegoating and trying to eviscerate public workers—as is the sport in so many states—there was a real effort in the Senate-passed measure to reach consensus with state workers and find a fair solution to fixing the pension system," Weingarten says.
"Public employees, who care for the sick, teach our children, and keep bridges and roads safe, make pension contributions throughout their careers and deserve to have retirement security. This proposal guarantees that the state funds pensions and doesn't walk away from its obligations to hard-working employees. The compromise achieved in Illinois shows that when people are willing to work together in good-faith negotiations, fair solutions are attainable. We hope the Illinois House passes this measure quickly, and it is signed into law."
Watch a TV interview on the topic with IFT president and AFT vice president Dan Montgomery. [AFT press release]
May 13, 2013