Public Employee Pensions in the Crosshairs

Pensions

There is little doubt that Governor Quinn will sign the engrossed legislation passed today by the General Assembly which ends subsidized health care for State employees.  Funding public pensions and other retirement benefits have continued to be one of the most controversial issues in the past few years and things are coming quickly to a head.  The issue is inescapable on a county, city, state, national and even international level.  The bottom line issue, however, remains the same: fairness.

Public pensions, as you are undoubtedly aware, are severely underfunded throughout the country because of sputtering revenue streams collected by governments and the habitual failure by many lawmakers to fund pensions.  Withdrawls were made regulary from employees paychecks toward their pensions, but by and large, governmental entities failed to pitch in their share.  And now, corporate interests represented by folks like the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club want public employees to pay for years of financial irresponsibility at the hands of our  politicians.  To make matters worse, the media has glommed on to and sensationalized numerous examples of political insiders who got sweetheart pension deals.  Regular folks see these media accounts and have been manipulated into thinking all public employees are getting luxurious pensions.

The underfunding of the  Cook County Pension is well documented.  Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer is chairing a committee for the County Board to deal with the underfunding.  She has a website and some ideas. Some proposals and a survey are presented on  the website she has set up.  AFSCME Council 31 has shared the Unions’s concern with her about the Constitutional infirmity of her proposals.  While it’s hard to tell what will happen for certain, odds are that during this legislative session, which has a few weeks remaining unless it is extended, substantial changes will be made to the State pension system but not the Cook County Pension.  What the lawmakers do with the State system will undoubtedly wind up being litigated in the courts, but if the changes survive legal challenges, you can anticipate they will be made to the Cook County pension fund as well. That is why the Local has organized a special informative meeting for the membership on this issue. You should have received details on the date time and location of this meeting through our email bursts.  If you are a member of the Local but are not getting the emails, please send an email to board@cookcountypd.org with your name and worksite and we will make sure you are in the know.

Bond Court Retro Check Debacle.

The County is still working on rectifying the mistake.  We will keep you posted.

Summer Party and Golf Outing

Stay tuned for details via email burst.

Facebook and  Twitter

You will notice that there are links to both social media sites at the bottom of this page.  At the moment, we have 380 likes on our Facebook page and 10 followers on our Twitter feed.  Posts on our Facebook page automatically tweet and vice versa. Please follow us #cookcountypd.

Final Thoughts

With all the attacks, assaults and swipes at public employees and organized labor on so many different levels, now is the time to remain united, informed and ready to fight!

 

In Solidarity,

 

K.S. Galhotra

President, Local 3315

 

 

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