Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Mayor Rahm Emanuel went to Springfield today to try to screw police officers and firefighters with their pensions
Surprise! Today the Mayor paid a visit to Springfield. President Shields was there for a scheduled pension discussion at the State Legislature. This morning, the Mayor leaked his plan for pension reform. His plan calls for: 5% increased employee (not City!) contributions; a ten year "pause" on the COLA; increasing retirement age by 5 years; a murky "choice of plans." Plus cancel all cost of living pay raises for all retirees on pensions already for at least 10 years.
You would think that Mayor Emanuel would have spoken to the Pension Funds and/or the Unions about what he was up to and what he wants. You would be wrong. He did not.
You should be aware that the FOP and other labor unions lobbied hard for the funding ARC legislation that will ensure that City pensions are fully funded in coming years. Now, our mayor wants only the employees to pay for it. He wants to frame the fight as being "Property Taxpayers vs. Public Employees." It is not right. The Illinois Constitution protects us from having our pension benefits diminished. That issue will only be resolved by the courts.
There are many revenue streams the city can use to adequately fund our pensions. The City cannot be allowed to saddle employees with all the sacrifices. Sadly, unlike Mayor Emanuel's predecessor, the hard working professionals of the Chicago Police Department cannot use various legislative loopholes to enrich themselves to the tune of $180,000 per year. Chicago Police Officers have more than earned a modest retirement pension.
Please keep in mind that nothing has happened yet. We can assure you that we will continue to monitor current and new legislation. The FOP is doing everything in its power to make sure that our benefits remain intact and will always act in the best interests of both our active and retired members.