Chicago Sun-Times
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Unions: Bi-partisan pension plan fixes crisis "on the backs" of public workers, retirees

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SPRINGFIELD-A coalition of public-employee unions wasted little time in shooting down a new, bi-partisan pension plan presented Wednesday by more than 20 House members.

The plan, pushed by Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) and Rep. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), would reel in cost-of-living raises, increase the retirement age and pass state pension costs for educators to the downstate and suburban school systems that employ them.

"We were not consulted in the development of this plan, but our preliminary review suggests that there are significant problems with HB 6258 that need to be worked through," according to a statement released Wednesday afternoon by the We Are One coalition, which includes the Illinois Education Association, AFSCME Council 31, the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the Illinois AFL-CIO.

"The pension debt was caused by the state's failure to make actuarially adequate pension contributions, not by public employees, but like its predecessors, this proposal essentially balances the pension debt on the backs of teachers, police officers, nurses, caregivers, and other public servants both active and retired," the statement said.

"It is also unclear at this juncture whether this proposal is constitutionally or actuarially sound," the group concluded.

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