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Labor leaders want to be heard during pension debate

Tue, 14 Aug 2012 09:26:54 CDT

Illinois union leaders are asking political leaders to negotiate with them before approving a plan to overhaul the state's pension systems. They made their plea in a teleconference with reporters. Lawmakers are scheduled to gather in Springfield Friday to consider options for fixing Illinois' underfunded pension system.   Sean Smoot, with an association of Illinois police officers, says the pension proposals currently under consideration are unconstitutional and will not solve the funding problem:


"Let me be clear: the path they have chosen, they have chosen alone, without meaningful input from retired or working employees."

The labor leaders say they want a guarantee that any pension overhaul will not affect current retirees. They also want the state to promise not to skip any future payments.   Consistent underfunding over the years is one of the main reasons the pension system is roughly 85-billion dollars short of what it needs to meet future obligations.

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