Crunch Time on Pension Cuts — The assault on retirement security for state employees is going into high gear in the House of Representatives. Just before legislators went home for their “spring break,” the House passed HB 1165, with strong bipartisan support. HB 1165 was considered a “test bill” to see if enough legislators would vote to cut the pension cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for active and retired state employees.

The COLA plan they voted for is the same one that is included in HB 3411, the Nekritz/Cross bill. It would reduce the pension benefit of an average state employee by some $50,000 over the first ten years of retirement. HB 3411 would also raise the retirement age and increase employee contributions. It puts the whole burden of solving the pension crisis on the backs of public employees.

HB 3411 is now expected to be called for a vote when legislators return to Springfield next week. It’s critical that you call your State Representative right away and urge him or her to vote NO on HB 3411 or any similar bill. Tell your State Representative: Don’t vote for any pension bill that does not have the support of the We Are One union coalition!

You can call 888-412-6570 right now toll free to be connected directly to your State Representative or use our click to call tool.

AFSCME is a member of the We Are One Illinois union coalition, which also includes the Illinois AFL-CIO, the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, SEIU, the Laborers, the INA, the Fraternal Order of Police, the PBPA and the Firefighters.

We Are One Illinois has made clear that public employees recognize the severity of Illinois’ pension crisis and are prepared to do our part to help ensure the solvency of the state’s pension funds. The coalition stands ready to work collaboratively toward developing a fair and constitutional solution.