July 22, 2015
Compiled By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed legislation that would prohibit state employees from bargaining collectively, freeze their wages for five years, and make signing up for a lower pension the only way they could get a raise or more vacation time.
In an attempt to evade the state constitution’s restrictions on impairing contracts, the bill would offer workers incentives for switching to pension plans that pay less or have a higher retirement age. The billionaire governor called it a "fair and reasonable" solution for Illinois’ badly underfunded pension systems. "Instead of continuing his one-man political campaign to stomp out the rights of average people, Governor Rauner should be working with legislators of both parties to find real solutions and revenue for the critical programs Illinois families depend on," responded Illinois AFL-CIO spokesperson Bill Looby. The bill faces long odds in the Democratic-controlled legislature.
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