July 28, 2015
Compiled By Steve Wishnia And Neal Tepel
Chicago’s reducing cost-of-living increases for city workers’ pensions violates the Illinois state constitution, a Cook County judge ruled July 24.
Judge Rita M. Novak rejected arguments by lawyers for the city that the cuts were legitimate because they had been agreed to in collective bargaining as measures to prevent two of the city’s pension funds from going bankrupt and had been approved by 28 of the 31 unions affected. The judge cited a May decision by the state Supreme Court that noted that under the state constitution, public pensions “shall not be diminished or impaired.” “All city residents can be reassured that the Constitution—our state’s highest law—means what it says and will be respected, while city employees and retirees can be assured that their modest retirement income is protected,” said Roberta Lynch, head of Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Chicago. The city plans to appeal. Read more here.