• Why Illinois Unions Are Pissed With The Latest Budget Proposal

    Illinois state employees may soon see a massive cut to their retirement benefits with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner proposing a budget which seek to rein in pensions.

    “What we tried to do is incorporate the ideas of all the various leaders to create an opportunity for significant cost-savings in the pension systems throughout the state of Illinois,” Rauner said according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

    The pension cuts would cause a significant decrease in retirement benefits for police officers, firefighters, public teachers and other state employees. Rauner insists the proposal is the result of compromise and includes cost-of-living increases and other Democrat-friendly provisions, but unions are still condemning it as unconstitutional.

    “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,” We Are One, a coalition of labor unions, said in a statement to The Southern.

    The proposal marks the latest in vicious back and forth between Rauner and the Democrat majority in the state legislature. Back in June the governor vetoed a budget proposal sent to him by the Democrats.

    “In reality, his demands are in no way connected to the actual budget,” SEIU Healthcare Illinois Vice President James Muhammad said in a statement. “If Gov. Rauner wanted workers to be paid, he wouldn’t have vetoed their pay. If he wanted revenue solutions, he could have proposed them with his draconian budget that was $3 billion in the red.”

    Additionally state employees can’t get paid until a budget proposal is agreed upon. Rauner hopes to be able to bypass the problem.

    “We are going to get the workers paid one way or another,” Rauner said according to The Southern. “They are going to get paid.”

    Unions have been at odds with Rauner since he took office in January. The governor has gone after other policies upheld by unions like Prevailing Wage Laws and Project Labor Agreements. The two policies help unionized workers to get public construction projects. Rauner argues the polices are just a few of the many examples of how labor unions are hurting the state through unfair laws.

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