– Karen Lewis is President of the Chicago Teachers Union.
CHICAGO—Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis released the following statement on the passage of SB1922 in the Illinois House of Representatives, a proposal by the mayor of Chicago that will cut the retirement savings of thousands of city workers:
“This is a sad day for our paraprofessionals, especially our retired ones, who will see their pensions reduced and devalued significantly. They will lose the value of a third of their retirement savings, so instead of the people who crashed the economic system having to pay their fair share, our elected officials brutally attack the people who are most vulnerable—many of whom have become the head of their households, caring for both children and grandchildren,” Lewis said.
“They’re making this a law so that these individuals, lifelong city and state workers, will lose their benefits. This is theft—plain and simple. We urge Governor Pat Quinn to veto this unfair, unconstitutional legislation and instead call for renewed discussions among Mayor Emanuel, the city and our unions.”
The CTU represents 4,000 active members and thousands of retired members in the Chicago Municipal Fund (MEABF). We were not part of any negotiations with representatives from the City of Chicago regarding changes to this fund’s benefit levels. We continue to oppose this unfair and economically damaging proposal.