Don’t diminish our pension benefits again.


-Pasqual LoPresti

On our F/B site, City Workers Present and Past, the media’s interpretation and the politicians’ interpretation has been sickening to say the least.

There has been 99 different versions of just 1 ruling. As Hugh has stated a retiree would be out of their mind to re-bargain what they already have, and we agree. These twisters of facts to which 9 fingers is a master of ( he hasn’t told the truth in 5 years on anything ) just keep on going.

They keep referring to the unions as our happy go-betweens. These same unions are not the unions of old, as the CTU or a few other unions that still have honor and trust. Oh no, the opposite is true. They have turned into backstabbing, dues collecting , sheep herders, who only look out for themselves.

The Labors Pension board in Chicago is rigged the same way with 4 suits from City Hall appointed by the great bullshitter on 5 and 4 members from the union, all in bed with the devil on 5. IT IS LAW…A UNION CANNOT REPRESENT A RETIREE ON ANYTHING.

But yet that is never mentioned in media or these interpretations. So please to those politicians that have to say anything to justify their paychecks, do us retirees a favor: Pick up a broom and start sweeping the city if you want to earn a pay check, leave us retirees out of your conversations. There is no door left open when in fact that door has been slammed shut in your face by the courts.

What’s troubling is our current work force that these Judas’s can bargain for. We have warned them on our site that they better watch them good, in fact a few options should be explored. Consulting of outside help either from the goverment or legal council. The handwriting is on the wall with 1001 Laborers Union. Last election after they (ahem) bargained away benifits for the current workforce they donated 100,000 to 9 fingers campaign. Yes the same money that was collected from their membership.

In our lawsuits against the City we have also carried our currents with us. The COLAs of 3 % are in place as they retire and the second case on the theft of our promised health care is also fought with the intention of our current workers.

These are our brothers and sisters and if the union won’t protect them we sure in hell will do our best to protect them. But we can only go so far and can’t protect them if their union back stabs them again. They must be on their toes.

Attend every meeting, let it be known that ..NO, DON’T DIMINISH OUR BENEFITS AGAIN!

And before anyone paints me as anti-union, I am not.

I started in the alleys of Chicago as a laborer at age 15 ( yes I lied about my age). For my 36 years with the City I was union sponsored, 18 as a laborer, 9 as a foreman, and 9 as a District supervisor. Also 9 as a union stew. But it was a different union that was for its workers. They had honor and trust, never forgot that they were our protectors. Our pension fund was always funded between 90% and as high as 135%…YES 1 3 5 %. So you see I’m no way anti union but I’m anti-getting SCREWED.

And our brothers and sisters must watch their backs in all this.

6 Replies to “Don’t diminish our pension benefits again.”

    1. So, they can collectively bargain or use consideration as in the Cullerton model. But, I believe this can only affect current and new employees. Retirees are already out of the system and their benefits cannot be collectively bargained.

      1. Dear Jack,
        Our elected officials seem to have little leverage left to force pension “reforms” on retirees/ The Illinois Supreme Court says “No!” to compelled impairment and diminishment of pensions by the General Assembly and City of Chicago.

        Reductions developed through any collective bargaining process cannot be forced upon retirees because retirees are not employees. Unions have no standing to negotiate for non-employees. They represent only active workers.

        Future pension changes offered to retirees would likely try to follow a “consideration” model. The offer would be to trade a present benefit for some other “new” benefit.

        There is not much point in making “consideration” offers to retirees. The whole goal of “pension reform” is to lower the amount of money owed to pension funds by the state. Any “new” consideration would have to be of similar value to what retirees have now, or it would surely be rejected.

        The new consideration could not just be a choice between two diminishments. Keeping what you have now has to be one choice. Consideration cannot be compelled.

        So future efforts in cost reduction are likely to be directed at active workers. We have already seen some of this. Maybe the city or the state can even get some Tier I employees to quit. The goal is to lower future costs. Maximize factors that indirectly lead to lower retirement benefits for workers who are still employed.

        Employees can expect no raises, reduced benefit packages, and higher contribution rates for the benefits they get. Newer employees will be left with Tier II. Higher contributions for lower benefits all around.

        Retirees will be blamed for the poor treatment of active workers. “We have to pay them, so we can’t pay you!” will be the politician’s lament. They will not “own” any of the mess that they alone created. Even though the money is there if politicians decide to pay. They just don’t want to.

        Can the state make offers to change retiree pensions? Yes. Will any retiree be foolish to accept these offers? I hope not. Will active workers be left holding the bag? I don’t know. It depends on if they get rid of the present failed union leadership. Workers need leaders who will represent them instead of selling them out. I hope they do.

  1. Very well said, Hugh. Thank you. Yeah, I can see that animosity between present employees and retirees. Not only them it is people we know and sometimes relatives. My wife always has to tell me when we are in social settings or parties not to talk about my employment or where I worked for fear of hard feelings or jealousy. It is a shame but I guess misery loves company. It wasn’t so long ago that people used to think I was in a dead end job doing public service and should have gone to college and got a degree and better profession that paid more. Boy have times changed.

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