The head of the Chicago Teachers Union blasted Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s bid to cut city pensions as an “attack” on public-sector retirees and called on Gov. Pat Quinn to veto the legislation, which passed the House Tuesday.
Here is the text of CTU President Karen Lewis’ statement after the House’s 73-41 vote in favor of the legislation targeting pensions for about 50,000 of Chicago’s current and retired municipal employees and laborers:
“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.”