The following is a statement on behalf of the We Are One Illinois coalition of unions representing public employees and retirees in Illinois:
“We are thankful that the Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the will of the people, overturned this unfair and unconstitutional law, and protected the hard-earned life savings of teachers, police, fire fighters, nurses, caregivers and other public service workers and retirees.
“The Court’s ruling confirms that the Illinois Constitution ensures against the government’s unilateral diminishment or impairment of public pensions.
“Because most public employees aren’t eligible for Social Security, their modest pension—just $32,000 a year on average—is the primary source of retirement income for hundreds of thousands of Illinois families. While workers always paid their share, politicians caused the debt by failing to make adequate contributions to the pension funds.
“Public service workers are helpers and problem solvers by trade. With the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling, we urge lawmakers to join us in developing a fair and constitutional solution for pension funding, and we remain ready to work with anyone of good faith to do so.”
Teamsters Joint Council 25 is among the coalition of unions included in We Are One Illinois.
“The court’s decision to overturn the state’s pension reform law provides a clear message: Attempts to diminish or impair public employee pension benefits are wrong in every sense of the word,” said Becky Strzechowski, Trustee of Teamsters Joint Council 25 and President of Teamsters Local 700. “Teamsters Local 700 members should gain a sense of justice from this decision. Where there is a threat on our members, on public employees’ earned benefits or on workers’ rights, this union stands ready to protect them.”
Teamsters Local 700 is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, America’s premier labor union for Chicago, Illinois and northwest Indiana.