With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

From Stacey Gates at the CTU: We must protect our pensions

Dear Mike,

In carefully examining the pension "deal" put forth recently by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, we have found that the plan does not, in any way, solve Chicago's pension problem. As we have said many times before, over and over and over again: This is a revenue problem.

Our members are rightfully enraged, as the cuts that the mayor is proposing are just more of the same—more of the same burden being placed on citizens who have endured mass school closings, the closing of mental health clinics, unemployment and continued crime in our neighborhoods.

The worker retiring today under the mayor's proposal, receving $33,423 a year, would receive $40,943 a year in 20 years. In today's dollars, in 20 years, $40,943 will have the same purchasing power as $22,669. We dare the mayor to speak to any of our clerks or paraprofessionals and tell them that this terrible plan isn’t a cut.

This is continued disinvestment in our city, which will send hardworking men and women into poverty with no safety net, as there is no social security for our workers. Dedicated school clerks, teacher aides, lunchroom workers and janitors from the South and West sides of Chicago—workers we depend on—will be harmed by this draconian plan.

The Chicago Teachers Union did not negotiate this bill and were not invited to the table for discussions. We are strongly opposed to this plan and intend to vigorously fight this attempt at pension theft with every fiber of our union.

Let your elected officials know now that this vote is a vote for your present and future! Let them know that you are opposed to this plan and will fight for your retirement savings. Let them know the following:

  1. The mayor's proposal is worse than the state's SB1, and clearly unconstitutional, as it will cut pension benefits.
  2. The mayor's proposal is another austerity measure that disproportionately impacts women and people of color and negatively impacts Chicago's economy.
  3. The mayor's proposal proposal cuts 1/3 of a retiree’s future income.
  4. The mayor refuses to propose a revenue stream to solve a revenue problem.

  5. In Solidarity,
    Stacy Davis Gates
    CTU Political Director

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