Supreme Court unanimously rejects pension cuts, We Are One Illinois responds

Illinois AFL-CIO president Michael T. Carrigan issued the following statement on behalf of the We Are One Illinois coalition of unions that represent public employees and retirees:

“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 to pension funding, and we remain ready to work with anyone of good faith to do so.”