We Are One Illinois statement on Governor's pension working group

Amid media speculation about the so-called "pension working group" appointed by Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois AFL-CIO president Michael Carrigan issued this statement on behalf of the We Are One Illinois coalition.

"The unions representing public employees are keenly aware of the seriousness of the pension funding problem.

"While we are not members of the pension working group, we did meet with it on three occasions. According to media reports, that group will issue findings sometime next week. We are not privy to what form they will take or what they will say.

"From the outset, we made clear to the working group that any proposed solution must guarantee adequate funding, must be constitutional and must be fair to public employees who have worked hard and played by the rules.

"Early in the process, we requested relevant data to analyze the impact of any proposal made by the working group. To this date, we have received no data. In addition, despite previous assurances that the working group was empowered to speak for the Governor and all the legislative leaders, it is no longer clear that that is the case.

"Our unions are firmly committed to negotiating a solution to the pension funding crisis. However, to go forward, we need both the data supporting any proposals and a commitment that the representatives with whom we engage are authorized to speak for the Governor and the legislative leaders."