SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Preckwinkle tries a different approach

Friday, Feb 8, 2013

* Unlike in Springfield these days, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is trying to negotiate pension changes with labor leaders

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle got down to brass tacks with labor leaders Thursday, setting a 30-day deadline for unions and county officials to help her craft legislation aimed at cleaning up the pension mess.

Preckwinkle and Chicago Federation of Labor President Jorge Ramirez, were among roughly 20 union and county leaders in the meeting, and both stressed no “ultimatum” was given.

“This is a mutual problem — there’s no need for tough talk,” Preckwinkle told the Sun-Times. “We’re trying to work together to solve this.”

“I emphasized this has to be shared sacrifice,” Preckwinkle said. “I told them we can’t wait any longer.”

* What’s on the table

Preckwinkle declined to discuss specifics, but she outlined broad concepts. Both workers and county government would have to pay more money into the pension fund. Annual cost-of-living adjustments would be pegged to inflation. Older retirement ages would be phased in.

And health care coverage would be guaranteed for the first time, but limits would be placed on the annual cost increases paid for by the county. The county also would continue to provide traditional pensions rather than switch to 401(k)-type plans.

* Background

Just a decade ago, the county pension fund was sound, with 90 percent of the cash on hand needed to cover payments it was obligated to make. Now it has only 58 percent of what’s needed, leaving a shortfall of $5.8 billion.

They tried talking things through in Springfield, to no avail. Maybe this will work in Cook. The Chicago Federation of Labor seems interested in a compromise, so we’ll see.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


15 Comments
  1. - Empty Chair - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 9:46 am:

    Jorge vs. Henry - ask any elected official who they would rather deal with, nine times out of ten I bet they’d say Jorge.


  2. - illinifan - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 9:56 am:

    I think this offers reasonable proposals that sound a little more concrete. COLA tied to inflation makes more sense than the 1/2 of the CPI model (retirees could live with the idea of keeping up with inflation vs a flat amount), and health care issue where it looks like there would be a clear definition of what is paid vs. you get access but we won’t tell what the access means to your pocket book.

    As retirees we know there are no guarantees but to plan for your future it helps to have concrete offers not take it or leave it and no one ever tells you what it is…


  3. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 9:57 am:

    Perhaps the difference is in part that in Cook, the problem was not caused by the County. To the extent there is fault beyond the economic downturn, it was caused by the union getting the legislature to sweeten benefits over the past twenty years. So there is no traction to the rock throwing at the employer for failing to fund their share. The unions know they overreached and are willing to negotiate their way back to sustainability.


  4. - Nickypiii - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 9:59 am:

    The County made the pension fund responsible for retiree health care costs a few years back. This change has had an adverse impact on the funding percentage of the County pension funds. Shouldn’t the coming changes in the ACA be considered before employees benefits be cut/changed? Shouldn’t all Illinois governments push those employees into the exchanges that are to be set up? The lower the income the more the feds will reimburse the insured. Health care cost increases are already slowing down due to the ACA. Shouldn’t all Illinois governments purchase health insurance policies for their employees together to ensure a lower cost basis?


  5. - Dan Johnson - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:08 am:

    Nickypii is on to something. The amount we are paying in public employee and public employee retiree health insurance is kind of crazy. Shouldn’t we be putting these pools of employees together into one big pool and save some money?


  6. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:13 am:

    Wow, an elected official asking for increased contribution and COLA modification, and a public employee union willing to talk about it?

    AFSCME ought to take note if they think the public would support them during a strike, seems that other public employees might not even support them.


  7. - Amalia - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:13 am:

    here’ s hoping that as they consider throwing around health insurance plans that they take into account that people not only get attached to a doctor and/or a hospital, but if one is in the midst of a health crisis, attachment to hospital is pretty deep. looking at where the insurance road enables one to go for care is very frightening.


  8. - Cook County Commoner - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:28 am:

    Aren’t Cook County and most larger local governements self-isured for heathcare costs? And they use health insurers merely to run the plan?
    And could you see local gov units consolidating their pools and squabling over who gets the contracts to run the plans?


  9. - reformer - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:33 am:

    This is just more evidence about why Preckwinkle is the state’s most effective elected official. Rather than public blaming and posturing on pensions, Preckwinkle is negotiating with the unions to fix the problem.


  10. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:38 am:

    - Preckwinkle is negotiating with the unions to fix the problem. -

    Unions that are willing to discuss COLA modification, apparently.


  11. - Dan Johnson - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:48 am:

    I don’t think they are self-insured for retirees, Cook County Commoner. Are they?


  12. - Chi - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 11:23 am:

    AFSCME has many members working for Cook County. Some comments here seem to overlook that.


  13. - very pertinent - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    ==Perhaps the difference is in part that in Cook, the problem was not caused by the County. To the extent there is fault beyond the economic downturn, it was caused by the union getting the legislature to sweeten benefits over the past twenty years. So there is no traction to the rock throwing at the employer for failing to fund their share. The unions know they overreached and are willing to negotiate their way back to sustainability.===

    Makes sense to me.


  14. - Waldi - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 12:24 pm:

    I sure wish that Ms. Preckwinkle would reconsider running for Governor.


  15. - titan - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 12:57 pm:

    Through the years, the COLA at 3% per year has matched inflation pretty well (some years lately it was high, some a while back it was very low). Inflation is likely to return to more historical norms, so switching from flat 3% COLA to a floating one to match inflation is likely not going to matter much (or may even hurt the governmental interests if inflation runs high for a while).


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Good morning!
* Ginning up the base
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Andy Rubin leaving Google to help new hardware tech startups
        * New tones for Lumia
        * Motorola DROID Turbo vs Moto X 2014 (Video)
        * Microsoft Band unboxing and first impressions (Video)
        * Samsung Galaxy A5 specs
        * Samsung Announces The Galaxy A5 And Galaxy A3, Its “Slimmest Smartphones To Date”
        * Samsung announces ultra-thin Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3

        * Gold’s Gym Offers Fitness Plans, Free 2 Week Trial For Microsoft Band Users
        * MCX’s CurrentC Will Not Support Windows Phone Or BlackBerry
        * Analyst: Larger Displays Lead To Better App Engagement
        * Touch and Go
        * The Apple Watch Just Got the Perfect Rival: Microsoft’s Band
        * Why Tim Cook’s ‘Proud to Be Gay’ Essay Means So Much to the Workplace
        * The Gadgets and Gear We Couldn’t Get Enough of in October

        * Minnie Miñoso belongs in the Hall of Fame
        * Development of young core in '15 can define Chicago's future
        * Abreu leads White Sox GIBBY hopefuls with five noms
        * Allen, Wills among new faces on Hall's Golden Era ballot
        * The offseason begins with a new Chicago manager and old arguments
        * World Series Game 7: Notes and discussion
        * Guillen, White Sox look back on '05 championship


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Why I'm voting for Pat Quinn - Chicago Tribune..
        * Illinois Dems dig deep to keep governor's office..
        * Christie in Arkansas, Kansas & Wisconsin today..
        * Groundbreaking at UI Labs..


        * Illinois Dems dig deep to keep governor's office
        * A look at Ebola guidelines in some states
        * 3 die when train strikes SUV in southern Illinois
        * Illinois schools report has host of new features
        * 3 killed when train strikes SUV
        * Waukegan teachers approve contract ending strike
        * 2 killed, 8 injured in construction zone wreck
        * Suburban judge attacked by inmate in courtroom
        * Man charged in death of Rockford attorney in crash
        * Inmate freed in landmark Illinois case

        * Attorney general seeks clarifications from Topinka’s former nonprofit
        * Inmate freed from Jacksonville prison in landmark Illinois case
        * Cross opposes income tax hike extension
        * Gay marriage, abortion issues take back seat in governor’s race
        * Madigan’s office seeks clarifications from former Topinka nonprofit
        * Cross says no to income tax hike extension, sales tax on services
        * Gay marriage, abortion issues take backseat in governor’s race
        * Illinois inmate freed in landmark capital punishment case
        * Rauner says women will decide governor's race
        * Judge denies ex-representative new bribery trial

        * Illinois Lottery manager scratches off $20 million investment
        * Lake Shore Drive ramps by McCormick Place set for early 2015 construction
        * Groupon forecast falls short of estimates
        * Groupon mulls overseas options as forecast falls short
        * Groupon hires advisers top find partners for Asia businesses


        * Garcia: I'm a serious mayoral candidate, not just a protest vote
        * A higher standard of criminal justice
        * Ex-Northwestern doctor to pay $475K to settle fraud claims
        * Sad day  when  Catholic  schools  close
        * Chicago bead merchant Ronnie Klein, whose Loop business drew stars, dead at 65
        * Chicago bead merchant Ronnie Klein, whose Loop business drew stars, dead at 65
        * Durbin, Oberweis square off for final time
        * State’s attorney investigating alderman’s prize offer to voters
        * Face it: Animator has found a great way to pass time on his commute
        * Refund those unfair yellow-light tickets


        * Alleged lieutenant of drug kingpin 'El Chapo' seeks minimum prison term
        * Off-duty police officer beaten and robbed in the Loop
        * Installation begins on Wallenda's tightrope over Chicago River
        * Teen wounded in Morgan Park shooting, at least 3 others injured across city
        * Waukegan district, teachers come to terms after monthlong strike
        * Judge again orders Crystal Lake South bleachers to come down
        * Naperville high school cancels activities after bomb threat
        * Officials: Defendant in Maywood court attacked judge
        * Rauner, Quinn squabble over who deserves credit for digital lab
        * Coroner: Body buried in Indiana is missing relative of dead woman, slain man


        * Prisoner Freed After Recanting Testimony "Angry"
        * The Choice Of Choice: Gov. Candidates On Abortion
        * Group Has A Goal Of Improving Access To Preschool In Macon County
        * Turn out for what? Will young voters make it to the polls, or stay home as usual?
        * As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions Of Gallons Of Water Lost
        * Authorities: Springfield Woman's BAC Three Times The Legal Limit
        * 2014 Election Coverage: Citizens, here's your homework!
        * Aldermen skip chance to ask about city’s handling of police commander
        * Immigrant Rights Groups: Demand Oustrips Slots For Driver's Licenses
        * U-S Senate Candidates Differ On Ebola Response And More


        * Esther Cepeda: Elizabeth Pena: Trailblazer on the big screen
        * Andy Shaw: Voter turnout instrumental to reform
        * Ty Fahner: What if the Court rejects pension reform?
        * Attorney general seeks clarifications from Topinka’s former nonprofit
        * Quote of the Day: Friday, Oct. 31
        * Inmate freed from Jacksonville prison in landmark Illinois case
        * Cross opposes income tax hike extension
        * Gay marriage, abortion issues take back seat in governor’s race
        * Illinois inmate freed in landmark capital punishment case
        * Rauner says women will decide governor's race


        * Upcoming Services (Oct. 31, 2014)
        * Kum & Go chain settles disabilities lawsuit
        * Superheroes unite to raise $10K for charity
        * Lake Decatur dredging kickoff
        * Attack leaves psychiatric ward nurse blind in one eye
        * Picking up trash no trick for Soy Capital employees on patrol
        * Desire to inspire nets Stewart Scout award
        * 103114-dec-loc-bell
        * Candidates face busy weekend
        * Memories of city making 4,500-mile trip


        * State officials want to shoot up to 130 deer in Kane County forest preserves
        * State officials: No more 'failing' schools this year
        * Dawn Patrol: Cold Halloween weather coming; Neuqua Valley to reopen
        * Focused Cary-Grove a regional champ
        * Harper women's volleyball squad faces difficult regional challenge

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Final Senate Debate...
        * Final Senate Debate...
        * Education Dept. cracks down on for-profit ......
        * Education Dept. cracks down on for-profit ......
        * Education Dept. cracks down on for-profit ......

        * How first lady, Rauner factor into their p......
        * ISIS Has More Land, Money, and Fighters Th......
        * Celeb Spotting...

        * Trick Or Treat Safety Tips For Drivers & Pedestrians
        * The Week In Chicago Rock
        * Op-Ed: Google Car Gives The Blind More Independence While Saving Illinois Millions
        * Will Chuy be the new Karen Lewis?
        * Op-Ed: Google Car Could Give The Blind More Independence While Saving Illinois Millions
        * Poll: Downstate Could Go Either Way In Guv's Race
        * South Siders To Rally For Trauma Center Outside U of C Gala
        * Google Car
        * DNA Info: Englewood Whole Foods Developers Looking for More Tenants
        * Sorry Mark Brown but I don't think it is about the money...


        * Editorial: Rauner best choice as governor to begin to reverse Illinois’ fortunes
        * Quinn to celebrate Rauner’s UI Labs accomplishment
        * Another Democrat Runs Away From Pat Quinn
        * Governor Pat Quinn Statement on Tentative Agreement to End Waukegan Teacher Strike, Return Students to Classrooms - State Education Chief Worked Overnight to Reach Common Ground, Students Heading Back to School on Monday
        * Governor Quinn Joins UI LABS to Break Ground on New Digital Manufacturing Hub - Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute Set to Open in 2015, Create Jobs




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller