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.


* It's just a bill...
* Question of the day
* What would toys be like without the civil justice system?
* EXELON 2014 Profits: $236,000/per HOUR and THEY WANT A BAILOUT???
* Dueling press releases
* Hello, I must be going...
* Digging into the mayoral numbers
* Caption contest!
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* Today's quotable
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* 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

          
        * Citymaps Raises $6M As Its Mapping App Goes Global
        * Moto Maker will now allow you to custom your new Moto 360
        * Google pilot tests mobile app ads in Play Store
        * Hop turns your email threads into chat conversations
        * Twitter adds more reporting tools to curb abuse and improve safety
        * Magic Touch Wizard for Hire requires advanced magic techniques, are you ready now?
        * The Week in iPhone Cases: Bring out the battery cases!

        * Google Makes Another Media Bet, with a Venture Investment in Music Publishing
        * Microsoft Introduces PIN Code For OneDrive For Windows Phone
        * Samsung to Live Stream Upcoming Galaxy S6 And S6 Edge Event
        * Net Neutrality Voted
        * Record Your Favorite Action-Packed Moments With This Affordable Nabi Square Full HD Action Camera
        * VAIO Could Enter Smartphone Market
        * LG G Pad F 7.0 Is The First LG Tablet From Sprint

        * First week of camp in the books for improved White Sox
        * Maximizing speed Coleman's mission with White Sox
        * Davidson reclaims zeal for game, confidence
        * Terrerobytes: Jose Quintana shows up on the radar
        * Coleman infuses passion for baserunning into discussion
        * Melky aims to be catalyst from No. 2 spot
        * White Sox feel pain of Bulls', Blackhawks' injuries

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


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

        Archives
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        November 2014
        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


        * Rauner's tax-free budget fix meets skeptics on .....
        * State Rep. Raymond Poe to be back at work next .....
        * Gov. Bruce Rauner confident on budget deal stat.....
        * House Speaker renews push for 'Millionaire's Tax'..
        * Illinois proposal would raise energy bills..


        * US court declines to decide Illinois' benefits issue
        * Illinois plan would aid Exelon nuclear plants
        * Trucker convicted in 2014 fatal Illinois Tollway crash
        * Southbound Interstate 65 reopens after semitrailer crashes
        * Park advocates: More time needed on Obama library decision
        * US Steel to idle Gary Works coke plant, displacing 300
        * Teen charged in fatal East St. Louis shooting
        * U of Illinois asks court to dismiss professor's lawsuit
        * Lawmakers seek short-term action to stop Asian carp advance
        * No serious injuries in western Illinois school bus accident

        * State Rep. Raymond Poe to be back at work next week
        * State plan would aid Exelon nuclear plants
        * Sanguinetti says GOP should court women, Latinos
        * Federal appeals court declines to decide Chicago retiree benefits issue
        * Federal appeals court declines to decide Illinois retiree benefits issue
        * Federal appeals court declines to decide Illinois pension issue
        * Gov. Rauner says deal on budget powers is 'very close'; Cullerton spokeswoman says 'major issues' remain
        * Madigan again proposes constitutional amendment for 'millionaires tax'
        * Program puts drug test in hands of Chicago police
        * Rauner again says deal on budget powers is 'very close'

        * Republicans pledge to fight FCC's Obama-backed open-web rules
        * How John Oliver transformed the net neutrality debate once and for all
        * Potbelly CFO resigns
        * 'Empire' making broadcast history
        * Exelon nuke-rescue bill lands at last. But is it a market-based solution?


          * Lawmakers renew push for measures to stop invasive Asian carp
          * Rauner appoints West Side pastor to Chicago State board
          * Addams Tollway rebuilding project to begin next month
          * Juror: Acquitted man retrieved eaglets improperly but was well-intentioned
          * In prison for assault of girl, man convicted of trying to get prosecutor killed
          * New District 113 superintendent cleared of wrongdoing in California
          * U.S. Steel closing Gary Works coke plant
          * Exelon-backed bill seeks $2 more a month for nuclear power plants
          * Geneva murder trial set to begin Monday
          * Trucker guilty of driving while impaired in fatal I-88 crash


          * Chicago sets early voting record in last weekend before mayoral election
          * Standoff over new state school test continues
          * Medical Society Wants To Prevent Misuse Of Opiates
          * Child Care Providers Rally in Capitol
          * Travel And Learning Cultures Bring Us Closer
          * Author Discusses Volcano That Created Illinois, Frankenstein and Disease
          * Art Beat: Paintings, A Doc & Psychedelic Rock
          * Bedrock 66 Live! Features Celtic And Psychedelic Rock
          * Days After Rauner Proposes Mental Health Cuts, Madigan's Violence Prevention Task Force Begins
          * PARCC Standardized Test Causes Problems


          * State Rep. Raymond Poe to be back at work next week
          * State plan would aid Exelon nuclear plants
          * Sanguinetti says GOP should court women, Latinos
          * Federal appeals court declines to decide Chicago retiree benefits issue
          * Bernard Schoenburg: 'Better off' didn't work, but Mike Houston calmed city
          * Eric Hobbie: Protecting the future of Springfield's City Water, Light and Power
          * Doug McKain: Kotowski's concussion oversight bill a fumble for players, taxpayers
          * George Will: Reversing course in Illinois
          * Quote of the Day: Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015
          * Phil Luciano: Controversies could cost U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock status in GOP


          * Police arrest man for possession with the intent to deliver heroin
          * Shots fired reported in Champaign
          * Plan would end SIU employee tuition waivers
          * Another round of snow and cold on the way
          * Thomson prison to have 300 workers this year
          * DITTMER REQUEST DRAWS PUBLIC SUPPORT
          * Former Pulaski County State’s Attorney pleads guilty to reckless conduct
          * Rankin gets two bids for water tower work
          * Monticello school board to refinance bonds
          * Two Rivers YMCA unveils future expansion


          * Price, Subban help Canadiens beat Blue Jackets 5-2
          * Stempniak, Kreider score 2 each in Rangers' 4-3 win
          * Sabres stun Canucks 6-3 on Mitchell's 2 goals
          * GOP's Jeb Bush working to reassert conservative credentials
          * Kanye West tweets apology to Beck for Grammys disruption

          * Gutierrez: Obama eyes partial launch of an...
          * Gutierrez: GOP 'hurting themselves' with k...
          * Gutierrez Reveals WH Considering Implement...
          * Gutierrez Praises Rahm for Making Chicago ...
          * Megyn Kelly's Bias: Immigration Edition - ...
          * Gutierrez says he's unfairly attacked over...
          * Chicago Political Oscars 2015 - The Beachw...
          * Democrats Vow to Avenge the Victims of Jud...
          * When Megyn Asks Dem. Rep. to Answer Questi...
          * Gutierrez 'Militancy' Threat Shows The Lef...

          * Criminal Justice Reform Brings Parties Tog......
          * Netanyahu accusation on Iranian nukes adds......
          * Netanyahu ‘regrets’ partisan perception of......
          * Child poisonings from laundry detergent pa......
          * Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid will meet with......

          * Senate Judiciary Committee votes to confir......
          * Obama Sending 'Anti-Israel' Power, Rice to......
          * There's a GIANT unknown in the Iran nuclea......
          * Senate set to pass homeland bill before fu......

          * End of the Road for Division Street
          * Defensive Daley Disinforms
          * Poll: Keep Ryan in Jail
          * Ryan Watch
          * Chief of Cash
          * Going Blue
          * Parking Pablum
          * Mr. Clean Wasn’t
          * Obama Punts
          * Conrad’s Clemency Con


          * 24th Anniversary Desert Storm Remembrance Ceremony
          * Illinois Department of Human Rights Announces 2015 Spring Training Schedule
          * Snow and Freezing Rain to Impact Travel in Illinois - IDOT Crews Prepared to Battle Winter Weather this Weekend
          * IDOR Begins Processing Individual Tax Returns
          * IEMA Awards $435,378 in Grants for Hazardous Materials Emergency Planning - Funds will help 33 Local Emergency Planning Committees enhance emergency plans, response to HazMat incidents




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