* Rahm Emanuel had been trying to claim that this deal would serve as a road map for future pension talks with all unions. Maybe not…
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday touted a pension reform deal forged with Chicago Police sergeants as a “roadmap” for other unions to follow, but the divide-and-conquer strategy didn’t work with the Fraternal Order of Police.
In fact, it started a civil war within the ranks of Chicago Police officers.
FOP President Mike Shields, who has demanded a 12 percent pay raise over two years, accused the sergeants association of being “in bed with the city more than any other union in the history” of labor.
Shields branded sergeants association president Jim Ade “the biggest sell-out in the history of sell-outs” for agreeing to: raise the retirement age for sergeants to 53; increase employee pension contributions from 9-to-12 percent by 2015 and scale it back to 10 percent when funding levels reach 80 percent; eliminate cost-of-living increases every other year; limit C.O.L.A. in intervening years to 2.5 percent with simple interest and raise health care contributions for new retirees to 2 percent of annuities.
Sergeants also would get a 9 percent pay raise spread over four years while maintaining the $1,800-a-year uniform allowance and $3,220 in annual duty availability pay that supplements their income.
The city and union also have agreed to seek state legislation that would allow Emanuel to increase funding for the sergeants pension fund over a seven-year period. That would give the city more time and, if the economy turns around, reduce the amount of new revenue needed to meet union leaders half-way.
Also, there’s no doubt that any such deal would be challenged in court as unconstitutional.
Nice try, though.
* Meanwhile, from the Sun-Times…
The platform 1.2 million uninsured Illinoisans can use under ObamaCare to purchase health insurance has won federal approval, sources confirmed Tuesday.
The development, while expected, will be announced at a Wednesday press conference in Chicago by Gov. Pat Quinn and Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the federal Health and Human Services Department.
* Crain’s fleshes the story out…
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will appear in Chicago today to kick off the rebranding of health insurance exchanges as “marketplaces” for health coverage.
A key part of President Barack Obama’s health reform law, the state-level exchanges are intended to be online sites where consumers and small businesses can shop and compare health insurance plans.
With less than eight months to go before the sites are set to go live on Oct. 1 for open enrollment, state and federal officials are mounting a final public relations push to maximize participation in the exchanges. Having more customers will mean the marketplaces will function more effectively, experts say.
Only 17 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation to set up exchanges, according to the Menlo Park, Calif.-based Kaiser Family Foundation. State officials estimate that about 486,000 people will obtain insurance through the Illinois exchange.
For the first year, Illinois’ exchange will be jointly run by the federal government, though state officials say it will shift to state control in 2015.
* AARP-Illinois pushes for Obamacare