Legislation Will Protect Workers’ Full Benefits and Healthcare While Maintaining 100% Funding

CHICAGO – Building on efforts to fully support workers and their families, Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation that lowers employee contributions to the CTA’s Retiree Health Care Trust while maintaining 100% funding. The law allows workers to take home every hard-earned dollar possible while protecting their full benefits and healthcare they earned upon retirement.

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“This is progress made possible because this promise is properly funded. It’s proof that, with patience, determination and commitment, Illinois is a state where commitments to our retirees can be responsibly fulfilled,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I’ve been proud to put Springfield back on the side of working families throughout the state. In partnership with the General Assembly, this is yet another step we’re taking to build back our state after years of neglecting our workers.”

“We know the pandemic severely impacted our public transportation systems with severe loss in ridership and revenue,” said House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch. “This legislation allows our CTA employees to keep more of their hard-earned paycheck, while also protecting the Retirement Health Care Trust. After more than a year of uncertainty, we need to do our part to ensure the CTA workforce is strong as we begin to return to the norms we’ve all missed for too long.”

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“CTA employees work hard and often in dangerous situations – particularly over the past year and a half of the pandemic. They shouldn’t have more money deducted from their paychecks for health care than needed. That’s just not fair,” said State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs, one of the measure’s sponsors.

“The citizens of Illinois must be prepared for the demands of the innovative workforce of the future,” said Marcus C. Evans, Jr., Assistant Majority Leader and Chairman, Labor & Commerce Committee. “As leaders, I believe that we must ensure that the regulations and policies of the future effectively promote job growth while protecting the working class. I’m proud to work alongside Governor Pritzker and my colleagues to make Illinois a workforce destination.”

"Good afternoon all, today is a great day at local 308 – Governor Pritzker will be signing legislation into law to reduce our RHCT from 3% to 1%, which will allow our members to get 2% of their salary back," said Eric Dixon, President of ATU Local 308 and Deborah Cosey-Lane, Secretary-Treasurer of ATU Local 308. "This is so wonderful for our low-wage members, as well as other people at the CTA. As leaders, we are always trying to find ways to help our members out and this is a great start, we want to thank everyone that’s involved."

House Bill 1428 would lower employee contributions to one percent of compensation from three percent for the CTA’s Retiree Health Care Trust. The bill will allow the employee contribution rate to fall because the Trust has been properly funded, and will maintain 100% funding for retiree health. The legislation is a product of collaboration by the Chicago Transit Authority, ATU Local 308, ATU Local 241, and the Illinois AFL-CIO.

HB 1428 is effective January 1, 2022.

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