The unions that represent government workers are frowning on the pension restructuring deal that legislative leaders have reached. This is because the leaders cut the unions out of the talks, says Charlie McBarron of the Illinois Education Association. “If they aren’t letting unions come to the table and work with them to fashion something that is both constitutional and fair, then yes, we would not expect to see something that would be reasonable or constitutional to come out of that process,” he said.

The Illinois Education Association is part of the We Are One coalition of public-sector unions representing the beneficiaries of public pensions. Other members are the Illinois Federation of Teachers, AFSCME, Service Employees International Union, the Illinois Nurses’ Association and the AFL-CIO.

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McBarron notes the unions did negotiate a deal with the Senate president earlier this year, but that measure never got a vote in the House.

This proposal raises the retirement age and ties cost-of-living adjustments to inflation. It might get a vote next week. Passing this is no sure thing, though, with teachers, state workers and university employees planning to get on the horn Monday and Tuesday to try to talk individual members of the General Assembly into voting no.

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