Press Releases
May 08, 2012

Statement from Jorge Ramirez, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor, on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Pension Proposal

Chicago Federation of Labor President Jorge Ramirez stands up for public employees in response to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal to reform their retirement plans


"Chicago’s working men and women are disappointed in Mayor Emanuel’s push to penalize public employees for the city’s long-standing failure to adequately fund their various pension funds.

"Chicago’s public employees have made every contribution into their retirement plans that has been required of them; the same cannot be said for the city. While the mayor did not create this problem, he allowed it to worsen by failing to make payments as leaders did before him.

"Unlike state leaders who have acknowledged their failure to meet their contractual obligations, the city makes no such admission. Despite saying that city workers are not to blame, Mayor Emanuel’s proposal would punish them by forcing them to work longer before retiring, make higher contributions and potentially receive less in retirement benefits. 

"The mayor’s ‘roadmap’ does little to accept responsibility for the current problem and his threats to pit the public against city workers are harmful to the spirit of cooperation and trust we’ve worked to achieve. Mayor Emanuel is breaking one of his biggest promises he made to labor, that he would sit down with unions representing city workers to discuss any proposed changes to the pension system, prior to making his proposals public.

"We urge Mayor Emanuel to engage in talks before pushing a proposal that punishes a city workforce that has time and again sought to be a strategic partner in moving Chicago forward."