Retired Teacher Weighs In On Illinois Pension Vote - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Retired Teacher Weighs In On Illinois Pension Vote

Updated: Dec 3, 2013 10:25 PM
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     Many are speaking weighing in on the major pension overhaul in Illinois. A local retired teacher is concerned about what it means for a lot of workers.

     John Flaherty with the Illinois Retired Teachers Association has been retired for a couple years now. He spent 39 years working in education, including 24 years teaching in the Rock Island school district and has worried for decades about Illinois' pension problems. Flaherty says the approval of the historical plan in both the House and Senate Tuesday actually came as a shock. 

     A coalition of unions opposed to what passed says it leads to teachers and other workers to lose portions of their life savings.  Flaherty says he planned ahead, but worries about elderly retirees that may be in assisted living situation, for example. Those who are getting the smallest checks and need it the most.

     "It's unfair when they come after you after they promised to do something and did not," said Flaherty. "A better solution would be to at least talk with the groups before you sit back and call the legislature down and pass a bill in one day."

     There's already talk of challenging the bill's constitutionality and that's what Flaherty hopes to see happen. He and many others impacted agree something needs to be done but he didn't see this as the best option for all.

     Despite concern from laborers and unions many are celebrating this landmark decision.  The Quad City Chamber of Commerce told us pension reform has been part of its agenda for years. The chamber is pleased to see an end to the crisis hoping the decision will mean a steady to boost to the state's economy.