Teacher's union voices opposition to pension reform bill

By WEEK Producer

March 22, 2013 Updated Mar 22, 2013 at 10:55 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Teachers are upset with the latest pension reform bill to pass through the Illinois Senate.

The Illinois Federation of Teachers said the bill is not fair to educators. The union said the bill would unfairly take away from teacher's life savings.

The plan that passed Wednesday would require teachers to choose between a lower 3-percent increase in cost of living adjustment or receiving reduced health benefits.

"We think it's a bad idea to say to retirees who are on fixed incomes. Our most vulnerable citizens, either you're gonna get health care or losing value in your pensions and get poorer and poorer," said union president Dan Montgomery.

The teachers union said it has bills out that deal with fiscal reform, as well as a pension stabilization fund.

Montgomery said if these measures are met, teachers would be willing to pay up to 2-percent more into their pensions.