Teamsters Local 700 applauds today’s ruling by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Rita Novak that declared the City of Chicago’s pension-cutting Senate Bill 1922 as unconstitutional.
Local 700 opposed SB 1922 for its cuts to pensions benefits for active and retired workers, and the Teamsters and three other unions representing city employees sued the City last December to overturn the law. The Circuit Court ruled in favor of the unions and their members, saying the law violated a clause of the Illinois constitution that guarantees pension benefits cannot be diminished.
“The decision today is a win for Local 700 members, our retirees and all public employees across Illinois,” said Becky Strzechowski, President of Local 700. “Protecting the rights and benefits of our members is the cornerstone of what we do as a union and this victory exemplifies that we will not back down when our members’ retirement security is threatened.”
Earlier this year, the Illinois Supreme Court cited the pension clause of the state constitution as well in striking down Senate Bill 1, legislation that would have reduced pension benefits for public employees across Illinois. That ruling also was spurred by litigation brought on by unions including Local 700, which remains committed to a responsible and lawful funding solution that honors the sacrifices and hard work of Teamster public employees.
“These two rulings send a clear message to the City of Chicago and the state legislature that elected officials cannot simply choose to violate Illinois’ constitution to close budget gaps or make up for decades-long financial mismanagement in Springfield,” Strzechowski said. “Local 700 will continue to hold our legislators’ feet to the fire to ensure our members receive the benefits they’ve paid for and worked so hard to earn.”
Teamsters Local 700, an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, represents more than 10,000 hardworking public employees across the State of Illinois.