The Illinois FOP Labor Council

The Labor Council provides full union representation: negotiating and enforcing contracts, improving salaries, working conditions, and benefits for law enforcement professionals throughout Illinois. Our members are protected 24 hours a day by a staff of full-time, in-house attorneys and field representatives who have a proven track record of winning.

24 Hour Critical Incident Hotline: 877-IFOP-911



Call Speaker Madigan Today!

By Shawn Roselieb, Assistant Executive Director

The Spring Legislative Session is winding down and your future is in jeopardy! 
 
Your Pension is the most important asset you have, protect it! Don't let the trickle down effect take place!  Not currently affected?  Guess again!  Once this initiative succeeds - YOU will be next... 
 
In recent years, the Illinois Supreme Court has twice found legislation reducing the pension benefits of active and retired public employees to be unconstitutional. So why does Governor Rauner keep pushing to cut public employee pensions-and why are some legislators going along with him?
 
It's important to note that no legislation before the General Assembly would cut the pension benefits of current retirees. There is widespread acceptance that the court has flatly rejected any reductions in the pensions of those who have already retired. And it's important to remember that, despite strong opposition from the unions of We Are One Illinois, the General Assembly acted in 2010 to significantly reduce the pension benefits of all those hired after January 1, 2011 (Tier 2 pension participants). The courts have consistently ruled that only the benefits of current employees and retirees are constitutionally protected. Benefit reductions-or even elimination-are legal for any employee not yet hired at the time changes to the pension code are made.
 
Rauner and some in the General Assembly are focused on finding ways to get around the constitutional prohibition against cutting the benefits of all employees hired before 1/1/2011 (Tier 1 participants). Relying on the principle of "consideration", they argue that if employees are given something in return for the reduction in benefits, then the cuts would be constitutional. Senate Bill 16, House Bill 4027 and House Bill 4045 are all based on this "consideration" model, as are several other bills that have been introduced.
 
SB 16, HB 4027 and HB 4045 affect all Tier 1 active employees in the SERS, SURS, TRS and Chicago Teachers pension systems. Each requires employees to make an irrevocable choice between:

  1. Accepting a delay and reduction in his/her cost-of-living annual adjustment when he/she retires; or
  2. Agreeing that his/her pension benefit would be calculated using only his/her current salary, excluding all future pay increases from calculation of his/her benefit.

These bills attempt to compensate employees who choose Option 1 above by providing for a "consideration payment" of 10% of an employee's past pension contributions and lowering the employee's  future contribution rate by 10%. 

However, the amount that the employee receives through this payment would be far short of the amount he/she would lose.
 
Union attorneys argue that this scheme does not meet the "consideration" standard but rather is an involuntary and forced diminishment because either choice represents a reduction of benefits. No matter which choice an employee makes, he/she would lose tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of dollars over the course of his/her retirement years.
 
Moreover, both bills threaten further harm to retirement security because they initiate a process of moving new employees out of all the state's pension systems and placing them in a defined-contribution plan. This will have the effect of reducing contributions into the systems, thus exacerbating the underfunding that has consistently plagued all the systems.
 
On May 17, the Senate passed SB 16 with bipartisan support and little debate. Click here to read a summary of the bill  and here to see how senators voted .

Now the battle shifts to the House of Representatives. HB 4027 and HB 4045 (which have the same core provisions as SB 16) passed the House Pension Committee earlier this week, but a number of those who voted to allow them to move out of committee made clear they intend to vote against them on the floor.

At this time, we don't know whether the House will vote on SB 16, HB 4027 or HB 4045. But one of these bills is very likely to come to the House floor in the next few days.

It's critical that you call your state representative TODAY to urge a NO vote on SB 16, HB 4027, HB 4045 or any other bill that cuts the pensions of public employees. Dial 888-412-6570. Make clear that these bills are unconstitutional, unfair, and you expect your representative to OPPOSE them.

We're Your Union

By David Wickster, Executive Director

The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council is a Law Enforcement Union representing some 10,000 plus professionals who work in the Criminal Justice Arena and are granted their collective bargaining rights under the Illinois Labor Relations Act.  Our members are Municipal Police Officers, County Sheriff’s Deputies, Police Officers who work for Elected Constitutional Officers, University Police Officers, County Correctional Officers, Court Security Officers, Probation Officers, 911 Telecommunicators, Records Personnel and some related Support Staff. 

Outside the City of Chicago the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council represents more law enforcement professionals than any other union in Illinois with over 490 bargaining units.  Our largest units boast membership numbers in the hundreds, while some of our smallest units consist of only four to five members.  We have a presence in some of the most remote parts of the State, such as the Cities of Beardstown and Metropolis and the Counties of Washington and Union, as well as some of the densest regions, such as the Chicagoland Area and Cook County.

 

Experienced Labor Professionals

The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council prides itself in representing its membership in the specialized field of public sector/public safety labor representation.  With a full time staff of 13 attorneys and 13 field representatives, all responsible for negotiating contracts and representing membership, the FOP Labor Council has 208 years of combined Law Enforcement experience and 475 years of labor experience, collectively. 

With offices in Western Springs (north) and Springfield (south), the FOP Labor Council is the only union who can meet the demands of law enforcement professionals 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with 10 administrative staff members and a 24 hour emergency hotline.

A Long and Strong Tradition

The Illinois FOP Labor Council was originally framed as a “Labor Committee” of the Illinois FOP State Lodge back in 1983 in anticipation of police officers gaining the right to collectively bargain.  In 1984 collective begging became collective bargaining with the inclusion of police officers and firefighters under the Illinois Labor Relations Act.

With the onslaught of police officers seeking rights under collective bargaining the Labor Committee quickly evolved into an independent entity known today as the FOP Labor Council.  Several active law enforcement officers from across the state left the security of their employment to help form the Labor Council.  Their dedication and commitment established the backbone of the Labor Council which today employs labor experts with experience from across a broad range of the labor relations spectrum.