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Workers Beat Back New Attacks on Pensions

by Joe Iosbaker |
September 1, 2005
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union members holding signs at protest to save pensions
SEIU members protest to save pensions. (Fight Back! News)

“Here’s the fix, tax the rich!” chanted 350 University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) workers, as they marched on May 26. Employees were mad as hell because of Governor Blagojevich’s threats against state pensions.

Govenor. Blagojevich wanted to add two more years to reach full retirement, but workers called out, “Hey, hey! Listen here! We won’t work for two more years!”

After many protests, the governor withdrew that proposal, along with a proposal for a two-tier system, where new hires would get fewer benefits.

The state still isn’t paying the required funds into the pension, so the crisis is not resolved. Willie English, a union steward, said, “They can’t balance the budget on our backs.”

Joe Iosbaker is a chief steward in SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 73 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.