Madigan takes swipe at union leaders
House Speaker Michael Madigan has some harsh words for union leaders, via a letter posted today by Rich Miller at Capitol Fax.
The letter is to AFL-CIO chief Michael Carrigan. Madigan says he won't be going along with union calls for a summit in Burr Ridge to talk about teachers' and state workers' pensions. And Madigan seeks to defend against union claims that they haven't been included in negotiations on pension reform.
From the letter:
In my view, the positions of organized labor were taken into account during the 2012 legislative session. I recall no fewer than eight high-level meetings that took place with labor, legislative leaders and the governor. At that time, I felt there was little willingness from representatives of labor to draft a comprehensive, common-sense solution.
Union leaders have agreed to have their members pay 2 percent more of their salaries toward retirement, but they've threatened to sue over other cuts to their benefits. They argue the Illinois Constitution protects against any reductions.
This will be one of the big fights of the year, of course. Just like last year.