Chicago union bosses raking in millions from city pension fund

Jazz Shaw

In case any of you were having too nice of a day, here’s something sure to get your heart rate worked up toward the red zone. Out in the Windy City (where else?) we find a heartwarming tale of hard working union bosses scraping by in their golden years with a little help from the taxpayers.

All it took to give nearly two dozen labor leaders from Chicago a windfall worth millions was a few tweaks to a handful of sentences in the state’s lengthy pension code.

The changes became law with no public debate among state legislators and, more importantly, no cost analysis.

Twenty years later, 23 retired union officials from Chicago stand to collect about $56 million from two ailing city pension funds thanks to the changes, a Tribune/WGN-TV investigation found.

The short version of the story is that a couple of decades ago, somebody (amazingly they can’t seem to find anyone willing to admit they did it) inserted a change into the pension laws which essentially says that the pension city workers receive can be based on the last salary they drew from the union instead of the actual salary they earned working on the public payroll. Here’s a couple of the notable results…

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