Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Unions Bilk Chicago

While this story here doesn’t exactly rate a corruption notice, the fact that former city employees who took on union leadership jobs and are now getting their pensions paid by the city at a rate tied to their union leadership jobs, is worthy of a holy crap.

Several years ago in the city of Chicago, a pension law was passed that enabled people who were employed by the city and then took on a union leadership jobs to get their pensions paid based on the salary they received while working for the unions. Keep in mind that the union jobs paid nearly three times what the city job held.

At some point in time, a group of these union leadership pukes had to be sitting around thinking about how they could bilk the city and state out even more money.

“Hey Joe, You know that little cottage up on Lake Geneva you’ve had your eye on for the past several years?”

“Yeah, I kind of forgot about it, there is no way I could afford it, especially after I retire.”

“What if I could come up with a way to make that cottage possible?”

“You got something cooking?”

“Yep! Right now we are union delegates, right? And we are making money hand over fist, right? And our union has every democrat in our pocket and almost every Republican too, right? So I was thinking that maybe we should get these guys to tie our pension plans to what we make as union delegates.”

“But as union delegates, we don’t work for the city.”

“Yeah, but once our time is done as delegates or if we decide to quit, we get our old jobs back, right? So, in a way, we are still employed by the city.”

“So, you think you could convince our politicians to tie our retirement benefits to our union salary? We are making three times our city salary. How are you going to convince them to do that?”

“It won’t be hard. We can send a few to Vegas on a ‘fact-finding trip’ to the Kit-Kat Club. And don’t we have something that needs looking into in Hawaii?”

“So, what color do you think I should paint the cottage?”

When it is all said and done, the city may be on the hook for more than $56 million to 23 retired city/union employees.

Liberato "Al" Naimoli, president of the Cement Workers Union Local 76. He retired last year from a $15,000-a-year city job that he last held a quarter-century ago. Today, Naimoli receives more than $13,000 a month from the city laborers' pension fund even as he continues to earn nearly $300,000 annually as president of Local 76. His city laborers' pension will pay him about $4 million during his lifetime, according to a Tribune/WGN-TV analysis based on the funds' actuarial assumptions.

James McNally, vice president of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150. He receives nearly $115,000 a year even though at the time he retired, in 2008, he had not worked for the city in more than 13 years. He was only 51 when he started collecting a city pension. By the time he turns 78, he will have received roughly $4 million from the city laborers' fund. (Source: The Chicago Tribune)

These are just a couple of examples. Can you imagine that? $56 million could be paid to 23 people. This is outrageous. And the worst part? At this time, nothing can be done since the Illinois state constitution does not allow laws to be changed that would diminish a pension.

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