But the proposal the mayor and his top aides outlined late Monday would not address huge pension shortfalls for Chicago police, firefighters and teachers. Nor would it deal with the city’s most immediate, pressing financial problem: a state requirement to pay a whopping $600 million more toward police and fire pensions next year, a provision that could lead to a combination of tax increases, service cuts and borrowing.
Even as Emanuel vowed to put his pension proposal on paper in the coming days so it can be considered by state lawmakers, the changes face an uncertain future. Although Emanuel aides say the proposal comes out of talks with more than 30 city unions, not all of them are on board. A lawsuit is all but certain, especially after one group of unions issued a statement calling Emanuel’s concept “an unconstitutional approach that makes onerous cuts to the pension benefits of nearly 50,000 active and retired public servants.”