ABC 20 Streaming LiveSpotlight 20Pump PatrolRaw NewsJoy of SharingFerguson DecisionFriday Night Hangtime


FRIDAY: Mostly Cloudy. High: 34. Winds: Light Northeast.FRIDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Low: 27. Winds: Light East.SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. High: 38. Winds: Light South.Joe CrainStorm Team 20 ...

more »

Advertise with us!

Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Springfield Police, Fire Unions Wary of "Pension Reform"

Police and fire pension reform sounds better and better to downstate municipalities, including Springfield, but the capitol city's unions are a little more wary.

After the legislature passed a pension reform bill for two Chicago unions earlier this month, downstate mayors believe lawmakers could soon take on Chicago's police and fire pensions. If so, they want reform for the downstate funds, too.

"We just want to make sure the General Assembly deals with both issues at the same time. Simultaneously," said the Illinois Municipal League's legislative director, Joe McCoy.

One of those municipalities is the City of Springfield, where both the police and fire pensions are about half-funded. The Houston administration has taken steps to fix the problem, like extra payments and negotiating down pay increases, but officials say there's only so much they can do on their end.

"Any significant or substantial reform has to come from the General Assembly," said Budget Director Bill McCarty.

That's because the legislature dictates how much employees pay in and what they get out in benefits. But with reform bills so far this session dealing mainly with cuts to benefits and/or increased contributions, Springfield's police and fire unions are skeptical.

"Their idea of pension reform is to diminish the benefit, so yes. When I hear those things it does make me nervous," said Allen Reyne, president of International Association of Firefighters Local 37 in Springfield.

McCoy said the Illinois Municipal League is most concerned with addressing annual cost of living adjustments, which results in larger and larger benefit payouts. From the unions' view, it's no more than what employees earned.

"They signed up. This was the deal," said Don Edwards, president of the local Police Benevolent and Protective Association. "This is what you're going to get when you retire. Thank you for your service."

At this point, any details or a reform deal are just speculation. There's no plan in the legislature now, and with a month left this is more a play for the Municipal League to set the issue up for next year and begin talking with the unions.

"We're not looking to harm police and firefighters," McCoy said. "We're looking to achieve that equity threshold."

IAAF and PBPA representatives on the state level said they're also wary of any pension reform efforts, especially if they rely on benefit reductions.

Benefit reductions could be a risky route, anyway. The state employee pension bill passed last year relied heavily on decreased benefit payouts, and unions and retirees have taken the state to court over it.

  • WICS :: News - 12 Days of Give Away

    12 Days of Give Away

    The holidays are here and it is time to get in the spirit with NewsChannel 20 and local businesses.  Be sure to enter each day from 12/8 to 12/23 for your chance to win during the 12 Days of Giveaways!
  • WICS :: News - The Ferguson Decision

    The Ferguson Decision

  • WICS :: News - Tracking Ebola

    Tracking Ebola

  • WICS :: News - Traffic


    Get up to the minute traffic reports from WICS NewsChannel 20!
  • WICS :: News - Road Trippin News

    Road Trippin News

    Missed a Road Trippin segment that aired in the news? Check it out here!
  • WICS :: News - Health Matters

    Health Matters

    Featuring news segment videos about health.
  • WICS :: News - In The Kitchen

    In The Kitchen

    Watch the area's best chefs whip up their tastiest creations. See them in action and get their recipes to try at home. 
  • WICS :: News - Behind The Headlines

    Behind The Headlines

    Get Behind the Headlines commentary with Mark Hyman.
  • WICS :: News - Ready, Set, Shred

    Ready, Set, Shred

    In an exclusive eight-week investigation, ABC Newschannel 20 digs deep into the Springfield police document shredding scandal.
  • WICS :: News - Pay it Forward

    Pay it Forward

    Pay It Forward... because sometimes people need a little extra help.
  • WICS :: News - Ask the Expert

    Ask the Expert

    Do you need expert advice? Here's your chance to ask our experts!
  • WICS :: News - Your Voice. Your Future.

    Your Voice. Your Future.

    As the country faces challenges from federal budget issues to jobs and national debt, your voice is critical to the future.
  • WICS :: News - Road Trippin

    Road Trippin

    Come Road Trippin' with us! Check out all the great attractions in your area!
  • WICS :: News - Pump Patrol

    Pump Patrol

    Check out the ABC Newschannel 20's Pump Patrol to find the lowest prices, report low prices and get gas saving tips.

  • WICS :: News - Spotlight 20

    Spotlight 20

    Local organizations and community leaders tell us about events in central Illinois.
  • WICS :: News - Raw News

    Raw News

    Watch extra news footage, full interviews, and extended stories that didn't make it on air.  "Raw News" may include content that is not suitable for children and is intended for mature audiences only.
  • WICS :: News - On the Farm

    On the Farm

    Whether it's topical segments on what's happening on local farms to commodity prices, we have the world of central Illinois agriculture covered.
  • WICS :: News - Fugitive Files

    Fugitive Files

  • WICS :: News - Home Room

    Home Room

    When's the next school board meeting? Where's the basketball game? What's for lunch today? Do we have a snow day tomorrow? We have all the information you need for a successful school year--no pencil or ...
  • WICS :: News - No Text Zone

    No Text Zone

    Texting while driving kills thousands of people each year. Many more are seriously injured.  Keep central Illinois roads safe by taking the "No Text Zone" pledge.
  • WICS :: News - Business News

    Business News

    Stay up-to-date on the biggest business stories from around the nation.
  • WICS :: News - Pet of the Week

    Pet of the Week

    The cutest video you'll see anywhere! You won't be able to resist these adorable friends who need someone to love them.
  • WICS :: News - Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments are using your money wisely...or wasting it.
  • WICS :: News - Washington Times

    Washington Times

    Politics, Breaking News, US and World News.
  • WICS :: News - Health Care Reform

    Health Care Reform

    The Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act sparked a new battle. Check here daily for the latest developments, locally and across the country.

more »

Tonight on WICS

10:00 - ABC Newschannel 20 Nightside

Complete Schedule »

WICS Pay It Forward
WICS Cheers For The Years
Jimmy Kimmel
WICS Storm Team