Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.
   
     
     
     



Cook commissioners discuss healthcare, pension change

Thursday, August 16, 2012
Daily Herald
by Jessica Cilella

Each year Cook County spends about $500 million on employee benefits.

Of that money, about $300 million goes toward health care for the county’s 24,000 employees. The rest goes toward their retirement.

A change in that mix, say some county commissioners, could head off a crisis in pension funding without raising taxes or cutting benefits.

In a meeting with the Daily Herald editorial board Wednesday, Bridget Gainer, the 10th District Democrat who heads a panel studying the pension issue, and Republican Tim Schneider, of the 15th District, said a solution could involve evening out the amount of money spent on health care and retirement, with $250 million being spent on each. Employees, in turn, would be expected to pay an extra 1 percent of their pay each year for health care.

The commissioners also are considering a raise in the retirement age and a decrease in the amount of money a retiree receives annually in the cost-of-living adjustment.

Currently, about $14,000 is spent on health care per county employee annually, but workers contribute only $706 to that amount each year, the commissioners said.

Schneider said this is too little to encourage employees to be participants in their own health care.

“They need to buy into wellness for themselves,” he said. “They’ll live longer, they’ll be healthier, there will be less workers’ comp claims.”

He added that he would also like to see more county employees utilizing county health care facilities in hopes that too would lessen costs.

Gainer added, “To spend a billion dollars on a health system and then spend $300 million on employee health care and never try to leverage one for the other seems to be a real missed opportunity.”

The commissioners emphasized that change needs to happen sooner rather than later.

“We don’t want to get to a crisis,” Schnider said, adding that he understands people hate change and that some taxpayers don’t think the problems are real.

The two are hoping to gain the support of the state legislature during the veto session in November, as no pension reform plan can go forward without the legislature’s approval.

In the meantime, Schneider and Gainer said they will continue to spread their ideas and listen to feedback from various civic organizations, county residents and employees.

“I think most people are fair-minded about this,” Gainer said, adding that she felt response to their ideas so far has been positive. “They understand that a job at the hospital or the job at the jail ... they’re important, they’re hard jobs.

“They want people to have a dignified retirement, but they know that we still need to find a way forward that is fair to everybody, taxpayers as well as workers.”

For more information on the plan, visit openpensions.org.



Recent Headlines

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER SUFFREDIN
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Assessor’s Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZ’s Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
WTTW News

EDITORIAL: Splitting up the region’s sanitation board is an idea that stinks
Monday, April 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawmakers Look To Keep 10-Year-Olds Out Of Jail
Thursday, April 04, 2019

Property Tax Workshops Help Homeowners Appeal Assessments
Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Large crowds of Evanston residents turn out to appeal property tax assessments
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Family of slain cabbie accuses Cook County state's attorney's office of dodging FOIA request
Monday, April 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Property Tax Appeal Seminar Set For New Trier Township Residents
Monday, April 01, 2019
Journal and Topics Online

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP