ILLINOIS POLICY INSTITUTE
MEDIA ALERT – DAY 4 CHICAGO TEACHERS STRIKE
MEDIA CONTACT: Diana Rickert
diana@IllinoisPolicy.org or (312) 607-4977
Chicago teachers walk the picket lines today, but will retire with pensions worth more than $1 million
CHICAGO (Sept. 13, 2012) – Today marks the fourth day of the Chicago teachers strike. Despite being offered a 16 percent pay increase, teachers continue to demand higher double-digit raises on top of their average salary of $71,000.
A new analysis from the Illinois Policy Institute shows what Chicago teachers' high average salary means when teachers retire: In 2011, the average Chicago teacher who retired after 30 years in the classroom received a starting annual pension of $77,496. Over the course of an average retirement, this teacher would collect more than $2.4 million in taxpayer-funded retirement money.
"By maintaining these high salaries and discussing even more raises, Chicago Public Schools essentially is handing out million dollar pensions that will be funded on the backs of the working class and poor," said Illinois Policy Institute CEO John Tillman. "At the same time, many of the children who ultimately will pay for these pensions are struggling in poverty, and many of them will never have the opportunity to go to college and earn a living as good as the one their teachers enjoy."
Chicago teachers who retired in 2000 received an average starting pension of $42,972/year. But rampant salary increases over the past decade have made that number climb by 38 percent after inflation. In 2011, the average Chicago teacher who retired after 30 years of teaching received a starting pension of $77,496.
For Chicago teachers who retired in 2000, the total pension payouts over an entire retirement will be approximately $1.35 million. But again, rampant salary increases have caused the average total retirement payout to climb. By comparison, a teacher who retired in 2011 will receive a total payout of $2.4 million over the course of retirement.
These massive pension payouts are on top of the nearly $15.3 billion in pension debt faced by the city of Chicago's non-teacher pension systems, and the additional $83 billion pension debt faced by the state.
Attempts at reducing this massive pension debt or curbing the growth of teacher salaries or pension payouts appear to have been absent in the city's negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union.
John Tillman, CEO of Illinois Policy Institute
Kristina Rasmussen, Executive Vice President
Click here to read the analysis.
To book interviews, contact: Diana Rickert (312) 607-4977.
The Illinois Policy Institute is a nonpartisan research and education organization dedicated to making our state a beacon for liberty and prosperity for all citizens. As a leading voice for economic liberty and government accountability, the Institute engages policy makers, opinion leaders and citizens on the state and local level by promoting free market principles and liberty-based public policy initiatives for a better Illinois. To learn more about the Institute or review our policy work, please visit: www.illinoispolicy.org.