Rauner backs Cullerton pension plan — but Cullerton says it’s not his plan | Chicago Sun-Times

WRITTEN BY TINA SFONDELES AND STEFANO ESPOSITO | STAFF REPORTERS CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

A pension-reform plan proposed by Illinois Senate President John Cullerton got a big stamp of approval from Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday.

But the cooperative spirit was short-lived. Within hours, Cullerton said Rauner’s plan wasn’t the same as his, and the Republican governor didn’t have his approval.

It’s not my plan. It goes beyond what we discussed and beyond what I support,” Cullerton said in a statement, which also highlighted what he called a “fundamental disagreement over the role of collective bargaining.”

Cullerton said he believes collective bargaining should continue to exist, and the governor does not share that ideal.

Collective bargaining is at the heart of the disagreement.

Democratic sources say they’re looking to tweak the language about collective bargaining to enforce pension reform, while the governor is trying to use pension reform to change collective bargaining.

Rauner wants the bill changed to exempt salary increases from collective bargaining. In the Democrats’ plan, future wages can still be bargained, but you can’t use collective bargaining to reverse the reforms in the pension deal.   read more…...