- Dear Participants,
I am truly sorry and disappointed to report that the Illinois Supreme Court has denied our petition challenging the lower courts’ rulings on our complaint.
122673 – Michael W. Underwood et al., petitioners, v. Trustees of the Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago et al., respondents.
Leave to appeal, Appellate Court, First District. 1-16-2356, 1-16-2357
Petition for Leave to Appeal Denied.
While this might be viewed as only a ruling at the early stage of the case, it will certainly be treated by Judge Cohen as a vindication of his and Justice Simon’s declaration that the only protectable interest is what is stated in the statute.
If that’s so, then the statute still requires the Funds trustees to provide a plan, and subsidize it; albeit at the 1983 and 1985 statutory levels.
Since none of the Funds are “providing” a plan, it may be that Judge Cohen will now require them to do that. However, there is a fair likelihood that Judge Cohen will instead now back off that, to rule that the only obligation is for the Funds to subsidize your premiums for the $55/$21 (Police and Fire NonMedicare/Medicare)and $25 (municipal and laborers) monthly subsidy amounts for life, for everyone who was hired by mid-2003.
I share our great disappointment at the Court’s not even bothering to give us a hearing on the City’s broken promises. I guess the message is you cannot rely on anything the City promises unless there is a statute requiring it.
Since the court has not ruled on the related petition (dealing with the lower court’s refusal to certify the case to proceed for the class), there may be a basis to seek reconsideration of the denial of the petition. I don’t think that’s likely to be successful.
At this point, we will be back before Judge Cohen on November 29th, asking him to order the Funds to actually do their jobs and provide you a plan (indeed, the County’s UHC retiree healthcare plan is much cheaper than the Blue Cross Plan being offered you, even for their Choice-Plus PPO), and subsidize it at least at the statutory rates. We’ll see how this all plays out, and we invite your comments and suggestions.
We’ve devoted ourselves to this effort for you, and share your diminished confidence in the system’s fairness. And while many of you contributed to this effort, and the FOP and Retired Chicago Policemens Association contributed significantly, feel free to contact any of the rest of your unions to thank them for their lack of any help for us at all, especially the Firemen.
And you might give your Funds’ trustees a call and a special remembrance for their switching sides and supporting the City in this battle.
I am and will always be proud of our fight for you. I’m sorry we haven’t been more successful for you. But we will continue fighting to get the maximum benefits and subsidy for all of you.
We sincerely wish you a happy thanksgiving with your families. Sorry we don’t have more to be thankful for at the moment.
We don’t understand all of it, but here is the letter from Krislov late last week just before the holiday:
Krislov says right out that the Fund Trustees switched sides and supported the city in this lawsuit. That should certainly be an issue going forward from this point. Also, that the city pretty much kicked police widows/widowers right in the gut, reneging on years of promises.