Chicago Police Sergeants Reject Mayor's Proposed Contract On Pension, Health Care Changes

03/11/2013 04:59 pm ET

The Chicago Police Sergeants' Association on Monday dealt Mayor Rahm Emanuel with a massive blow.

The group overwhelmingly rejected -- by a vote of 876-134 -- the mayor's plan that would have changed how pensions are paid to retired sergeants.

Per the Chicago Tribune, the plan -- which the mayor dubbed a "blueprint" for pension reform in contracts going forward with other unionized city workers -- called for sergeants to pay an extra 3 percentage points toward their own retirement.

The plan also increased sergeants' retirement age three years -- to 53 -- and would have also reduced cost-of-living adjustments and would have newly required retirees to pay some of their health care costs, the Tribune reports.

The proposed four-year contract, which got a preliminary OK last month, would also have phased in a 9 percent pay increase over four years, according to NBC Chicago.

Emanuel said in a prepared statement to the Chicago Sun-Times that he was "disappointed" by the sergeants' rejection of the agreement. Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields, meanwhile, praised the sergeants for turning down a deal he described as "unconstitutional."

"This was not a deal that benefited them. It only benefited Mayor Emanuel," Shields told the paper.

Emanuel previously claimed that the city of Chicago has no alternative to public pension reform and would otherwise need to allowing the funds to go bankrupt or increasing property taxes by 150 percent.

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