Gov't School Employees and Retirees of Oak Park Revel at Taxpayer Expense
OAK PARK–A new report by Taxpayers United of America (TUA) reveals that many government school employees and retirees of Oak Park school districts receive lavish, gold-plated salaries and pensions that far exceed average annual wages of workers in the private sector.
“These outrageous state-funded government-employee pensions are bankrupting Illinois,” said Jim Tobin, President of TUA. “Springfield House and Senate Democrats just temporarily raised the state personal income tax 67%, all $6.4 billion taxpayer dollars of which is being used to fund the state’s lavish retired government employee pension programs.”
“Oak Park Elementary School District 97’s employees are really raking it in,” said Tobin. “The largest salary goes to Constance Collins whose annual salary is $236,030. Kevin Anderson isn’t far behind, making $178,315. And at $169,365 a year, Therese O’Neill is a close third. ”
“Oak Park School District 75’s retired teachers in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) are also getting rich” said Tobin. “The largest annual TRS pension goes to John C. Fagan, whose state pension is a staggering $11,446 a month. Gladen O. Vaughn already has received a total state pension payout of $1,453,589.
These retired government employees are sucking the system dry. But the four-year state income tax surcharge can be allowed to expire without cutting government services if the proper reformations are taken.
“Three crucial reforms can save the system and spare Illinois taxpayers. First, new government hires should be put into social security and required to fund their own retirements with 401(k) plans. Ending pensions for new government hires will eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions. Second, in Illinois, if each current state pension fund employee were required to contribute an additional 10% to his or her pension, taxpayers would save over $150 billion over the next 35 years. And finally, requiring Illinois public employees to pay for one-half of their health care premiums would save even more – an estimated $230 billion over current projections.”