Madigan: `No cooperation' from unions on pensions

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says public employee unions have offered "no cooperation" on fixing the pension crisis.

The Chicago Democrat released a sharp response Wednesday to a group of labor unions that want a Feb. 11 summit on solutions to the $96 billion pension problem.

Madigan declined the invitation from the "We are One Illinois" coalition.

Years of underfunding have created a shortfall in taxpayer-funded retirement programs. Legislative plans have proposed greater employee contributions and less generous benefits.

Madigan dismissed labor leader Michael Carrigan's claim last week that legislative solutions have failed because union concerns haven't been considered.

Madigan's letter pointed to at least "eight high-level meetings" with union representatives in the last year alone.

The coalition says its proposal provides enough money and is fair.

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