Report: Teacher pension perk not uncommon across Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) — Hundreds of school districts across Illinois cover either all or most of their teachers’ retirement contributions.

The issue is in the spotlight as Illinois’ largest district is in the middle of tense contract negotiations and the cash-strapped district is seeking help from legislators.

The Chicago Tribune reports thousands of teachers get a better deal than Chicago teachers.

Some districts, including in suburban Wheeling, say picking up pension costs helps keep them competitive. Some unions have also argued it’s a cost saver because if the money was paid as a salary it would be subject to payroll tax.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants teachers to pay the full contribution. The cash-strapped district has paid most of the 9 percent contribution. The Chicago Teachers Union argues that amounts to a pay cut.