An estimated crowd of 2,000 disgruntled public employees flocked to the statehouse rotunda in Springfield on Wednesday to protest a a piece of controversial pension reform legislation, a looming round of staff cuts by Gov. Pat Quinn and other employee funding issues.
Members of the labor movement ranging from police officers to firefighters to state workers to health care workers were among the demonstrators. They carried signs saying, "Collective Bargaining is the American Way," "Gov. Quinn keep your word," "Protect our pension. We paid our share. You pay yours." and "Don’t CROSS us." At least a dozen buses that transported protesters, most from the Chicago area, were parked outside the Capitol.
The sign referencing Cross was apparently in regards to House Republican Leader Tom Cross of Oswego, whose pension reform bill passed in the House Personnel and Pensions Committee with a 9-0 vote, the Chicago Tribune reported. It now heads to the full House.
Demonstrators also hoped money could be found to avert the layoffs of nearly 2,000 public employees the governor announced last month.
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