CHICAGO — Saying "being honest is never a failure," Mayor Rahm Emanuel stood by the pension deal rejected by Chicago police sergeants and said inevitable reforms passed in Springfield will share many of the same earmarks.
"Today's system is not honest," Emanuel said Tuesday. "It's not honest to the taxpayers, and it's not honest to the employees that are paying into it because they will not see the benefit that they think they have earned and deserve.
"We need to create an honest system, and putting your head in the sand doesn't mean it goes away."
Emanuel hailed the four-year pact reached with top union negotiators representing police sergeants last month as a "blueprint" for pension reform. Yet the rank and file rejected the deal in voting announced this week.
Emanuel called the deal's opponents those who "have decided denial is a long-term strategy. That doesn't work."
He promised to "bring honesty to a system that doesn't have it today."
The rejected deal would have raised the retirement age, frozen cost-of-living increases every other year and called on retirees to pay more of their health insurance.
Emanuel said "every aspect of this agreement" will inevitably be part of pension reform in the General Assembly.
"Hoping otherwise is not a strategy," he added.