BGA Updates, Expands Two Free Databases

Better Government Association provides new information on public-sector pension and union-related portals.

The Better Government Association has expanded and updated its publicly accessible databases containing public-sector labor agreements and certain pension funds.


One of the databases, the Public Safety Pension Portal, includes detailed information on public-sector pension plans for Downstate and suburban police and fire departments – including pension beneficiaries and payouts, pension fund investments, revenue streams and names of leaders.


The BGA recently updated the portal with the most up-to-date records available for roughly 450 taxpayer-subsidized retirements plans, spanning from Chicago’s suburbs to southern Illinois.


“The BGA is making this information easily accessible so taxpayers can learn about the health and leadership of the pension funds they’re financially supporting,” said BGA President and CEO Andy Shaw.


“A lack of knowledge about pension finances has contributed to the State of Illinois’ current fiscal crisis, marked by massive underfunding and huge obligations for retirement systems. All of us should be paying better attention to the flow of these tax dollars.”


The BGA also just updated and expanded the Collective Bargaining Database, which now includes copies of labor agreements between government workers and municipalities, school districts and park districts in the six-county Chicago region.


In all, there are now more than 1,200 collective bargaining agreements on the site for more than 500 agencies – covering everyone from police and firefighters, to public works employees, teachers and clerical staff.


“This portal is about transparency – with labor costs a large chunk of government expenses, the public has a right to know the salaries, benefits and work rules for public-sector workers,” Shaw said.


These two databases complement other BGA digital offerings, including:

  • The Payroll Database, which includes names, salaries and titles for government workers in Illinois.
  • The Pension Database, which includes names and payouts for public-sector retirees in Illinois.
  • The Pension Outlook Database, which includes the names of current and former public-sector employees in Illinois who may collect a taxpayer-subsidized pension some day.
  • The Boss Files, which includes personnel files of government leaders throughout the state.
  • The Illinois Schools Database, which includes financial, personnel and legal information on hundreds of public school systems around the state.

To visit any BGA database, click here.