The Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois has joined forces with other state public employee unions to protect worker benefits.

The state of Illinois has become the poster child for financial dysfunction and some leaders are blaming public employee pensions and benefits as a reason for why they can’t get the state’s deficit under control.

Illinois fire fighters have had enough of being used as scapegoats.

That’s why they are teaming their message with the likes of the Fraternal Order of Police, Police Benevolent and Protective Association,   AFSCME, the Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers for an aggressive media campaign to get their voices heard.

And they have also helped launch this website where you can see their media outreach and learn more about the issues affecting state employees in Illinois.

Illinois was recently ranked as having one of the lowest underfunded state pensions in the country. In a recent report released by the Pew Center on the States an analysis of the current recession’s impact on state pensions and retiree health benefits in the fiscal year 2009 found Illinois only reached the 50 percent funded mark with its system; while the top funded state had a surplus beyond 100 percent.