The Votes Are In…

Click below to see the results of the Executive Board election and ByLaw Amendment for Local Dues Increase.

Exec+rep list 2012-2013

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Don’t Delay! Call Now!

We Are One Illinois

Call your state representative and senator now!  
Use the toll-free We Are One Illinois hotline

by clicking here or calling 888-412-6570.

Conrad,

For more than a year, Big Business interests have been waging an unrelenting campaign to eliminate public-sector defined-benefit pensions in Illinois. Time and again, the We Are One Illinois labor coalition has fought them to a standstill.

Now that battle has gotten even tougher. With the state budget in crisis, due in part to the enormous unfunded pension liability that must be paid down, political leaders are starting to jump on the pension slashing bandwagon.

Last week Governor Quinn came out with a plan that would drastically reduce retirement benefits for current teachers, state employees and university employees (hired before Jan. 1, 2011). Quinn wants to raise the retirement age to 67, reduce the annual cost-of-living (COLA) increase, base the COLA on simple interest rather than compounding AND require employees to pay an additional 3% toward their pensions. The Governor is claiming that legal opinions support the constitutionality of his approach.

We Are One Illinois immediately issued a statement rejecting the Quinn plan, which would shift responsibility for the unfunded liability to employees—despite the fact that those same employees have always paid their share into the pension funds, while the state has too often failed to do so. The labor coalition also disputed Quinn’s claim that his plan would pass constitutional muster.

Here’s what’s really disturbing, though: Growing numbers of legislators who have stood with us against slashing pension benefits in the past are now voicing support for the Governor’s plan.

We can stop these draconian pension cuts, just as we stopped similar efforts in the past, but we have to act right now.

Call your state representative and senator now!  
Use the toll-free We Are One Illinois hotline

by clicking here or calling 888-412-6570.

Tell your legislators that you want them to oppose Governor Quinn’s proposed pension changes which attempt to solve the pension funding crisis entirely on the backs of public employees.

No doubt the pension underfunding problem is dire, and ensuring that our pension systems are sound is a top priority for all public employees. But labor’s position is clear: Any changes to the pension systems must be fair to employees, constitutional, and developed through a process that includes the unions that represent public employees.

Send that message with calls to your legislators TODAY. Don’t wait. Retirement security is on the line!

Thanks for your continued support.

We Are One Illinois

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Governor Quinn! LEAVE OUR TEACHER PENSIONS ALONE!

Governor Quinn!  LEAVE OUR TEACHER PENSIONS ALONE!

Governor Quinn has made several proposals to change Teacher Pensions in Illinois!

We believe Governor Quinn’s proposals violate the Illinois constitution!

We believe the proposals are not FAIR! Teachers have lived
up to our TRS commitments — the state did not!

“There they go again!” The Governor is focusing on cutting retired benefits not creating new revenue streams!

Governor — the pension problem is a revenue problem — We need a graduated income tax. We need to close Fat Cat Corporate Loop Holes!

The Governor’s proposals will have a harmful impact on current teachers and make education a less attractive career for younger people. Teaching is a stressful career and burnout is a problem — these proposals will only increase the burnout potential.

We will deliver this petition to Gov. Quinn!  Forward the petition link to all the teachers you know! 
http://signon.org/sign/governor-quinn-leave?source=s.em.cr&r_by=2848732&mailing_id=3617

His proposal applies to active employees enrolled in the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) and the State Universities Retirement System (SURS).

The proposal that the Governor outlined would be posed to members as a choice.  The choice would be for members to choose this benefit package and receive their health insurance or for members to keep the pension benefit structure they currently are afforded but their future salary increases would not count towards their pension and their health insurance benefits would be dramatically reduced or eliminated. Again, the details are minimal and the implications of many of these ideas have not been fully fleshed out by the Governor.

That’s why I created a petition to Governor Pat Quinn.

Will you sign this petition? Click here:

http://signon.org/sign/governor-quinn-leave?source=s.em.cr&r_by=2848732&mailing_id=3617

Thanks!

Bob Haisman – Gardenoprf@sbcglobal.net – (email for more information!)

IEA President Statement on Pensions

Colleagues:

I wanted to take a moment to update you on the fight to make sure every IEA member gets the pension that he/she has been promised.

As IEA President, my focus is always on our members.  On the issue of pensions, that means protecting benefits of members as well as funding of the pension systems. The main discussion should be and must be – as it has always been- the funding of the pension systems.

We refuse to allow the conversation about how to fix the systems to be focused solely on benefits. The top issue is funding – it’s how we got into this mess, and only through funding can the pension systems get back on solid financial footing.

The Illinois Constitution makes it clear that benefits for state pension system annuitants cannot be diminished or impaired. IEA has always insisted that any pension ideas that we would be willing to consider must be constitutional and fair to members.  That has not changed, nor will it.

TRS Trustee Resolution

The TRS trustees recently approved a resolution on pensions that has not been well explained in the news media. (Read the resolution)

The resolution is clearly focused on funding of the systems. It calls upon the state of Illinois to get serious about its debt to the pension systems (the state currently owes more than $43 billion to TRS alone). The state ran up this debt by using “Illinois math” to decide how much to pay the state systems. The TRS resolution is a call to end this practice.

Among other things, the resolution:

  • Calls on the state to pay the systems the amounts dictated by actuarial science (the amount the state needs to contribute to ensure the systems remain capable of paying benefits to current and future retirees)
    • The problem is that the state for decades has paid, essentially, what it has felt like paying and has given the pension systems an I.O.U. for the remainder. This is what has caused the pension crisis.
  • Calls on the state to to fix Tier II, the new set of pension benefits that went into effect for employees hired after January 1, 2011.
    • The contributionTier II employees make exceeds the value of the benefit; therefore, the employee is paying some of the State’s portion.  To fix that, the State needs to pay more. This must be addressed and it will cost the state money to do so.

Solutions 

It is important to understand that, though the TRS Trustees and TRS Executive Director, Dick Ingram, are very focused on the pension problem, they have not made any proposals for addressing the crisis and do not intend to do so. That is not the role of TRS.  It is the responsibility of the unions representing the participants in the pension systems to engage in discussions about proposals that could impact their members.

There has been a lot of discussion regarding comments attributed to Mr. Ingram about the COLA. Please note that the trustees’ resolution does not reference COLA. That is NOT part of the resolution adopted by the Trustees.

The reason COLA is being discussed at all is because the cost of it is huge ($50 billion out of TRS’s liability of $81 billion), and legislators have mentioned this cost for a long time.

Even though the media attention to Ingram’s comment has diverted many people’s focus to anger and distrust, your association’s focus has not changed; we are fighting to find funding solutions to the Illinois budget pension problems.

We will only consider constitutional proposals. IEA attorneys, as well as those representing the other members of the labor coalition, will guide us. All of these top-quality legal minds understand what is, and isn’t, constitutional.

What you can do 

Current and future annuitants have a huge stake in this issue. You owe it to yourselves to be informed and to make your feelings known.

  • Attend Dick Ingram’s TRS town hall meetings.  (schedule)
    • Listen to the data, ask questions, raise your views.
  • Don’t get diverted by the media who want to create distrust from within our own ranks. INSTEAD,
    • Direct the conversation with legislators, etc. back to the real focus – funding of our pensions.
  • Check the IEA website for updates and be prepared to act on short notice on any legislation regarding your retirement benefits.

I assure you, as your IEA President and as a TRS Trustee, IEA and TRS will never stop fighting for the people we represent. We remain deeply concerned about the future of pensions for all our members and we continue to work daily to ensure our members get the pensions they have paid for.

Thank you for your support and your continued work in contacting legislators.

 

 

Contact your legislators and Sid Mathias

Contact your legislators. The IEA website can connect you.

Also contact Sid Mathias. Tell him you are a Hawthorn teacher.

Sid has reached out to HEA.

Now we need to reach back.

Fund TRIP. Fund our pensions.

Conrad
Springfield Office:
200-1N Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-1664
(217) 782-1275 FAX
District Office:
4256 N. Arlington Hts. Rd.
Suite 104
Arlington Heights, IL  60004
(847) 222-0061
(847) 222-0062 FAX
Lake County
Email: repmathias@hotmail.com

It is URGENT you Lobby your legislator

For full details, see the IEA INSIDER at
 It is URGENT you Lobby your legislator
Have you talked to your legislator?

Lawmakers return to Springfield next week, which makes NOW the right time to call your state representative and senator and ask for a meeting to talk about the issues you care about.

*   Pensions. Read the latest pension update here.<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0017OzknPK38qXctTlCTXAfYb_WZdiAsbIoqd8eYpjhKPYlZQz3l-AC32H_–N0vtXyVXa02GRDQp3y541RC7CqigaWaAw7hd7McY2SgPcuYqr6jmtvjFOlsd-E4kggjqUtYQyFa-eVMLWJUdvmtYiXxV3-Uk0dd7NZRSrlDDj8F0U=>
*   TRIP (Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Plan). Read the TRIP Fact Sheet here.<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0017OzknPK38qUEJWcmBZgzuxYZbkoNjqY8j6q8XVzEGEyOvYqaZa-evUkNgpcjpsia1Pe7cRUB_3p719fXrRpNULovEb1A9z_NLUWu1UU9Kxs96_Jj3arOwJMxNWsNebJiCmQMe75E71T-o-iEsAoKu8QCUMmWPTLUo7G4c66u0ak=>
*   CIP (College Insurance Program).

Watch this video<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0017OzknPK38qULUEcP1tNfQbxCnG5eX7ZWTjsPeOaEhv6RK9RtxRh8-147zhJ1-05pXK4LyyO90Rwc4U2c7VSjeJabUaSsdYt-LklWhEqWTwiQ-AvhL0F9mcOzWTcGIz2kpGWpIy6NeqfSa4uo_xEs-1Tk17-cYz6gRs0EU-DfTJxn7Cr6JQGJa4oKa2dQ_XRl_pprsWHniY0=> with IEA President Cinda Klickna, then contact your legislators and tell them to restore funding to these important programs.

Contact your legislator here.<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0017OzknPK38qWGrg0kY0T9WoI9wYj6dqe3ULgGhibZmQIW2Kds2yTJhmmDNfxpugVDNFqlX89iV_jE2a5PJ3195nDkgKq_MPVipuBgWgofuC9zMUQtBv3GT02aEWrNRVd1zRj2QRPt8KNdvn_dm_-iDUP1n7rQkbdvi3CiC-u0Fc0=>

[http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs037/1106397658791/img/92.jpg]<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0017OzknPK38qVKmUxF8k9fIx_lDQ_k9S6ykXE2KqmmYRlSsjNF-3xliVZI-lfy3m_OwUYQgC_zUCTEfQmiHuCUS6WpDIMUNbLhl6js5jDSzn9XiYQH2Dj28a5423BcWCpedtR0JvoH0sxykMvqyUfvUQ==>
IEA members of Regions 3 and 7 meet with legislators during their Back Home Lobby Day.

Lobbying is easy: IEA Regions 3 and 7 hosted a Back Home Lobby Day event at the Effingham High School April 10. Approximately 75 members heard Rep. David Reis (R-Olney) and Rep. John Cavaletto (R-Salem) discuss the pension crisis and other issues. The large crowd broke into two groups to address the legislators separately following a dinner and short program. View a short video herehttp://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0017OzknPK38qXMXT9aAfueVNZAJamWPk4eg4t-nrK5tgdM_en5qz-lMnFz40aDCpNtGKF5WRZTE4hCOMBxaQlIcd3eGwIHNPVla_ipRy_d6LaN6Vo00x9YCg==.

 

TRS exec director reinforces scapegoating and false truths

IFT’s president has issued a statement on Dick Ingram’s statements. Still waiting for words this strong on the part of IEA leadership.
Conrad

New Approach From TRS Executive Director Reinforces Scapegoating and False Truths

Statement of IFT President Daniel J. Montgomery

For Immediate Release

April 3, 2012

I am disappointed that Mr. Ingram has decided to advocate for diminishing the reasonable, Constitutional retirement 
benefits of tens of thousands of Illinois educators and retirees. For TRS this is, indeed, a new direction that embraces 
a politically expedient approach while providing significant cover to politicians determined to welch on the state’s 
decades-long promise to workers and retirees.


There is no denying that our pension systems are in serious need of stabilization. The combination of politicians’ 
schemes to skip payments and the creation of an unrealistic repayment plan, combined with the recent deep recession, are all factors that have created the funding challenges we face. But let’s be clear: benefits are not to blame. What’s more, teachers have always faultlessly paid their portion of their contribution toward the retirement systems…and they still do.

For many years teachers have watched as politicians, corporate executives and editorial page writers have criticized 
educators’ salaries and benefits. They’ve worked to cajole the public into believing that teachers and public workers 
with defined benefit pensions are greedy, selfish and undeserving. Regardless of how modest these retirements are – 
and regardless of the fact that the majority of Illinois teachers do not qualify for or pay into Social Security – this new 
approach from TRS Director Ingram does little more than reinforce the scapegoating and false truths of those who 
place low value on public service. 

We take extreme exception to the comments of Republican Leader Tom Cross, who suggests that our union doesn’t 
understand the scope of the problems facing TRS. The IFT and our union coalition are actively participating in 
Governor Quinn’s pension working group. Our approach continues to be to work toward pension solutions that are 
Constitutional, sustainable and fair. However, unlike TRS Director Ingram, we refuse to accept what Springfield 
politicians think is most politically “palatable” for today and intend to seek what is just and has been promised to the 
members of the systems for decades.