The Pension Battle Needs Your Participation

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Colleagues:

 

This is another in a series of updates on the pension battle that involves participants in TRS and SURS.

 

We are in the fight of our lives over public employee pensions in Illinois.

 

As you know, Gov. Quinn has proposed that state pension system participants be forced to choose between two new pension plans, both of which would diminish employee benefits.

 

To receive IEA support, a pension proposal must:

  • Be constitutional
  • Be fair to our members
  • Have the effect of stabilizing the pension systems

Since Gov. Quinn’s proposal is not in the form of legislation, many details are unknown. Still, we know enough to oppose it because, among other reasons, it unfairly attempts to “fix” the pension mess solely by reducing benefits for participants. The participants are blameless for the $85 billion underfunding problem at the heart of the pension crisis.

 

Ongoing pension discussions

 

IEA is a member of the We Are One Illinois coalition, along with IFT, AFSCME and other unions that represent public employees.

 

We Are One has been meeting with top policymakers, including Gov. Quinn, the governor’s pension workgroup and, more recently, with key legislative leaders, to discuss how the pension crisis should be addressed.

 

There is no legislation on the table. While the governor has said his proposal would not impact those who are already retired, there are proposals from others that seek to reduce retiree benefits.

 

Active and retired members are urged to contact their legislators immediately and tell them to oppose any attempts to reduce the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for those who are retired.

 

Call via the We Are One Illinois Hotline

Send an email through the IEA website

 

IEA, other coalition members and expert legal counsel, are actively participating in serious discussions with legislative leaders and other policymakers in Springfield.

 

The IEA principles will not change. The coalition has brought in legal specialists to help determine the constitutionality of any proposals that are placed on the discussion table.

 

Stay connected

 

There have already been a lot of rumors surrounding the pension discussions. For the most accurate information, check the IEA website regularly. Also, make certain that you and your colleagues have updated theirmember profiles. This will allow IEA leaders and staff to quickly deliver informational emails and possible calls to action regarding pension legislation.

 

Please stay connected to IEA and we will provide key information as soon as it is received.

 

There is no higher priority than protecting our members’ pensions. If we stay focused and stand together we can get the best result for our members.

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