IEA members are urged to begin calling their state legislators Sunday (January 6) afternoon in anticipation of a new attack on public employees’ pensions.
The call to action is a result of Gov. Pat Quinn’s announcement that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan had dropped his demand that pension-cutting legislation must include the controversial “cost shift.”
Over the next few days, IEA members will likely receive “robo calls” urging them to contact their legislators.
Starting at 4 p.m. Sunday, IEA members are urged to use the We Are One Illinois hotline to contact their state representatives.
The hotline number is 888-412-6570. Just follow the prompts and you will be connected to your state representative (Only the House will be in session Sunday evening – the Senate could be in session Monday).
When you get your legislator on the phone, be sure to tell him/her to:
- Oppose any proposal that would cut benefits for retired employees.
- Vote NO on any pension bill that has not been negotiated with and approved by the employee unions.
- Work with the unions to develop a fair and constitutional solution to the pension problem.
- Support revenue solutions to the pension problem, not benefit cuts.
It is important to understand that the votes that could be taken between today and Wednesday will be taken by the outgoing (lame duck) legislature.
More on the pension proposal
The cost shift would cause local school districts to pay pension costs currently paid by the state. Opposition to that plan by Republicans has helped stall proposals to reduce pension benefits for public employees.
From the Tribune:
A Madigan spokesman today indicated the governor and the speaker have been talking.
“Madigan said, ‘I told him to pass whatever he can pass,’ ’’ Brown said Madigan told Quinn. “If that means we defer the cost shift for some other day, to get other things passed, we’ll try to get other things passed.”
The Democratic governor met with a group of suburban House Republican lawmakers in Wheaton, where he announced that he hopes a breakthrough can be made after Madigan adjusted his position. Quinn, however, declined to provide specifics on how a pension fix would work.
(more on this story from the Sun-Times, Daily Herald)
The governor’s announcement came at the same time that the second of two “Pension Preservation” rallies held this week was underway at the Statehouse in Springfield. The first was held Thursday. See how those in attendance, both young and veteran teachers, feel about the issue.