Legislative update for May 27, 2011 (morning)

IEA President Ken Swanson has the latest6 from Springfield where tens of thousands of IEA member phone calls and emails, combined with strategic lobbying efforts, are making a big impact on SB 512, a proposal to cut public pensions. SB 512 could come up for an Illinois House vote at any time. The corporate interests behind the attack on working families are using political threats to try to force legislators to support the pension attack. CALL YOUR LEGISLATOR NOW AND TELL HIM/HER TO OPPOSE SB 512, an unconstitutional and wrong-headed attack on Illinois working families. Call 888-412-6570 NOW!


  1. Cecilia says:

    I am forty seven years old. I can’t make up the time from my 20s and 30s to invest in a 401K plan now! I will be living in poverty without the pension. I am single now but maybe I should get married like women used to have to do. I worked in the private sector for 20 years previously and there was no retirment plan offered. So, I had social security which I won’t get if I take my pension. What to do? I am thoroughly disgusted!

  2. How the SB512 amendment explicitly does not violate the Illinois

    In Article XIII, Section 5 of the Constitution (the “Pension Protection
    Clause”), it is stated, “Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”

  3. Kristi Brownfield says:

    Already made my calls and urged everyone I know to make calls of their own. Thank you, IEA, for all you do on our behalf to keep us informed and help stop attacks on collective bargaining, teachers, and education.

  4. Donna Robertson says:

    Why are corporate interests fighting for this bill to pass? What does it have to do with them?

    • Stephen says:


      The wealthy and their corporations are getting nervous about Illinois’s bond rating, and they are 1) determined to avoid being taxed at normal state levels (e.g., with a progressive rather than flat tax), and 2) determined to maintain the high levels of corruption that have helped get us into this mess.

  5. Michael Siefert says:

    What gives you (politicians) the right to take away an EARNED benefit from teachers, firefighters, policeman, and other public employees? We have held up our end of the bargain in regards to investing towards our future. Municipalities and government has FAILED to live up to their end of the deal. All public employees have invested his or her HARD EARNED money into a retirement fund many did not have a choice in paying into. Now because the State of Illinois is in financial disarray due to poor financial planning by our political leaders they want to take OUR HARD EARNED money away from us. What about pension reform for our Senators? Representatives? Judges? No we wouldn’t want to touch your pension but you will go after those that protect your streets, educate your children, and put the fires out. Any Illinois politician that is in favor of reducing, cutting, or eliminating public employees hard EARNED money you physically make me sick! You all should be ashamed of yourselves! For those of our represenatices and senators that have voted to save and protect public employee pensions THANK YOU!

    • Brian Costin says:

      Actually, this bill doesn’t take away anything teachers have already earned. It only affects the future accrual of benefits.

      At the very worst teachers will keep 100% of everything they have already earned up to this point and get a 6% match into a 401(k) style pension plan in the future.

      In the 401(k) option teachers take home pay will actually increase if teachers select to contribute anything less than the current 9.4%. For example if teachers select to have 6% deducted from their pay their to max the matching contributions, their take home pay will increase by 3.4%. If the elect to have no pension at all then their take home pay will increase 9.4%.

      • I have the bill in front of me. it will force me to work 6 more years to retire and cost me an additional 48K + to assist in funding that! So lets figure this out when I haven’t had a raise in 3 years now, you want to tack on additional earnings to fund more of my own retirement? I entered into a contract 20 years ago that I would take a couple bucks an hour less than those around me in the private sector, knowing….or foolishly thinking, that the agreement at that time was, I’d work my time, contribute my rate of 9.5% per pay check to SURS, and retire on the year and percentage mark promised on the date shown me when I hired in. Now you want the rules changed at the start of the 4th quarter of the game I’m playing in. This is being done strictly so the state will have people working so long, they will die before they have to pay out, or not pay out very long….then keep the remainder.

        SURS was fine until all the criminals in Springfield “borrowed” , the down state term would be “stole” , 2 billion dollars to support social B.S. programs and never paid it back. I say send anyone that voted to borrow from the pension system to jail for theft! Plus stealing once wasn’t good enough for the LIbs, then they capped earnings on SURS investetments at 8%. Anything made over 8% ….the state kept…and undoubtedly squandered on B.S.

      • Brian Costin says:

        “I entered into a contract 20 years ago that I would take a couple bucks an hour less than those around me in the private sector”

        Don’t teachers in the private sector work for considerably less than public school teachers? And I believe they don’t have public pensions either.

        I know a few private & parochial school teachers, and they teach at some really great schools but they don’t make squat in comparison to public school teachers in the surrounding districts.

        I’m just wondering where you got your statistics?

  6. Jan Cleveland says:

    Made all my calls yesterday. Then I started calling all the teachers I had numbers for in my area and asked them to make their calls. Both retired and active (young and veteran) responded with “Will do”. I am so proud to see young teachers for stepping up and understanding the critical nature of this bill. More importantly, I am proud they are taking action.