Update 3:45 pm – The Illinois House has adjourned until 10 Wednesday morning without taking a vote on the Senate Bill 1673, a proposal that would cut retirement benefits for active and retired employees. There was no floor vote on the pension bill following his morning’s approval by the House pensions Committee (see below).
The Illinois House Pensions Committee this morning passed and sent to the full House Senate Bill 1673, a bill that would cut pension benefits for active employees in most state pension systems including TRS and SURS and those who are already retired from those systems. (read the bill’s key language)
House committee vote on SB1673:
Yes: Madigan, Biss, Burke, Winters, Nekritz, May
No: Morrison, Poe, Senger
Among other things SB1673:
- Forces active employees who do not agree to a reduced cola to lose access to lose access to retire health insurance upon retirement. In addition, the amount of salary on which their pension is based would be capped.
- Does not include the guaranteed pension funding language that the labor coalition has asked for in order to consider other pension changes.
- Reduces retiree benefits by offering a choice between either keeping the current COLA benefit but losing access to health insurance, or, agreeing to a reduced COLA while retaining access to insurance.
- Calls for local districts to take over system payments currently made by the state (phased in)
- Changes the balance on the TRS board by adding four new seats for members of local school boards
- Bars districts from bargaining the impact of any changes made by this law
It’s imperative that every IEA member pick up the phone and call his/her representative and senator. To be connected to your legislator call:
PLEASE SHARE THIS NUMBER WITH IEA MEMBERS, FRIENDS AND FAMILY.
Download the new pension fact sheet Use it during your call to your legislators.
Lawmakers must be told:
- They must support only constitutional solutions that are agreed to by IEA and the other employee unions.
- They cannot let the pension problem be fixed solely on the backs of teachers, higher education faculty and other public employees.
- They must oppose any “fast track” attempts to ram through solutions.
Legislators must hear these messages directly from IEA members. Make the call now.
“It is crucial that the legislators hear the actual voices of their constituents – our members,” said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “We’ve sent thousands of emails, but now we need to move to the next level. That means getting on the phone and talking directly to lawmakers.“