The focus is shifting to the Illinois Senate in the fight to stop the attack on public employee pensions. Regardless of whether SB1673 moves in the House, the Senate appears pounced to move any of three pension cutting bills to which IEA and the labor coalition are totally opposed. They are: HB1447, HB3076, HB3865. But the issue isn’t really bill numbers, the issue is stopping the pension attack.
Call your senator immediately: 888-412-6570
It’s imperative that every IEA member pick up the phone and call his/her senator. To be connected call 888-412-6570.
- Please share this number 888-412-6570 with IEA members, friends and family.
- Download the new pension fact sheet to use it during your call.
- Tell your senator
- Support only constitutional solutions that are agreed to by IEA and the other employee unions. (IEA opposes SB1673, HB1447, HB3076, HB3865)
- Do not let the pension problem be fixed solely on the backs of teachers, higher education faculty and other public employees.
- Oppose any “fast track” attempts to ram through solutions.
Make the call now 888-412-6570. It is crucial that the legislators hear the actual voices of their constituents – our members.
Update from May 29, 2012, 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 providing two seats on the board to representatives of school boards. The seats would be taken from the positions currently appointed by the governor.
- Bars districts from bargaining the impact of any changes made by this law.