SPRINGFIELD – Today the Illinois Education Association (IEA) honored Rep. Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) and Sen. Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) with the IEA’s Friend of Education award for their commitment to public education.
The following statement is attributable to IEA President Kathi Griffin:
“The IEA is honoring two Illinois lawmakers this year for their support of public education. First, I’d like to congratulate IEA Friend of Education Award Recipient Representative Norine Hammond. Norine is a moderate Republican who’s been supportive of all our major initiatives. Her contributions to labor and public education can never be understated. She was a co-sponsor for the 3 percent salary cap repeal. She supported the elimination of the State Charter School Commission and our post-Janus legislation. She has played a major role on just about every committee of significance for the IEA. But without question, her most important accomplishment on behalf of the IEA was to vote for the income tax increase during former Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration. She was one of only 10 Republicans who voted for that revenue increase. She made it very clear the only reason she supported it was because the IEA needed that vote. There is no other group she would have been willing to take that vote for. She alienated herself in her caucus, with her leadership and with the governor…for the IEA. There is no doubt that was the toughest vote of her career. And for that, we say, ‘Thank you, Representative Hammond.’
We’d also like to thank Sen. Rob Martwick for his commitment to education. When no one else was speaking up to repeal the 3 percent, then Representative Martwick was one of the first to do so on our behalf. As the chairman of the House pensions committee, he drew a line in the sand: he would not hold a pensions committee hearing unless it was to hear the 3 percent repeal. That sort of advocacy set the eventual repeal of the 3 percent reduction in motion. Now as he has moved over to the Senate, he has once again established himself as one of IEA’s biggest champions in the chamber. For years, our adjunct professors have lost out on their pensions being properly calculated. For years, no one could get this calculation fixed let alone be the subject of a committee hearing. Sen. Martwick has agreed to sponsor a bill to fix our adjunct professors’ pension calculation and it looks poised to pass during this legislative session. Furthermore, Sen. Martwick is also sponsoring a Senate Joint Resolution that outlines how poorly our adjunct professors have been treated from one year to the next. Passage of this resolution will establish a road map for helping our adjuncts in the future.”
The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.