Message from the IEA President 3/20/13
Today, a pension bill passed the Senate that applies only to Tier 1 active members in the Teachers’ Retirement System.
Some background: Today at 1 p.m., Sen. Pres. John Cullerton asked IEA and IFT presidents and government relations directors to meet with him. We have been monitoring his pension plan, known as Senate Bill 1, and today at 1 p.m., he said he’d redrafted the bill. By 2 p.m., he’d taken it to the full Senate for a vote.
Here is what we’ve posted on the IEA website, so you understand what is in the bill:
“Sen. President John Cullerton put a bill in front of the Senate today – twice – that has a direct impact on active Tier 1 TRS employees who have not yet submitted their letters of retirement.
IEA is OPPOSED to the bill.
The bill, known as SB1, forces current Tier 1 employees to choose to freeze their pensionable salaries as they are today in exchange for keeping a 3 percent compounded COLA in retirement and access to health care.
Or, active Tier 1 employees can continue to count salary increases toward their pensions but reduce their COLA in retirement to half of the consumer price index or 3 percent simple COLAs, whichever is less, and still have access to healthcare.
Other key components to this bill are that it does not include any current TRS retirees or anyone who has already declared through irrevocable letters of retirement that they are leaving the profession.
In addition, the bill includes other key components of the We Are One Illinois bill, SB2404, including the establishment of a pension stabilization fund, and the right for TRS members to sue the state if the state doesn’t make its future payments.
There is no 2 percent increase in member contribution in SB 1 and there also is no shifting of the cost of pensions from the state to local school districts.
This bill has only been passed by the Senate. It still would have to be heard and passed by the House in order to be considered by the governor for passage. The bill needed 30 votes to pass and was heard twice. The first time it failed by one vote 29 Yes, 22 No, 4 Present. Cullerton asked that it be put on postponed consideration and it was heard again about 15 minutes later and it passed 30 Yes, 22 No, 2 Present.”