The IEA declares raising the teacher contribution “not a benefit” and not covered by the constitutional clause? « Fred Klonsky

18 May

I always worry when IEA leaders claim they are at the table.

I worry about being the first course.

Reports are that IEA and IFT leaders are involved in pension talks. And the reports aren’t reporting anything that would make a member happy.

The IEA leadership said that they would NEVER agree to anything that violated the Illinois Constitution (which protects pensions from any action that would diminish our benefits).

But now it seems that they simply will declare almost anything not a benefit and not covered by the constitutional clause.

Retirement age? Not a benefit.

COLA? Not a benefit.

Raising the teacher contribution? Not a benefit.

But as State Representative Cunningham told Jerry in the exchange below, the IFT and the IEA do not represent all TRS members and therefore cannot bargain for them.

There will be court action no matter what.

Jerry writes,

Just got off the phone with State Representative Bill Cunningham, 35th District. He was very candid with me in terms of what he knows about the current pension negotiations. He says he has been in touch with IFT and IEA lobbyists who are reporting “progress” at the table. He shared that he has heard some discussion of union understandings of:

1. Some type of consensus on retirement age
2. An increase in the contribution in the area of 3%
3. Some degree of modification to COLA
4. Future promise of by the State of full payment and sustainability

He said, “All of this is, of course, on questionable legal grounds in term of adhering to the Illinois Constitutional clause.”

I asked him if he believed that increasing employee contributions is questionable in terms of legality. He said, yes he thinks it is.

Ironic that I just spoke with IEA Vice-President Kathy Griffin yesterday on the phone and she told me the the IEA leadership does not believe that increasing contribution is against the Illinois Constitution.

Cunningham also added that he fully expects there to be a legal challenge to any agreement simply because the unions and the Coalition do not represent several other government employee groups in the State.

via The IEA declares raising the teacher contribution “not a benefit” and not covered by the constitutional clause? « Fred Klonsky.

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