Make the call NOW to stop pension cuts – Illinois Education Association

22 May

IEA members and the “We Are One” coalition partners have turned up the heat on politicians who want to cut hard-earned and constitutionally protected pensions for public employees.

From east to west, southern Illinois to the suburbs, IEA members last week rallied, telephoned, picketed, wrote letters, sent e-mails and confronted elected officials who had sought to pass fast track legislation and cut pensions before IEA members and other public servants could mobilize.

What we need now are thousands of individual member telephone calls to legislators! Don’t rely just on e-mail. Ask your members to pick up the telephone and call legislators directly. Tell them that fast track legislation to cut public employee pensions is unfair! You expect their “NO” vote on any fast track legislation that cuts benefits or puts the pension burden on public employees.

“Our organizing efforts have been absolutely outstanding,” said IEA President Cinda Klickna. “But this is no time for rest. We continue to hear of backdoor legislative efforts to push pension cuts through before the end of this session. We’ve got to get members to the phones to make personal contacts with their legislators.”

Pension mobilization efforts have been continuing for months, with exceptional success just last week. Just a few examples:

  • Through the IEA Website, IEA members sent over 66,000 messages to the governor and legislators urging them to stop the fast track legislation. Website activity for the week was the highest ever.
  • IEA members flooded several legislators’ phone lines with calls about pensions.
  • More than 100 teachers, ESPs and school administrators from IEA Region 30 rallied Friday at the Orland Park office of State Representative Charles Krezwick. Click here for more photos and the inspiring personal reflections on the rally by teacher Kristin Cochran.
  • Like other regions and locals, IEA Region 52 Naperville-Aurora area used push e-mail to send member alerts. Over 400 members responded and contacted legislators.
  • The IEA Retired Council postponed its meeting and lobbied at the State Capitol on Thursday.
  • The Association of Plainfield Teachers trained building representatives and held 10-minute meetings in all buildings the next morning. Participants sent e-mails, texts and made telephone calls to legislators right then.
  • IEA leaders and members in Region 15 combined efforts with the Illinois Federation of Teachers and other coalition partners and rallied at State Senator Sue Rezin’s office in Peru. The effort drew excellent media attention.

“These are the kinds of efforts that really count,” President Klickna said. “We’ve got to continue them and not let up. In particular, we urge members to phone their legislators directly and tell them to forget the fast track. Work with the coalition to find a fair and constitutional solution.”

For a few highlights of local and regional organizing efforts last week, click here.

via Make the call NOW to stop pension cuts – Illinois Education Association.


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