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Will the fear of a voter backlash push pension bill until after November? (Correction)

June 4, 2012

Rich Miller writes to say that I was not accurate in how I intepreted his article, linked here and in the post below. Rich says that he “never wrote that there wouldn’t be a pension deal this summer or that it would be put off until after november. I love your stuff, Fred, but please either correct that post or tell me where you saw me write what you say I wrote.”

Well, I have no interest in misquoting Rich Miller, who is a great source for Springfield information. What I took away from his article linked below was that the legislative leaders and the Governor would be trying to come to some agreement this summer, but that the GA would likely not meet and that:

The Republicans (and downstate and suburban Democrats) are so completely against any talk of shifting pension costs to school districts — even if they’re phased in over several years — that the issue appears almost impossible to resolve.

But Madigan and Emanuel know that there’s probably no better vehicle to attach the idea to than the politically important issue of pension reform, so they’re not giving up, either. The solution might be getting more school more money for Chicago, perhaps in a way that gives additional cash to education in general.

Then again, there’s been little willingness on Madigan’s part to move forward with a highly controversial pension bill that riles up teachers before the Nov. 6 election, when all 177 seats in the Legislature are up for election, many in new districts.

Perhaps I read too much into that, and I stand corrected.

++++++

Capitalfax’s Rich Miller is predicting that there will be no summer pension bill, in spite of GOP House Leader Tom Cross claiming it was “summer work,” after he pulled the plug on the bill last week.

They will try to resurrect it after the November elections.

He gives two reasons for his prediction.

Since there is no deal, a summer session would have legislators back in Springfield talking trash about the leadership, including one-term Governor Quinn.

And there is a big concern about a voter backlash at the polls in November.

See, teachers are spread out all over the state, in every legislative district. 360,000 members of TRS and their families and their friends. Maybe a million votes.

I notice that the IEA has scheduled a number of recommendation hearings over the next few weeks. Local leaders will be making recommendations to IPACE on who we should vote for in November. I hope those local leaders will demand a pledge from candidates to vote against any unconstitutional bill, any bill that demands a greater teacher contribution from members or diminishes our benefits. No pledge – no recommendation.

Meanwhile, Miller figures that nothing will happen until after the election.

And maybe by then the leadership of the IEA and the IFT will have come up with a plan to lead another fight. Maybe sooner?

Probably not.

But hope springs eternal.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. cornebiser permalink
    June 4, 2012 10:26 am

    Thanks Fred for keeping us informed and on the right track.

    I am attending the recomendation hearing for our local on June 20th so you bet your bottom dollar I will have some questions and looking for those elusive answers. We have the largest local with the most votes.

    No matter what happens we need to get the correct information out and not wait for it to come up again.

    We may not have the money but we have the membership, the numbers and teachers/educators vote! Not only do we vote but our spouses, and extended family members tend to vote how we vote because they are informed.

    Trust me the other side is making plans on how to spin it, frame it, and sell it. We better be working on getting the correct information out there, asking the right questions and demanding answers.

    Let’s get ahead of the game instead of playing defense all the time.

    Roxanne

  2. ReTiredbutMisstheKids permalink
    June 4, 2012 5:02 pm

    cornebiser (Roxanne): I like your thinking! But–all you IEA locals out there–I have to remind you–WHAT has the IEA done for YOU lately? I would recommend that your locals look at your affiliation &, perhaps, take a vote to change (or, to at least have a state organization with PAID president, communications director, etc.,who really DO EARN those $$$ you pay) union affiliation BEFORE the school year/dues paying period starts. Lest you think I am a union-buster (& it’s NOT union busting if you have the choice to join another union–if we were stuck, this would be a whole new ball of wax; also. note my handle: I was an IEA member throughout my active years {except for 1, when I had to leave the district {&, I might add, I negotiated my leave through my own initiative + help from the LOCAL–the STATE regional uniserv director was both unpleasant AND obstructive} & my interim district was/is IFT)), I am anyone but. Finally–just look at CTU!–there is strength in numbers: 131,000 (IEA) + 103,000 (IFT)= 234,000. MUCH BETTER!!!

    • Fred Klonsky permalink*
      June 4, 2012 5:15 pm

      There has been a lot a comments lately that reflect frustration with our IEA leadership. In general I don’t support disaffiliation. I don’t believe that the differences between the IFT and the IEA are substantive or significant. So they are not an alternative. I think starting a new teachers union is unrealistic. And the lesson of the CTU is that you can change leadership. It takes effort and time. But this is our union. Not their union.

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