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The in box. “A horrible mistake is being made.”

August 14, 2012

Fred,

A horrible mistake is being made by We Are One, IEA, IFT, etc.
Everyone wants to seem reasonable and present a reasonable public image. The danger is in offering what seems reasonable while the offer itself has unintended disastrous consequences.

4. With a guarantee that the state would pay its portion, the members who are reliant on the pension systems for their retirement security, would offer to help the state by paying more even though they have contributed their portion over the years. (This increase may differ for the various pension plans.)

This is a successful, common, legal trap used by lawyers for over a decade. Once a retiree accepts a different pension plan, no matter how minor the change, the one providing the pension is legally recognized as having the right to alter the new pension plan in any way it deems necessary. All past plans are null and void. Courts have decided on this repeatedly.
Even offering to have retirees pay more could be used in court to prove the desire of retirees to have a new pension agreement due to what they themselves deem an excessive financial claim.

The full explanation and legal references are available for your reading in Retirement Heist by Ellen E. Schultz.
Excerpt from page 170: To enhance their chances of success… (employers) started to use a strategy outlined by (various) managers: creeping take-aways. This involves taking small steps – increase premiums a small amount, or perhaps start changing premiums in the future… Then, a few years later, the (employer) cuts benefits in a big way, saying the retirees’ prior lack of legal action signaled tacit agreement that the (employer) could change the plan.

PLEASE LET THOSE WHO NEGOTIATE KNOW THE HISTORY OF THIS SUCCESSFUL PENSION DESTROYING TACTIC. PLEASE PASS THIS ON.

- Ken Previti

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2012 9:14 pm

    I’m a young fellow, but I’m also a bit old-fashioned. This is asinine. A contract is a contract If this succeeds in Illinois-then who is next?

    And since when did union leaders ignore members wishes. George Parker of the WTU in DC did so with Rhee, but why would anyone else go down that road? George got voted out. Is that what IEA and IFT want?

  2. Scott M permalink
    August 15, 2012 11:09 am

    If I as an active teacher agree to pay more for my pension but the pension benefits remain the same, am I not then guilty of having diminished my own pension benefits? In other words, paying more just to keep the same – that’s a diminishment in my eyes. Not sure why IEA would offer that as a solution.

  3. Bill permalink
    August 16, 2012 8:34 am

    You guys are going to talk yourselves out of what few benefits you have left. Keep bleating about a graduated income tax, the constitution, blah, blah, blah. You are better off letting your elected leaders cut your losses and negotiate to protect your retirees, solidify your pension system, and quite possibly keep some state subsidy for retiree health insurance. If they cannot mitigate some of this damage you’ll be at the mercy of the courts. Just like arbitration, your chances in court are 50-50 at best regardless of the circumstances. Do you want to take that chance? I already know that answer. So wear your black shirts, try to obstruct your leaders efforts, talk tough, make a lot of noise downstate and see where all of that gets you. It is always a tough concept for a lot of teachers to understand that there are actually people who may know a little more than they do and that they are not always right no matter how much noise they make.
    By the way, the cost shift is constitutional. So is taxing your retirement income and tripling the cost of your retiree health insurance. You might not have to choose between health insurance and your inflated COLA. The insurance will be unaffordable. Negotiate and make a deal. That’s what unions are supposed to do.

    Talk to a teacher under 60 once in a while. Talk to a two tier teacher and ask them how they feel about fighting for your COLA and your health insurance when you retire at 55.. They don’t care and just want to keep their jobs. Believe it or not you old guys are no longer the center of the universe.

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