Meet with the unions to get a real pension solution.
Illinois Democratic Party Chairman and House Speaker Mike Madigan has the corner table at Saputo’s Italian restaurant in Springfield.
No doubt he does lunch there with the (other) most powerful people in the state.
Like his pal Ty Fahner of the Civic Committee.
But when the leaders of the state’s public employee unions and the coalition of which they are a part requested a sit-down with the Speaker and other legislative leaders to discuss pensions, he told them to drop dead.
Now, it is no secret to readers of this blog that I have my issues with the leaders of the Illinois Education Association.
But I also know that they and the others who are part of the We Are One coalition are the elected leaders of hundreds of thousands of public employees in Illinois. If a pension solution is going to be found, it will be found by talking to us, through our elected representatives.
No solution will be found by ignoring the Illinois Constitution. No solution will be found by breaking pension contracts. No solution will be found by ignoring members of the pension system.
No solution will be found by talking only to the corporate deep pockets over cocktails at Saputo’s.
To be a real solution it must be constitutional. It must bring financial stability to the pension systems. And it must be fair to present and future members of the pension systems, both active and retired.
See Glen Brown’s blog post: The State Cannot Require Current Employees to Pay Higher Contribution Rates For The Same Level of Pension Benefits.
Ignoring the unions means that any solution will end up in court. Any solution will have political costs for the Democrats who now run both houses of the Illinois General Assembly and the governor’s office.
Over the next week this blog and other pension activists will be asking you to send emails and make phone calls to Michael Madigan and your state representatives on Friday, February 8th. The message is simple: Meet with the unions to get a real pension solution.
Flood the Speaker with messages on Friday, February 8th to meet with We Are One.
These same bloggers, grassroots pension activists and others were able to mobilize over 4,000 people to sign a petition in two weeks calling for a Constitutional solution to the pension issue. People have the power.