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Question to the IEA Board of Directors this morning: Did you know about cutting off the subsidy to TRIP?

May 18, 2013

Now that it has been revealed that part of the deal that it appears the We Are One coalition agreed to with Senate President John Cullerton includes an end to any subsidy towards the Teacher Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP), what will the IEA leadership say?

The IEA Board of Directors meets this weekend. The BOD includes Region Chairs from around the state.

Did THEY know?

I assure you that active teachers did not know.

Retirees did not know.

Read Glen Brown‘s post this morning. And mine from last night.

SB2404 is now clearly an unconstitutional bill, cleverly designed to look like a choice for consideration.

But there is no consideration.

The choice is to give up the compounded COLA that we already have and is protected by the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution in exchange for access to TRIP – but with members paying 100% of the premium and it is not protected.

I ask again.

Did We Are One know that they bargained this?

If they didn’t know, why didn’t they?

And why didn’t we?

Will somebody on the BOD being asking those questions today?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2013 7:03 am

    A quotation and reiteration for everyone to contemplate:

    “The best deceptions are the ones that seem to give the other person a choice: your victims feel they are in control but are actually your puppets. Give people options that come out in your favor whichever one they choose. Force them to make choices between the lesser of two evils, both of which serve your purpose. Put them on the horns of a dilemma… Such is the power of giving people a choice, or rather the illusion of one, for they are playing with cards you have dealt them… For people who are choosing between alternatives find it hard to believe they are being manipulated or deceived; they cannot see that you are allowing them a small amount of free will in exchange for a much more powerful imposition of your own will” (Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power).

    • May 18, 2013 1:52 pm

      Exactly what I said about choices the other day, Glen. As teachers–who have been taught that it is best to give children a choice (gives them a stake, some wiggle room, opportunity for critical thinking, etc,)–we should be the ones to know that choice–for adults–is most often a smokescreen. In this case (as we have in the past, & should learn from those mistakes), we are being treated like children. “Oh! Give them a choice! Then they’ll feel like they have some say in the matter!” Ha! Makes me think of the 2012 presidential elections: worse and worst.

  2. Susan Fleming permalink
    May 18, 2013 8:40 am

    I think that I saw this coming as I said previously. I hope these facts r not true! ( I think that my nose has finally recovered!)

    Sent from my iPad

  3. kpodwika@comcast.net permalink
    May 18, 2013 8:55 am

    Just sent to an region chair. Not sure he’ll read it before any meetings. He’s not the techie type who would have internet on his phone.

  4. May 18, 2013 9:13 am

    Here’s an email sent on May 16 to SUAA (the association for state university retirees) after a May 15 meeting held at WIU. So far, no response.

    We attended the SURS meeting at WIU on May 15, and we are outraged at what we heard.

    SUAA must join the Retired Teachers Assn. lawsuit against whatever bill the General Assembly comes up with, as any of those proposals constitute terrible discrimination against the elderly in Illinois, and likely are unconstitutional. They’re also a huge financial hit against the membership.

    We hope you are reading the blogs, especially Fred Klonsky’s blog, about these issues. He has it right.

    The meeting was appalling. We are forced to make health coverage choices now without complete information. Apparently there will be a do-over in 6 months, at what cost to the state and the pensioners?

    The legislation already passed allows the CMS to set the rates for health coverage, without any checks and balances. What is to stop CMS from pricing the coverage out of everyone’s reach, at 10 or 15 percent or more of the annuity and very high deductibles? (That has already happened with Quality Care.)

    Nothing can stop CMS, we were told when the question was asked.

    Where was SUAA when this legislation passed? Where are the checks and balances here?

    Medicare beneficiaries can opt out of state coverage, but to what? A salesman told us there is medical underwriting for Medigap policies, and that the Affordable Care Act does not apply to them. That makes them very expensive for some.

    Anyone who opts out loses dental coverage. Why? Who decided that? It’s a separate payment.

    SUAA should set up a dental plan for its members. It’s easy, and has been done by small groups everywhere. We were once part of a plan set up by a union of 120 members, and the rates and coverage were better than the state’s plan.

    SB 2404, which SUAA is lobbying for, is merely the lesser of evils and will harm many of its members. As well it contains hidden dangers, such as pricing the health coverage out of reach. And if the GA is successful, they will come back for more, the better to allow tax loopholes to continue (and the campaign contributions that goes with them.)

    They are solving the state’s financial problems on the backs of the pensioners, who can least afford it, and many of whom are too old or sick or uninformed to know what’s going on.

    Instead of lobbying for the lesser of evils, show some leadership and fight for your membership. The Retired Teachers Assn. knows better than to swallow this swill, and so should you. No money? Hold fund raisers.

    Enough crap about ‘shared sacrifice.’ We paid and paid. The state did not. What’s happening is theft!

    If you want to recruit members, do something to justify your existence rather than roll over like a dead dog.

    Elaine and George Hopkins
    Peoria/Macomb, IL.

  5. kpodwika@comcast.net permalink
    May 18, 2013 9:15 am

    I was suspicious of the deal from the start. Tom Cross’s last letter to me had a hand written not that said, “Wait for a BILL!!!!” because I had written and called against previous pension cutting bills. Raising the retirement age to 67 is also a cut in benefits for new teachers. Now they are saying more cuts if you are under 45 or 45. How are these age cut constitutional? With the new evaluation system teachers are being let go if they are within 10 years of retirement especially if they have any illness. The state made a law a few years ago that attendance can be used in evaluation. So if every teacher is rated a 3, and you have an illness that requires monthly doctor visits, as a friend has, then she receives a 2 or lower for attendance and because of her illness she is “let go”. Whether it’s cancer or someone hit your car and you have serious injuries, you will be “let go” because the district had to pay for a substitute? Our contract says we have 14 or so sick days and can keep up to about 185 but “we” are not allowed to use them without penalty. My father has cancer and is in town for treatment. He will have surgery in a few weeks but not before my school year ends so I won’t get fired for for using a sick day. Please look into that state law too. It is discrimination against anyone who has a sick child or parent or anyone who gets sick. Other larger districts let the teachers use their contracted sick days and only evaluated a teacher if they have run out. Not so in my small district. My uniserv director is badly injured so not sure who is handling problems like this. The new evaluation system easily allows for older teachers to be fired. First they move you to 3 different grade levels in 3 years then when you are not a great teacher at the new grade level, you are gone before you can retire. The new evaluation system is outrageous. Our P.E. teacher was given a poor score because she did not take kids to the computer lab. She is not also the Health teacher. It is a 13 hr. day for many of us trying to be all things to all students, developing new Common Core curriculum on our own time, RTI lessons, and differentiating lessons for students because having a gifted and learning disabilities program and a regular education program with challenging work for all students allowed my district to have extremely high state test scores…so instead now we must teach differently to small groups of students as the others…teach themselves..? Also the state test scores were proof that you were a good teacher, so with 30% of our evaluations now being standardized tests, many teachers are moved to subjects that do not have standardized tests, subjects they have never taught and haven’t been taught for over 20 years so testing can not raise their evaluations. Thank you for all the do!!!!!! Kathleen

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