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Fight the power.

December 14, 2013


Some of these “representatives” may be OK in your book. I don’t know many of them personally. Those I have had interaction with don’t seem to act much like representatives of the worker.

They have been on occasion belligerent, self serving, not interested in representing worker interests, and demanding of unquestioning subservience to the I.E.A. party line.

Just like you, when we questioned what we were told to do, we were called disloyal and anti-union. The merits of each directive must be blindly accepted. When our contract was settled with their involvement, we were sold down the river and our union president became a principal. Many teachers quit the IEA and the local in disgust.

Even today, the IEA party line has been harmful to our interests. I do not wish to continue to support an organization that views retirees as chips to be negotiated away. I prefer the IRTA. They will stand with us and fight.

All the IEA ever talks about is having a “seat at the table”. Meanwhile we are trampled by the anti-public worker interests. When do they propose to fight back?

Anything seems to be OK as long as the Union leadership’s personal positions and perks are unaffected. The argument they use is “It could be worse.” What have they accomplished for us besides appeasement of forces out to destroy us.

Others speak out, while the IEA is silent. In short, they don’t look out for us.

Sorry you weren’t selected. You could have been a voice for retirees. I’m going IRTA. You already knew the IEA’s “election” was an incumbent controlled vote. It is a way to hide behind a charade of democratic process. That is how they get rid of people like you.

- Hugh


But they’re not getting rid of people like me. Don’t leave. I’m a member of IRTA too. But the union belongs to the members. Fight the power.

- Fred

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Atkinson permalink
    December 14, 2013 9:44 am

    I am IRTA … Can’t stand the Cindy canned messages!!

    Sent from my iPad Mca


  2. Elma permalink
    December 14, 2013 9:48 am

    IEA’s actions toward retirees seems to suggest that they have no problem taking our money. They just want us to be silent partners in their scheme to defraud hard-working teachers and retirees out of promised benefits and better working conditions. Since there’s a likelihood that my pension will be reduced by approximately 30% should things not go well in court, I have to make a decision as to where to donate my time and precious money– to an organization like IRTA who backs us 100% or IEA-R who doesn’t. In my mind it’s a no brainer.

  3. Anon permalink
    December 14, 2013 12:00 pm

    There was a court ruling a decades ago, I don’t remember for sure, but I think it was UAW vs. GM, that said unions could not represent retirees after retirement, and retired workers could NOT vote on the contract. However the union could represent active employees on terms and amounts they would receive upon retiring. Until that court ruling, the union would generally get increases in pensions the same percentage as wages. If the workers got a 4% raise, the retirees got a 4% increase in their pension.

    Public employee union laws have some limitations that are similar. But just to be sure, the Illinois pension theft law not says pensions are not even subject to collective bargaining.

    So the only recourse retirees have is the courts. The IRTA is doing that. Let’s hope we win and get the pension theft laws thrown out!

    • Fred Klonsky permalink*
      December 14, 2013 12:21 pm

      It is my understanding that all the unions and IRTA are coordinating their legal action.

  4. Mary Katherine permalink
    December 14, 2013 5:45 pm

    I am impressed with the IRTA. I also belong to my local chapter. Their only interest is protecting retired members. And no, I’m not an officer or representative.

    • Fred Klonsky permalink*
      December 14, 2013 6:09 pm

      I am impressed as well. And I am an officer. VP of the North Lakeshore Unit.

  5. Vanthony permalink
    December 14, 2013 5:59 pm

    I’m a member of a retiree chapter of AFSCME since I was a state educator and also in TRS. They have continued to represent me as a retiree. They were part of the bargaining for the change in health insurance, lost and are involved in a lawsuit concerning that issue. As a retiree I never expected to vote on a contract for active employees, The raises I got after being retired had nothing to do new contracts for active workers, but with the contracts that were active when I worked. The ones saying my health insurance would be paid for if I had 20 years of service (somewhat different than a public school educator) and a 3% compounded raise based on salary earned while I was working. I think your right about the pension theft law saying pensions are not subject to collective bargaining anymore. It’s my understanding that the We Are One Illinois coalition is coordinating the legal action, but I could be wrong and am not sure of what unions are part of the coalition. You can find it at The more I hear the more confused I am. I figure the best case scenario under the theft law is I will lose 20.46 then it is 21.85, 22.83 or 23.06 cumulative annual percent cut in my pension over 30 years. I’d like to see corporations taxes increased by that amount if I’m going to lose that much. Being a state educator, retiring under TRS with a little over 6 years in SERS (a reciprocal system) complicates things. Hoping the judges aren’t in Madigan’s pocket.

  6. JMS permalink
    December 15, 2013 12:35 am

    Ditto, Hugh!!!!! Been there, saw it & when I tried to stand up for what was right, union leadership did everything they could to trample me. So now teachers are left with an unfair evaluation. Unions are not there for its members anymore…it’s all about them & protection of their perks. Where were they for us?

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