Saturday coffee.

Photo credit: Sarah-Ji Fotógrafa 

In a post earlier this week about the AFT convention in Detroit I suggested that one difference between it and the NEA RA was that no resolution in support of the CTU coming from the AFT was needed or was necessary.

Maybe not.

But they’re going to get to vote on one anyway. Hey. More the merrier.

I’ve heard from friends who are delegates. They are looking forward to hearing from Diane Ravitch who is keynoting today. This is a big improvement over the last AFT meet when Bill Gates was the keynote speaker.

I’ve also been hearing from my new friends in the North Lake Shore Illinois Retired Teachers Association that  they are gearing up for the Fall veto session of the General Assembly. A bill that looks like HB1447 is likely to come up which forces retirees to choose between health care and a cost of living increase.

They are planning an information and action planning meeting at the Wilmette Public Library on August 23rd at 7PM. I’ll be there, sharing what I know along with others who know far more than me. Keep checking this space for further information.

You don’t have to be a retiree to come.

Speaking of HB1447. It’s not a lock, according to Democratic Senate President John Cullerton. However, if it does pass the House this summer, count on it coming to the General Assembly in another form, going after teachers, after the November elections. Cullerton has made it clear he has no intention of legislators taking a cut and not punishing teachers for it.

The measure does not affect judges or teachers and university workers. Some reform advocates fear that lawmakers will pass the measure, claim victory and abandon the push for further changes. But Cullerton said that’s not the case, arguing that legislators aren’t going to cut their own benefits and then “let teachers off the hook.”

This is typical Springfield-think. 

It demonstrates why the goal isn’t pension reform by cutting benefits. The goal must be Springfield Reform by fixing the revenue problem inherent in Illinois’ structural deficit and regressive flat tax system. And ending the tax give aways to corporations like Sears, CME and Motorola.

Motorola, recently purchased by Google, received a $100 million ten-year tax break. What new jobs were gained by moving Motorola from Libertyville to Chicago? How did this improve the economy of Illinois?

And the retirement tax, which is what HB1447 is, pays for the deal.

Park Ridge Senator Dan Kotowski calls health care for seniors a sweetheart deal.

That’s the mindset in Springfield. Ten-year tax breaks for corporations like Motorola, paid for by seniors giving up health care? Good economic policy.

Seniors with health care and a pension allowing them to buy the things they need and create jobs? A sweetheart deal.

4 Replies to “Saturday coffee.”

  1. Teachers and ed activists will get another chance to show their support for the CTU at the upcoming national SOS Convention in D.C. August 3-5. Following the panel discussion (Fred is a panelist) on Teachers Unions, the CTU support resolution will be presented to the whole convention for passage. The convention is open to all. You can register here:

  2. Fred Fred Fred this is a no win senecio just vote the rat bastards out and a new regime in the GOP will help they want Madigan & Cullerton out. This isn’t rocket science these people that are in are not our friends get rid of them.

  3. Dear Senator Cullerton-
    We can talk about who’s been letting who off the hook when it takes Springfield legislators like yourself at least 35 years of service to earn your full pension benefit. Unlike Springfield legislators, this has always been the practice for teachers.

    We can talk about who is letting who off the hook once Springfield legislators like yourself get used to paying for your retirement healthcare which until recently has been free after a whole four years of service. Unlike Springfield legislators, every teacher for quite some time has contributed both in premium in retirement and through a paycheck deduction as an active teacher for retirement healthcare.

    And we can talk about who’s been letting who off the hook when legislative leaders in Springfield like yourself own up to the key roles in legislating new pension perks to spike their very own pensions repeatedly over the years as you have.

    Until then, have the common decency not to condescend to tell teachers who’s been let off the hook.

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