The pension fight at street level.
The leadership of the We Are One coalition of Illinois public employee unions is holding their pension summit with legislative leaders today. It is scheduled for 1PM in Burr Ridge.
The Governor says he will drop by. Nice of him.
State Democratic Party Chairman, who happens to be House Speaker Michael Madigan, told We Are One to drop dead.
Meeting with the union leaders is the right thing for legislative leaders to do. The legislative leaders are the ones who caused the problem in the first place.
The legislature will do nothing to solve it.
That would require a change in the way the state raises revenue.
Even We Are One is muddying the waters on that by offering up additional member contributions to the system. As if the current 9.4% isn’t enough.
But they want to seem reasonable and seem like problem solvers. It won’t work.
When Madigan wrote his drop dead letter, AFL-CIO head Michael Carrigan answered him appropriately.
But that ended the unions’ public pushback.
For the pushback to take place, grassroots organizers, bloggers and activists had to take up the leadership slack.
We got over four thousand people to sign an online petition calling for a constitutional solution.
We turned out hundreds for a town hall forum called by pension busters Senator Dan Biss and Representative Robyn Gabel.
On Friday, we organized a call-in to Speaker Madigan demanding he meet with state union leadership to find a real pension solution.
We have no access to Madigan’s phone records and they are not willing to discuss how many calls the Speaker received.
But we know it was successful.
From Capitol Fax:
And considering the huge number of calls that members have been receiving on pensions and guns lately, I’m not so sure that one secretary can handle three Senators. Heck, even Speaker Madigan’s line is constantly busy.
By the way, here is another way to reach Madigan if his Springfield line is busy.
The odd thing about the fight at street level. IEA leadership has made it known they don’t appreciate it. IEA President Cinda Klickna refused access to the IEA member website for a link to the online petition.
Top IEA leadership wrote to say I was disloyal and causing disunity for criticizing Klickna’s action.
But as the Madigan call-in campaign demonstrates, who’s more pro-union than the pension activists, both active and retired?
Some seem to confuse loyalty with silence.