C’mon people, now. Smile on your brother. Everybody get together right now.

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Late yesterday the Illinois Retired Teachers Association (disclaimer: I am a member of both the IEA Retired and the Illinois Retired Teachers Association. I am the President of a local chapter of IEA Retired and the Vice President of a local unit of IRTA) filed suit in Cook County Court against the pension-busting SB1.

This morning IEA Communications Director Charlie McBarron felt compelled to issue the following email:

—–Original Message—–
From: McBarron, Charlie
Sent: Saturday, December 28, 2013 8:04 AM

Colleagues:

On Friday, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 1 was filed in Cook County Circuit Court by the Illinois Retired Teachers Association (IRTA). 

The We Are One coalition is continuing to move forward with its own constitutional lawsuit over SB1. Nothing has changed. 

Our coalition continues to consult with its attorneys to prepare to bring the most effective suit possible.

Our suit will be designed to defend successfully the constitutional rights of hundreds of thousands of working and retired public employees and retirees in Illinois’ three major state retirement systems.

WAOI will review the complaint filed Friday, but we anticipate our overall legal strategy will remain the same. That is, we will challenge SB 1 as violating the constitution and ask for a stay of the legislation’s implementation pending a ruling on its constitutionality.

We will keep you informed of new developments. 

Nice to know.

If IEA members were interested in hearing about a legal response to SB1 since December 3rd when both houses of the Illinois General Assembly passed the pension thievery at nearly exactly the same moment, we have been greatly disappointed.

What explains Mr. McBarron’s email?

It is clearly designed to combat anxiety among IEA members about the sounds of silence coming from Edwards Street in Springfield.

A more comforting email from Mr. McBarron would say:

Colleagues:

On Friday, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 1 was filed in Cook County Circuit Court by the Illinois Retired Teachers Association (IRTA). 

The We Are One coalition is interested in uniting with all groups impacted by this terrible bill

We believe that a united legal strategy is what is best for our members and for all state employees, both active and retired.
From now on we will keep you informed.

One can only hope.

11 thoughts on “C’mon people, now. Smile on your brother. Everybody get together right now.

  1. I was disappointed IEA’s position on SB 2404 a few months ago and I am disappointed in their slow response in launching a legal challenge now. I don’t understand what is going on with the leadership.

  2. Fred, The WAO Coalition argued that 2404 was constitutional. Do we really want them pressing a lawsuit when the obvious question of the judges of the WAOC is they were thinking that a constitutional right to a full pension can be bargained away. And the WAOC thinks “shared sacrifice” meaning pensioners need to help the state by giving up part of their pensions is a legitimate idea.

    The politic thing in this case would be for the unions to donate money to the IRTA case as they were the ones who held fast to the idea the clause mattered. That organization does not have positions they need to backpedal on. Pat

    Sent from my iPhone

    > On Dec 28, 2013, at 12:47 PM, Fred Klonsky wrote: > > > Respond to this post by replying above this line > New post on Fred Klonsky > > > C’mon people, now. Smile on your brother. Everybody get together right now. > by Fred Klonsky > > > . > > Late yesterday the Illinois Retired Teachers Association (disclaimer: I am a member of both the IEA Retired and the Illinois Retired Teachers Association. I am the President of a local chapter of IEA Retired and the Vice President of a local unit of IRTA) filed suit in Cook County Court against the pension-busting SB1. > > This morning IEA Communications Director Charlie McBarron felt compelled to issue the following email: > >

  3. If IEA does not file suit that will be the end of collective bargaining in Illinois and IEA. who would want a worthless retirement contract negotiated be IEA?

    Cliff Olson.

    > On Dec 28, 2013, at 12:47 PM, Fred Klonsky wrote: > > > Respond to this post by replying above this line > New post on Fred Klonsky > > > C’mon people, now. Smile on your brother. Everybody get together right now. > by Fred Klonsky > > > . > > Late yesterday the Illinois Retired Teachers Association (disclaimer: I am a member of both the IEA Retired and the Illinois Retired Teachers Association. I am the President of a local chapter of IEA Retired and the Vice President of a local unit of IRTA) filed suit in Cook County Court against the pension-busting SB1. > > This morning IEA Communications Director Charlie McBarron felt compelled to issue the following email: > >

  4. The bill does not become law until January 1st, 2014. It doesn’t do any good to take any action until the bill becomes law. You and I are members of both organizations and it does bother me that IRTA’s law suit is filled on the behalf of non-union memebers. I’m a union member and a member of IRTA. Does that suit include me as a dues paying member of IRTA.

    1. Brian Mooberry,
      IRTA doesn’t represent union members. It can only represent it’s own members, some of whom may be also members of the IFT, IEA and university employees.
      Of course, I didn’t criticize anyone for when the suit was filed, although there is no evidence to suggest it is preferable to wait until SB1 becomes law other than your assertion. Even the IEA and the IFT don’t make that claim. The issue for me is for all parties to work together and the availability of information.

  5. I’m sure Baghdad Bob McBarron’s little piece of blather has nothing to do with the fact that his boss Klickna is a DEFENDANT in the IRTA lawsuit in her “other hat” role as TRS trustee.

  6. I loved the video. Keeps the spirits up. I remember those times of Woodstock and community gatherings of love. It is hard to believe in the current hunt for the weakest link to resolve a problem, that such a time ever existed. Thanks for reminding me to re-focus.

    1. Hi Marissa, I was born at the tail end of the Boomer generation, and was too young and isolated to know much of this. I would be wonderful to hear your (and others) stories of that time. I think we need it now more than ever.

  7. Because it passed outside regular session It doesn’t take effect until June or maybe July so I was surprised to see a suit now. There are tons of issues with it . There is severability all over it . For instance the payment decrease may be read not as some sort of compensation if it is severable but a separate and legal sweetener! The 401 k provision is a clear violation of federal law since Madigan lets himself raid it too if he sees fit ……..Then there is the bond contracts are more important than any other contract something the Detroit judges just smacked down BTW
    This was in the NYT today on the opposite page there was a story on police pensions which said California Judges just found 2 local refs that cut pensions…laws eerily similar to SB1 were unconstitutional …a Montana judge just tossed just tossed their bill for state employees. So far I have found only the FL SC allow changes to their pensions for existing employees and theirs is VERY different from Illinois because the employees did not have to make any contribution and only Arizona NY and IL have this strict Cons Amendments. Only AZ tried and they lost -it was a contrib increase and a COLA cut IF any Illinois court comes up with anything else especially after the states (atty gen) arguments in the MAAG case and the past history of Illinois rulings …..well I would have to expect the sun to come up in the west BUT this is Illinois .NYT had another fascinating story on the CME today

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