Good luck students. Your professors are heading for the exits.


Under provisions of the State University Retirement System’s money purchase option, 10,000 state university employees are eligible to retire by July 1.

As a result of the Senate Bill 1 pension theft passed last December 3rd and signed immediately by Squeezy, thousands are heading for the exits to avoid loosing thousands of dollars in post retirement compensation.

Senator Dan Biss was a member of the bipartisan Committee of Ten that was assigned the job of constructing the bill. He now admits the problem, but claims it is an “easy fix.”

Much of what Senator Biss says is unreliable. That is never more true than his “easy fix” comment.

Today’s Tribune provides the numbers.

As of last week, about 1,700 university employees had filed retirement applications this year, compared with 960 during the same period last year. Not all will ultimately decide to retire, and many others will file applications in the next two months, but the preliminary figures are a sign of the anxiety among retirement-eligible employees.

For example, more than 250 employees at both the University of Illinois campuses in Urbana-Champaign and Chicago already have said they intend to retire this year, double the number for the same period last year. University leaders have been sounding the alarm that they will be scrambling this summer to fill faculty and other positions if so many employees leave.

“We are not only losing great faculty and great teachers and scientists and scholars, but we are losing a huge amount of grant money with it,” said U. of I. President Robert Easter.

Easter, by the way is a member of the Civic Committee and a long-time advocate for pension theft.

For state university students and their families, this is an impending disaster. Students will lose veteran instructors, advisors and programs.

Senator Biss may say that this was a mistake with an easy fix. But it is another black mark on his resume as a math wizard (but not on his self-admitted ignorance of constitutional issues).

Biss once explained to a town hall, “I don’t know about the constitution, but I know math.”

But LInda Brookheart of the State University Annuitants Association says she warned legislators, even as the bill was being voted on, that this would happen.

Biss and the other legislators didn’t know, didn’t listen and they didn’t care.


18 thoughts on “Good luck students. Your professors are heading for the exits.

  1. We are not idiots and this wasn’t an error. Pension committee assumed that they could railroad the best and brightest in the state who actually read a document before committing their endorsement of its content.

  2. Political clowns just don’t get it.

    “We are not only losing great faculty and great teachers and scientists and scholars, but we are losing a huge amount of grant money with it,” said U. of I. President Robert Easter.

  3. Clear the hallways, the spring 2014 SURS employee to SURS retiree Dash for the Door is about to begin. Run SURS members, RUN!!

  4. So glad that Easter was more worried about losing grant money than what the financial impact will be on current and future retirees. He makes his priorities very clear.

  5. Can anyone verify Easter’s actual involvement with the Civic Committee? I questioned friends at the U of I about his predecessor and was told, it’s a long standing membership but that the former president never attended. I don’t wish to defend Easter or any other member of the CC, just curious as to whether he truly deserves to be bashed for an “ex officio” type membership, which he jolly well should repudiate, if that is what it is.

      1. Understood, but many presidents supported that IGPA proposal, who are not CC members. I was specifically interested in Easter’s direct involvement, as in, does he really attend CC meetings?

  6. I am not bolting for the door even though I could. My logic?

    1. What they did is illegal and unless the Koch brothers have bought off Illinois judges, this law violates Illinois’ constitution and will not stand.

    2. What assurances do those leaving before June 1st have the crooks of this state won’t change the rules of the game after they retire?

    A job in the hand is worth a pension in the bush.

    1. All true. Once allowed to make changes changes will continue until a pension will be a thing of the past.

  7. Why doesn’t Quinn simply change the effective date of the legislation?
    Doesn’t he have a “pen and a phone”?
    Can someone please explain to me why the dates can’t simply be changed by the executive as was done for much of the ACA legislation? How is this any different?

    1. I think Quinn could have done that as an amendatory veto at the time he signed the bill. It appears he didn’t read it before signing it. I don’t think he has legal authority to do anything about it now.

    1. The law about changing effective dates. The President can change implementation dates, but a Governor can’t?

      1. Federal and State are different. Laws, rules, regulations, codes, and ordinances. Each are different, and it gets very complicated.
        My understanding was buried deep in the ACA was authority to adjust certain deadlines if the government was unable to implement it in time.
        Other parts, the law had to be amended, a bill passed by the US House and US Senate, then signed by the President. That amendment had to do with abolishing the recordkeeping and issuing of 1099 forms on wholesale transactions which would have been a lot of time and paperwork on small businesses.
        I don’t think there is a provision allowing the governor to change the date on the law. He could have delayed it with an amendatory veto, but he did not. Too late now. He signed the bill as is.
        A court could issue an order to delay the law, especially if requested by both sides in the lawsuits. An injunction against SB1 until the Illinois Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional would be the best possible outcome.

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