IRTA President Bob Pinkerton (center) and Executive Director James Bachman (left).
This morning I am driving to Springfield to attend the two-day state convention of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association. The IRTA is courageous group of people. It is made up of those women and men who dedicated their lives to public education and who, standing nearly alone, refused to compromise on what the Illinois constitution said to the state’s public employees.
A contract is a contract. Promised pension benefits cannot be diminished or impaired.
While those who also made claims they represented us met with legislative leaders and offered to sell out the pension rights of retired teachers and other public employees, the IRTA threatened a legal battle – even though they had limited resources.
In the end we won that legal battle.
Although new threats to our pension rights constantly pop up, particularly with the Democratic leaders and the governor we have in Illinois.
It is an organization that deserves every retired public employee’s everlasting gratitude.