The blogger working while retired.
My retired colleague Jack Tucker sent me a note yesterday.
“10 – 0 and still counting! Fred, we should have become lawyers for lost causes, such as these. We could assure our clients they would lose and keep the billable hours clock running.”
Jack was talking about the latest court win for the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution.
Every new win for public employees occurs now because of our win before the Illinois Supreme Court. They ruled unanimously that the constitution means what it says.
Repeat after me: “Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”
Jack knows that while many, even some of our union leaders and self-proclaimed pension warriors, were willing to compromise on the promise and on the law, a few of us not only said no, we said we would win.
And we keep winning.
Another friend sent me a list from the corporate-funded website Reboot Illinois that had the top 50 pension earners in TRS.
The list is all administrators, mostly retired superintendents, and one retired union president.
Nobody who retired as a teacher is on that list. Plus Reboot Illinois does not provide a list of the bottom 50, those retired teachers, mostly downstate, whose retirement income is far less than the average $50,000 a year TRS pension payout. What the administrator retirement salaries do is skew the average up and in no way paints an accurate picture of what a retired teacher lives on after 35 years in the classroom
Nobody should begrudge what those 50 folks get. The law is the law, a promise a promise and a contract a contract.
I just wonder where all these top 50 certified type-75 pencil warriors were when we were down in Springfield, writing checks for Illinois Retired Teacher Association and union lawyers and meeting with legislators in their home district offices.
As usual, teachers had to do all the heavy lifting.
By the way, here’s another list a reader send me today.