Illinois retired teachers active in Florida.


-By Ken Previti. Ken’s blog can be found here.

The Little Giant that began the legal suit to the Illinois Supreme Court that successfully defended the constitutional rights of retired Illinois teachers’ pensions met with those retirees who presently live in Florida. I attended the Sarasota meeting in mid-February, and was pleased to hear their repeated promise. “We will go back to court in the event that any of our benefits are threatened,” stated IRTA President David Davison.

While the Illinois Education Association, NEA/IEA, had pushed hard to support SB2404, which would have surrendered some of our constitutionally protected rights and benefits, our little non-union affiliated IRTA hired lawyers to take the case to the Illinois Supreme Court rather than agreeing to diminish our incomes without a challenge. At the time, Illinois had a Democratic governor and a super-majority Democratic House and Senate. Corruption and attacks on teacher pensions have no political party affiliations.

The NEA/IEA then joined with the other We Are One Illinois (WAOI) coalition of unions to support the challenge to active and retired teachers’ income. Together we won.

IRTA Executive Director Jim Bachman elucidated the ongoing plans to actively support political candidates who support teachers and their earned compensation, our pensions. Included in his comments are the next General Election facts of life.

“Of the nine members facing a General Election [for Illinois Senate seats], six of them have stood by the IRTA and defended our members when necessary.  (Tom Cullerton, Laura Murphy, Melinda Bush, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Scott Bennett and Gary Forby).

We are asking to provide financial support to the nine members listed above with Primary and General Elections.”

David Davison was surprised, as was I, to see how few retirees in the room had ever visited the superb IRTA Site or the Illinois Retired Teachers Association Facebook page. In the second half of the second decade of the 21st Century, retirees must learn to help themselves defend their own incomes by using sources beyond corporate controlled TV news and newspapers. Davison encouraged members to visit the IRTA site for their own good.

I was glad to see the presentations that were given a thousand miles away from the Illinois home I once lived in.  The IRTA has a list of the various state visits on its site.

3 Replies to “Illinois retired teachers active in Florida.”

  1. Dear Fred,
    The I.R.T.A. is one bright spot in a sea of disappointing groups that claim to represent worker interests. No hedging, no sell outs, no B.S.. The I.R.T.A. knows its purpose: “Look out” for Illinois teachers and defend retiree interests whenever they are threatened.

    This is unlike groups like the I.E.A. who seem to be quite willing to side with the liars and thieves. These groups see retiree interests as chips to be traded away (to gain or preserve active worker benefits). They see hard earned pensions and health care as a pot of money to be offered up as a “sacrifice” to protect active union worker’s benefits.

    “We Are One Illinois” was all about offering up retiree pensions and health care to protect active union worker benefits. That was why they supported SB 2404. They only began defending health care and pensions after the I.R.T.A. refused to go along (after much criticism of the I.R.T.A.)

    Today the shoe is on the other foot because the “turnaround agenda” threatens their pensions and insurance. They call on us to support them. Do they think we have forgotten the SB 2404 sell out? Does the I.E.A. want us to forgive and forget what SB 7 did to teachers?

    I believe the I.R.T.A. is well worth belonging to, unlike these other groups. I am tired of unions who seem uninterested in anything even remotely related to doing what needs to be done to protect active workers and retirees. It is unfair to us when they “go along to get along” at our expense.

    I don’t wish to be the proverbial frog slowly boiled in the pot degree by degree” because a union refuses to speak for us or act in our interests. Either they stand up and fight, or we should all just “walk away” from them.

    It makes no sense to belong to (or pay dues to) any group that treats members this way. If the I.E.A. and “We Are One” sell out active worker or retiree interests, they don’t deserve to be called unions, and they don’t deserve any dues money.

    Enough is enough. Time to decide.

  2. Fred,
    This is the announcement I got when I tried to go to the site: Your connection is not secure

    The owner of has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website.

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