It’s totally labor fear.
It has been going on for some time now.
In Chicago and many districts in the collar counties, teachers have had to fight and sometimes strike just to keep what they have, or at least keep their losses to a minimum. Once outside of the collar counties, teachers in many districts have much lower pay scales, their raises have been 1% or so for many years, and a lot of districts never offered the 6% retirement incentives. In the last few years medical insurance premium percentages paid by these teachers have gone up substantially.
At the same time, co-pays, deductibles, and the list of things “not covered” have also increased, all coming out of the teacher’s pay.
These teachers can’t put up a big fight, and don’t dare strike because they can be SB7ed later at the whim of administration. The economy of rural and downstate Illinois is already bad, and ex-teachers can have a difficult time finding other employment.
At least up here in the Chicago/collar county area, ex-teachers usually can find other employment.
So, labor peace is here only because most workers and unions (especially outlying and downstate) are very fearful of losing even more if they go on strike then if they “negotiate” cuts in pay and benefits.
There is little or no sympathy from the general public for us, one store worker I talked to said “the state is spending $14 for every $10 it takes in, it can’t go on like this. Rauner is trying to do something about it, but the Democrats are holding everything up.”
This is going to be a rough 4 years (or more), and we have targets on out backs.