Pension theft. Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

The Illinois legislative package that includes a property tax freeze – tough on local school districts – and pension theft was put on hold at least until Wednesday when the new legislature is sworn in.

Democratic Senate President John Cullerton is pushing for another go at pension theft.

Current state retirees would not be impacted.

But for current employees, pension changes would require employees to choose between continuing to receive 3 percent increases in pension benefits at retirement or continuing to have future raises count toward their pension benefits.

A comment from the Illinois Retired Teachers Association: “Also (there is) a change in how pensions are funded. Essentially, this backloads the pension payment so the state pays less now and more later. So the state is once again kicking the can down the road.”

Note that Speaker Madigan has not commented on the Rauner/Cullerton/Radogno deal.

Perhaps this is why the Illinois Education Association has also been so silent. With Madigan as what they call their goalie, they don’t want members contacting House members and offending their Speaker.

A reader writes:

Thanks for the update Fred. I’ll keep refreshing my inbox for the email from the IEA…….maybe the button is broken. I know if I need background on something, I check here first.

Five thousand page views yesterday.

I want to post about other things other then pensions, but in the words of Michael Corleone, “they keep pulling me back.”

The Cullerton plan looks similar to what he bargained with the IEA and IFT several years ago when they included reduction in COLA payments to retirees. The Illinois Supreme Court then made it very clear that current retirees are protected by the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution which prohibits benefits from being diminished or impaired.

Cullerton’s attorney Eric Madiar, now in private practice, has argued that the Court left open the ability to bargain a change in the pension agreement as long as consideration, something of equal or greater value, is offered in exchange.

It is hard to see how the Cullerton proposal is anything other than a choice between two diminishments.

Last time, the Illinois Retired Teachers Association, which represents current retirees and not current employees, threatened to litigate – and did sue – any reduction of benefits for retired teachers and administrators, regardless of what the two state teacher unions agreed to.

The role of the IRTA was crucial in getting the two state unions and other members of the coalition of public employee unions to file suit. But the IRTA will not be a part of this litigation if it does not impact current retirees.

If pension theft is part of the Grand Bargain will the IEA and IFT go along again? Current teachers are depending on them.

I can’t imagine current teachers are comfortable with that.

9 thoughts on “Pension theft. Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

  1. I read it over. If you retire by July 2018 you are not effected but you still need to fill out some sort of declaration. I cant imagine the CTU would agree not to sue which is what the unuion coalition agreed ro last time. . It turns the democrats base against so called leaders like Cullerton so its Cullerton handing Rauner a big win. With Cullerton Rahm and so on the Russians dont need to do much.

  2. The house….our guy Madigan does not seem excited about but who knows it may pass. I would suggest calling your state senator……but Cullerton loves to preen for the media and love crap and bipartison stuff. Beside trade I found one other thing I liked about Trump..stick the media in a pen and tgrow rocks at em. I really felt like that when wbbm called theft an adjustment. The media have been the biggest theft cheerleaders….they have the Putin sites picking up on it. And never waste your money on a certain Springfield blog. For truth …its here

    • The “certain Springfield blog” posts my stuff but the guy raises a fuss if anybody uses his. His business model is to spend all week linking to every real reporter in town and the around state and then once a week writes a pay-for-view commentary. He blocks me from his Twitter and Facebook accounts. No loss.

  3. I notice that he is down when Natasha Koreki is off at Politico. He picked up on the Bluhm emails with Rahm . Bluhm is another billionaire thanks to Illinois policy. Rauner isnt a billionaire Koreki puts him at half that …and if he were he would release the whole tax return ….his is Trump like and wants to make everyone think he is richer than he is. I think we should always point out these guys made a lot more money at government than any teacher ever did. I will be on fire when I am awake. I think its the cold meds…..speaking of govt we could add Ken. The Russian media claims he front runs the fed reserve.

  4. Fred, got my email tonight at 5:19 pm. This is the insight they offer…. “On pensions, Cullerton and Rauner both favor a proposal that would place limits on whether future pay raises would be pensionable. We believe this proposal is unconstitutional.” Even better, they encourage members to follow them on Twitter. I haven’t seen a single post or tweet on SB17.

  5. As a Tier 1 retiree, I almost feel like I made it to a lifeboat and captain Cullerton is calling out: Come back so I can steal your COLA! I predict the rush to the lifeboats will resemble Tier 1s retiring if wages are frozen. The “consideration” Cullerton offers is like “free drinks at the bar if you give up your seat in a Tier 1 lifeboat”!

  6. There are a lot of people out there who are busy making money blogging. One of them in Springfield has blocked a Californian blogger from their Twitter and Facebook, kind of telling him keep out, shut up, I’m working! When this happens, all you can do is call it a night and get some sleep.

    • I have no problem with someone making money blogging. Wish it was me. I don’t even mind that Rich Miller has blocked me from his Twitter and Facebook accounts. Not missing much.

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