IEA takes credit for TRIP payment and credits bipartisanship and their seat at the table. Baloney.

The Illinois Education Association took full credit for a payment to the Teacher Health Insurance System (THIS) and to the Teacher Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP) following the reveal by the Illinois Retired Teachers Association (IRTA) and by this and other pension bloggers that no state contribution has been made since January of 2017. At the time of the recent payment retirees were owed nearly $140 million. The unpaid debt is now larger in spite of the back payment.

Prior to today, no mention of the shortfall had been reported by the IEA or the Illinois Federation of Teachers to its active or retired members.

Meanwhile I received a call from Comptroller Mendoza’s office that  payments of $18 million in March; $9 million in April and another $9 million this month were just made.

Those payments are credited to unpaid bills for January through March of 2017. That means the state is still 19 months behind in its payments to THIS and TRIP

In the IEA statement, no mention is made of Governor Rauner’s unconstitutional attempt to cut the state subsidy to TRIP and no mention of the continuing financial crisis the state faces because of Rauner’s policies. There is no mention of other dependent groups that remain unfunded as a result of the Governor forcing Comptroller Mendoza to engage in what her office calls “triage.”

They suggest that the payments were made because of their “great working relationship” with Comptroller Mendoza, as if the Comptroller can make money magically appear.


Here is the IEA’s message.

Comptroller Mendoza reports $36.5 million transferred to TRIP/TRAIL
Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza clearly understands the importance of the TRIP/TRAIL health insurance program to the members of the IEA and told IEA President Kathi Griffin on Friday that $36.5 million was recently transferred to TRIP/TRAIL because she wanted to protect the retirement security of retired educators. The IEA and the comptroller’s staff have a great working relationship and this was a sign of the strength of that relationship.Delayed TRIP/TRAIL payments
The issue of delayed state payments to TRIP/TRAIL has raised the concerns of some retired members. Despite the delay, IEA members participating in TRIP/TRAIL have not experienced any problems with their health insurance coverage. The IEA continues to work to make certain that the retiree health insurance program receives every penny it is owed by the state. This is a huge issue for the IEA since our members, active and retired, continue to pay every penny they owe to maintain the stability of the program. President Griffin was in direct communication on Thursday with Comptroller Mendoza to convey the concerns of the IEA and to work through the issue to be certain that TRIP/TRAIL receives all of the state funding that has been appropriated to it for the benefit of retired teachers.Funding for the Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP/TRAIL) remains IEA priority
The IEA has been working to ensure that TRIP/TRAIL continues to receive full funding from the state. On Thursday, President Griffin met with Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) to stress the importance of funding the insurance program for our retired members. The IEA is uniquely positioned at the Statehouse because of the strong bipartisan relationships it has built on both sides of the aisle through both the Government Relations Department staff and through the activism of its members. This positioning allows the IEA to talk directly to leaders in both political parties. President Griffin’s message was clear – the $120 million owed to TRIP/TRAIL in the upcoming fiscal year must be funded. TRIP/TRAIL receives funding from four sources: active teachers, school districts, the state and retiree insurance premiums.

As the legislative session nears its end, the IEA is committed to keeping members apprised of issues that will impact them and the students they educate.



5 thoughts on “IEA takes credit for TRIP payment and credits bipartisanship and their seat at the table. Baloney.

  1. I know that sequence doesn’t prove causation but I saw that Mendoza’s office called you not long after I forwarded your posts to my state legislators and called Mendoza’s office my self.

  2. That last sentence may be the most egregious, after keeping membership in the dark. Until you turned on the lights and the rats scurried..

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