The 3% teacher salary cap. Can the IEA deliver on its main legislative agenda item?

Andy Manar’s bill dropped the repeal of the 3% salary cap.

The Illinois Education Association, which claims 130,000 members, has made the repeal of last year’s cap of 3% on pensionable raises its main legislative item. The General Assembly adjourns in a week with no repeal as of yet.

Last week the IEA delivered what they said was 55,000 signatures to the legislature supporting the repeal.

The back story is that Democratic Party legislative leaders (Madigan and Cullerton) slipped the salary cap into last years budget bill at the last moment. Years ago Madigan pushed and got a 6% cap, claiming teachers were getting a spike in salaries to increase our pensions. Capping salaries – which included extra compensation for non-teaching duties – was supposed to solve Madigan’s concern with teachers getting good pensions.

But at a time when there is justifiable concern for teacher shortages, Madigan and Cullerton reduced pensionable raises again last year to 3%.

No district in the state could agree to a raise for veteran teachers above 3% without paying an enormous penalty.

The concern for teacher shortages led this session of the Democratic Party controlled General Assembly to consider a bill with three components: Eliminate the state teaching licensure test. Allow pay for student teaching. Repeal the 3% salary cap.

The bill passed the Senate.

Last week it passed the House but without the repeal of the 3% salary cap.

The House version now goes back to the Senate for concurrence. That means House representatives or Senate representatives must come to agreement on keeping or dropping the cap.

Nothing illustrates the legislative impotence of the IEA more than what it now appears to be their inability to deliver on their key legislative item for this session.

Remember that 55,000 “signatures” means that IEA members had to do nothing more than click a box on the IEA web site. The IEA couldn’t even mobilize more than half the members to click a box.

And what the IEA lobbyists are doing in Springfield is anybody’s guess.

Remember that when IEA members pay their dues, most of it goes, not to their local or to the NEA, but to the IEA, for lobbying efforts and to fight for the interests of teachers and public schools.


6 thoughts on “The 3% teacher salary cap. Can the IEA deliver on its main legislative agenda item?

  1. This is a super-easy fix, and you know it.  Move education to the private sector, and BOOM! no more caps on salary OR pension.  Easy-peasy, Fred.  I’ll even give you full rights to unionize per NLRB rules.

  2. What is so ridiculous about this fight is that you could change the wording of the law to say that only 3% of any salary raises greater than 3% in the last 4 years will be used to calculate average salary for retirement and there would be no reason to limit salary increases to 3%.

  3. Oh–& sorry–meant to mention CTBA/Ralph Martire’s doable plan to solve the pension situation (& I use the word “situation” rather than “crisis” or “problem” because this has–all along–only been made a “problem” or a “crisis” {perfectly melding w/Rahm’s “never let a good crisis go to waste” m.o.} by the I.P.I., the Civic Committee, & all of the ILL-Annoy G.A. members {including the “Committee of 10” chaired by now A.G. Kwami Raoul, not to mention now state pensioner herself, Elaine Nekritz, & “Progressive” former gubernatorial candidate Biss} who have heard Martire’s logical solution and have repeatedly downright IGNORED him, as current legislators continue to do.
    It always fascinates me that so many of the same legislators were so gung-ho on the equitable school tax (which took dedicated money away from special education & wound up abolishing approx. 25 school programs beneficial to kids & did NOT equalize property tax as per infusion from the wealthier suburbs to the poorer ones), for which there was/is no new/generated revenue, except for that which was taken from aforementioned existing school programs.
    Not to mention the additional bill passed for school tax credits, outright taking a chunk of taxpayer money which would go to public schools but, instead, would benefit privates, including religious schools (there is no separation of church & state?). That explains the push by groups such as Advance ILL-Annoy & Stand on Children.

  4. Fred – Your information in the last paragraph is insulting to me. You know that dues dollars go to service to members. You know that. Your IPACE dollars can be requested back, while the rest of it goes to service of members. While I too am not happy that the repeal hasn’t happened, that type of misinformation is what anti-union forces want people to believe.

    1. Not true. The IEA Government Relations office, its Director and lobbyists are funded by member dues, not IPACE.

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