State Rep-elect Will Guzzardi and Johnny’s Grill which is no longer.
One of the talking points for teacher bashing is how teachers get paid for summers off.
When I try to explain how this isn’t true – that teacher contracts are a per diem – that we are contracted (in my case) for 185 days, the eyes of whomever I was explaining this to glaze over. It’s just easier to wrap your head around the summers off talking point. And don’t even begin to explain teacher pay schedules – about steps and lanes.
I feel the pain of many New York teachers who are trying to explain their unhappiness with the proposed new contract and so -called retroactive pay. Some teachers will be dead before they ever see a penny of it.
Oh. And was UFT President Michael Mulgrew quoted correctly in the NY Times?
“It’s the city’s money; we work for the city,” Mr. Mulgrew said. “So, once again, I can’t stress this enough, we work this out through negotiations. Retroactivity is not a God-given right.”
Damn. There’s a guy I wouldn’t want bargaining a contract for me. New York teachers haven’t had a pay increase in five years and Mulgrew is talking about God? God doesn’t negotiate good teacher contracts. Unions do. Or should.
Let me return to my discussion of teacher bashing and summers off.
Legislators in Springfield go home for the summer on Saturday – weeks before teachers do – and nobody complains about that.
And for good reason.
Okay. They passed a marriage equality bill. Not small potatoes, but a little late in the game. Probably minutes before a judge would have ruled the same thing. We now have 19 states that have decided what is obvious to many: The state has no interest in keeping people from getting married.
If they did they would have some explaining to do about Bruce and Diana Rauner.
Okay. Legislators in Springfield voted to legalize medical marijuana. Although that won’t stop Chicago police from arresting
seven one hundred and fifty times more minorities than white people for pot possession. Even though the cops could just write a ticket.
On the other hand, Illinois legislators refused to address the revenue issue.
No vote to put a Constitutional change from a flat tax to a graduated income tax on the ballot.
No millionaire’s tax.
And today Madigan admitted he didn’t have the votes to keep the 5% flat income tax. It will now return to 3.75%, causing massive cuts to public schools and social programs.
Not enough votes to raise the minimum wage.
Not enough votes for guaranteed minimum sick days.
We are talking about Democratic Party votes. Democrats have a veto proof majority in both Illinois chambers.
They voted to cut Medicaid.
They voted to cut workmen’s comp.
And, of course, they broke their promise to uphold the Illinois Constitution when they passed SB1 and cut public employee pension benefits.
About State Representative Laura Fine. She represents a district in the north suburbs of Chicago where many of our Skokie Organization of Retired Educators (SORE) live or taught. We are a retiree chapter of the Illinois Education Association.
Twelve hours before the vote on Senate Bill 1 ten members of our group met with Representative Fine to explain why she should vote against pension theft. She told us that she had not read the bill and hadn’t decided how she would vote.
Twelve hours later she voted yes. Her oath of office, her promise to her constituents, to uphold the Constitutional pension protection clause meant nothing to Representative Fine.
There was no confusion that SB1 violated the Constitution. Even Attorney General Lisa Madigan admitted that in her response to the court. Her claim isn’t that SB1 is constitutional. Her claim is that the state has the police powers to ignore the constitution.
You know. Kind of like martial law.
Representative Fine – like many of those in Springfield – engages in selective promise keeping. She defended her refusal to address revenue by claiming legislators had made a promise to roll back the 5% income tax.
This weekend Capital Fax’s Rich Miller wrote a column about whether or not my new State Representative Will Guzzardi will vote next January to return Michael Madigan to his position as Speaker.
Michael Madigan will be the Speaker in the next session. Whether Will votes for him or not is purely symbolic.
My hope is that Will – who is not only my State Rep-elect, but is someone I consider a friend – will vote no.
Sometimes symbolic votes are important. I think it would make those who worked for his election proud of him if he were say no to Madigan as Speaker.
If Will never gets to be inside enough to get a bill passed with his name on it, I don’t care. If he never gets to be a wheeler-dealer in that snake pit we call Springfield, I don’t care.
That he spends the next session being a voice for working families, teachers, public employees and the rest of us who sent him there – that will be good enough.
And then he can take the summer off.
He will get no complaint from me.