Saturday coffee.

Photo credit: Sarah-Ji Fotógrafa 

In a post earlier this week about the AFT convention in Detroit I suggested that one difference between it and the NEA RA was that no resolution in support of the CTU coming from the AFT was needed or was necessary.

Maybe not.

But they’re going to get to vote on one anyway. Hey. More the merrier.

I’ve heard from friends who are delegates. They are looking forward to hearing from Diane Ravitch who is keynoting today. This is a big improvement over the last AFT meet when Bill Gates was the keynote speaker.

I’ve also been hearing from my new friends in the North Lake Shore Illinois Retired Teachers Association that  they are gearing up for the Fall veto session of the General Assembly. A bill that looks like HB1447 is likely to come up which forces retirees to choose between health care and a cost of living increase.

They are planning an information and action planning meeting at the Wilmette Public Library on August 23rd at 7PM. I’ll be there, sharing what I know along with others who know far more than me. Keep checking this space for further information.

You don’t have to be a retiree to come.

Speaking of HB1447. It’s not a lock, according to Democratic Senate President John Cullerton. However, if it does pass the House this summer, count on it coming to the General Assembly in another form, going after teachers, after the November elections. Cullerton has made it clear he has no intention of legislators taking a cut and not punishing teachers for it.

The measure does not affect judges or teachers and university workers. Some reform advocates fear that lawmakers will pass the measure, claim victory and abandon the push for further changes. But Cullerton said that’s not the case, arguing that legislators aren’t going to cut their own benefits and then “let teachers off the hook.”

This is typical Springfield-think. 

It demonstrates why the goal isn’t pension reform by cutting benefits. The goal must be Springfield Reform by fixing the revenue problem inherent in Illinois’ structural deficit and regressive flat tax system. And ending the tax give aways to corporations like Sears, CME and Motorola.

Motorola, recently purchased by Google, received a $100 million ten-year tax break. What new jobs were gained by moving Motorola from Libertyville to Chicago? How did this improve the economy of Illinois?

And the retirement tax, which is what HB1447 is, pays for the deal.

Park Ridge Senator Dan Kotowski calls health care for seniors a sweetheart deal.

That’s the mindset in Springfield. Ten-year tax breaks for corporations like Motorola, paid for by seniors giving up health care? Good economic policy.

Seniors with health care and a pension allowing them to buy the things they need and create jobs? A sweetheart deal.