Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Defeat bill 1673

Here it is, the bill we've all been waiting for, SB 1673, which will slash employee pensions and health care.

Call 1-888-412-6570 to be directed to your local representative by the We Are One Illinois labor coalition. (They will keep tabs of how many call via their service as a way of noting union strength on this issue.) If you'd rather call directly, here are the numbers for reps in the Carbondale area:

Rep. Mike Bost: 618 457 5787 / 217 782 0387

Senator David Leuchtefeld: 618 243 9014 / 217 782 8137.

While both are Republicans, and Democrats run the legislature (which runs the state), Democrats need Republican support to pass this legislation, and the Republicans may in fact be our greatest allies on this issue, as they are particularly opposed to the move to pass pension costs down to local school districts and universities.

The ieanea.org website has updates on pending legislation.  Capital Fax gathers media on the breaking story. After the break, an email the AAUP is sending out to Illinoisans on their mailing list.

All current and future participants in the TRS, SERS, and SURS retirement systems need to call their legislators today to urge them to vote against SB 1673, HA 3 and any emerging legislation that threatens employee health care insurance and cost of living increases. You should call both your senator and your representative.

SB 1673 will force both current retirees and all Tier 1 employees still working to make a brutal choice--give up your state health care benefits or give up virtually ALL future cost of living increases. Under the second option, many public employees would eventually give up tens of thousands of dollars of annual income in exchange for their health benefits, vastly more than the state would be paying for them. This legislation is both brutal and unfair.

Although the details are not clear, all health benefits may be affected--basic health, dental, eye care, prescription benefits. If you want to keep your health care, your COLA will be reduced by as much as 80%. Your pension will thus not keep pace with inflation.

This is not cost sharing. It is simple extortion. Be courteous when calling your representatives, but make it clear that you view the damage this legislation will do to the state's employees as extremely serious.

Illinois' public employee unions are joining forces to defeat this disastrous legislation, but time is very short. If the bills pass, you should call the governor's office and urge him not to sign them.

Cary Nelson
AAUP President


  1. Pseudonymous ProfessorMay 30, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Given the video of Bost that's currently making the rounds, it sounds like he might just be on our side on this one.

  2. First, the shameless self-promotion (or blog promotion): I have a piece over at FreeU and I encourage readers here to peruse the Forbes' link: http://freesiu.blogspot.com/2012/05/forbes-three-hard-lessons-from-illinois.html OR http://goo.gl/rUPpj - or the link to the left of this page.

    Dave, any word on the "we don't count future pay raises in your retirement formula?" For anyone early-to-mid career that is absolutely devastating.

    I also read the bill and there is a sleeper clause limiting returns on investments to the 30-year T Bond rate (.25%) plus .25% (250 basis points) = .5% but no less than 4% or greater than 8%.

    Funny, the real word (and regulators of the private sector) require proper - not political - reporting of investment returns. Not so the State of Illinois (exempt from the laws that bind private-sector employers).

    1. Of course, now that the shift to school district is out, they'll come back next year and lower COLA (which NEVER was called COLA under the law) to zero.

      FYI: the so-called COLA was set at 3% in 1978 (!) and has never been tied to CPI or any other measure of inflation.

    2. Why would Dave. Remove the "charming chicken stream comments"?
      (a) he has no sense of humor
      (b) he is a chair without a backbone
      (c) he has chickened out!
      (d) he is helping the Admin to renovate the coop
      (e) all of the above

    3. Dave Johnson, you really don't have the right to remove some posts simply because you don't like them. Please re-post them if you are a MAN. I believe our faculty members have the ability to tell if those posts are appropriate. Also you should keep your promise and leave the blog for others.

    4. I was one of the chicken posters, but I can't get mad at Dave for removing it.

      His promise is, "We reserve the right to remove anything too nasty for our taste."

    5. The chicken chair is busy in laying eggs to feed his fellows like TW.

  3. Dave, who gives the right to close the last blog? Because you are a chair or because you are the FA spokesman?

    1. Please search about Dave Johnson's comments about the censorship about the Admins before. Now his own comments can be applied to himself.

    2. Dave has an identity problem. He can't make up his mind whether he is an administrator or an FA spokesperson. But I suspect the administraitor in him is winning out . Afterall with 12 months salary at stake, he would be foolish to jeopardize that.

    3. Anon. 9:26:

      Could you supply some links? I can find plenty of statements from Jonny Gray and Anonymous about administrative censorship but not so many from Dave. The ones from Dave don't reveal hypocricy.

      The two from Dave about administrative censorship that I found:


      Dave's longish comments about censorship and comment moderation:


  4. Dave's behavior shows that he is not suitable to be a department chair. If you are a decent person, why do you need to worry about those comments?

    1. Dave wants to please his Dean and the upper class(administration)! He is being a good boy and is doing what he is told to do.Dave is sure to rise up the ranks of the upper administration. He might even become our next Provost or Chancellor. Then he will have to go to bAttle against the faculty association.what fun that will be! Will he have an identity crisis then?

    2. DAve interprets some things literally. He obviously cannot appreciate the chicken metaphor.

  5. Dave: please put those post back. Again, you cannot remove it since you don't like them. It does not work in this way.