In the first, the Supreme Court again ruled that the State Constitution does mean what it says:
This time the ruling struck down an effort to cut pensions for public employees of the City of Chicago.Article 13, Section 5.Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.
In the second ruling, AFSCME lost a case about back pay. The union agreed to defer some raises that were due back in 2011; the state has never paid up. I frankly don't understand the legal rationale for this decision, but it would seem to cast a certain doubt over moves like the recent one at EIU to defer faculty pay. If such agreements aren't enforceable, they seem a poor option to deal with the current crisis—though none of our options are very good. I would hope IEA lawyers would look into this in the event SIU campus unions are asked to consider pay deferral as an option.