Saturday, May 18, 2013

An IEA explanation of the "language amended into SB 2404"

“There have been questions raised about language amended into SB 2404, the Cullerton-Coalition legislation. This amendment was not a surprise to the members of the labor coalition. The coalition remains committed to the passage of SB 2404. The amendment clarifies the law with regard to retiree access to health insurance through the State.

“Maintaining access to health insurance

“Under current law, access to state health insurance for retirees is not a vested enforceable contractual right. If SB 2404 becomes law, it would become, for the first time, an enforceable contractual right. The recent amendment is President Cullerton’s attempt to make it clear that, by making access to insurance a contractual right, SB 2404 does not make the cost of the insurance premium a contractual right.  He also wanted to make it clear that while access would become a contractual right, it would not be a retirement benefit protected by the Illinois Constitution’s Pension Clause.

“No change in current law on cost

“To be clear, under current law, the legislature could vote to pass 100 percent of all health insurance costs on to retirees. If that came to pass, IEA would fight to protect the health insurance benefits of our members. In fact, there have been previous attempts to cut the state’s contribution to insurance, but intense lobbying by IEA and other organizations preserved the subsidy.

“SB 2404 is supported by IEA on the grounds that it:

·      Is constitutional
·      Is fair to our members
·      Will stabilize the pension systems”

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them” (George Orwell, 1984).

from John Dillon to Ken Previti regarding IEA's response:

“A creative collection of contradictions:

"We knew about it all along.

"The law makes it clear that the state can do what it wants with refusing payment by state for health premiums.

"Healthcare would be an enforceable contractual right (the right to pay for it all), but never any part of a permanent right via constitution.

"But if these guys ever asked us (scratch that - demanded) that we pay for that, we'd scream holy heck after we agreed to it.  It would make us look good in court while it made our constituency pay out the nose.  It's all about appearances…

"I would promise you that this would be it, but the word 'stabilize' is so much more appealing and elusive, isn’t it?  Can't quite tell what that means. Can you?  Maybe they'll be back and I'll be ‘shocked,’ or maybe they won’t. LOL."

Ken Previti’s Blog: Betrayal, Deception, Investigation, Robocalls: SB2404

John Dillon’s Blog: Let’s Make a Deal: SB 2404

Fred Klonsky’s Blog: Compare and Contrast. Under SB2404 will health care be a vested contractual right?



  1. From Joni Lindgren

    “I feel like I'm in a box, and I can't scream loud enough to be heard. I can't tear down the walls of the box, and no one comes to help! I think I have a good idea about how caged animals feel. Poor things.”

  2. I am retiring in 3 years-I already committed to it. My retirement will occur in my 15th year as a teacher. I feel that my future is being tossed from one side to the other like a hot potato. I could've advanced on the salary scale this year, but opted not to do it to avoid the district's paying of a penalty and taking away or reducing my health care subsidy. This seemed to me more important than a few more dollars added to my monthly pension. I feel like we the teachers are demonized by everyone, except for the days following a tragedy where teachers suddenly became the heroes of the hour. We are talking about people's future and quality of life here, we're not talking about "golden parachutes" and making teachers millionaires!!