Sunday, March 29, 2015

Re: Recent TRS Spring News Report/ IEA

Indeed, there are some Illinois politicians who will continue to ignore legal and moral solutions for the state's budget problems and pension debt. They will continue their assaults on the Pension Clause, no matter what the Illinois Supreme Court decides. Therefore, we must be absolutely prepared to defend our pension benefits and rights without apologies, concessions or compromise.

We must be prepared to oppose a Constitutional Convention meant to subvert our only retirement protection (HJRCA 9). We must be prepared to oppose any transferring of the normal costs to the pension systems to local school districts (HB 429, SB 72). We must also be prepared to oppose a Tier III pension plan for new teachers (HB 134). These proposals, among others, are meant to renege on contractual obligations and will destroy the defined-benefit pension plan.

We must maintain and increase the IEA’s influence and relevance by organizing a statewide aggressive resistance of its retirees, current teachers and other public employees. Never before has there been a need for dynamic leadership with a determination to “build the rank-and-file’s collective capacity to resist” then there is now: we need unions that can and will mobilize its membership against those among us who will relentlessly attempt to steal our constitutional rights and benefits again. 

Not too long ago, the IEA stated that “…Going forward… our longstanding commitment [is] to work with anyone of good faith to develop a fair and constitutional solution to fund the state’s retirement systems.” This statement should explicitly mean a re-amortization of the pension debt, and a reform and modernization of the state’s regressive single-rate tax structure to sufficiently address the funding of the state’s essential services and public retirement systems.

“To work with anyone of good faith” on the State’s revenue and debt problems is what union membership expects, but not through any capitulation of constitutional rights and benefits that have been lawfully earned and upheld.


All of us should be aware of the ugly connections between politics and partnerships that supply exorbitant money. We should be wary of being deceived again by both democratic and republican legislators. We can no longer afford to endorse opportunistic politicians as we have done in the past.

We know the current “rigged political system” has compelled the IEA and other unions to donate, and sometimes waste, large sums of their membership’s money in order to compete in a high-rollers' plutocracy. Let us have no more nonsensical “Lesser of Two Evil” arguments for choosing our future legislative candidates. Instead, let us break away from this corrupt political system and work diligently at funding and endorsing progressive candidates, months before the next elections. 

Glen Brown

for the TRS Spring News Report, Click Here.


  1. We agree on the IEA and others even having the right to do so. They are very much misinformed, copycatting things about which they know niente, zip, etc. and their foolishness is very plainly evident. But I saw this often among academics who never participated in private sector realities.

  2. To Hell with private sector realities. That is nothing more than a license to steal by the greedy from the needy. This has been going on for years. As teachers and career service employees in Chicago and Illinois were just about to collect a modest pension, they were being singled out for dismissal with the use of harassment and outright lies.

    Supervisors and principals must have been ordered to force out any employee with 20+ years of service to minimize pension liability for the state and city. All the time knowing that pension deform as I call it, will be pursued as vigorously as murderers stalk their prey. Obligation to contracts are only enforced on the unwashed masses.

    Private sector employers are no different in their pursuit to weasel out of that obligation. To hell with the thieves on wall street and government. Only kiss-asses believe in this 100%. The people know that the game is rigged toward the criminally greedy and against the truly needy.