Tuesday, May 7, 2013

UPDATE: The in box. + Support our union + IFT on the pension deal. | Fred Klonsky

IFT on the pension deal. | Fred Klonsky:

The in box. The pension deal and collective bargaining.

In response to a reader comment that compared the We Are One coalition’s deal with Cullerton to Neville Chamberlain and appeasement, former IEA President and pension activist (and friend) responded:
I disagree with your analogy TOTALLY!
NO!!!!! negotiations does not mean appeasement. I negotiated 15 contracts for my local -I never felt like Chamberlain or an “appeaser”!!! Sitting down and talking, working through differences, compromising is a time honored way to settle differences. Collective bargaining is a long, long held Union tradition, technique, right — not some form of appeasement!
Going to court is rolling the dice -that process is out of our control!
- Bob Haisman
Kudos to Hais for defending the pension deal even more aggressively than the union leadership.

The in box. Hais says, “Support our union.” I do.

Dear Fred (and the IRTA)
Fred I have a lot of respect for you and your willingness to challenge ….
I understand the IRTA disappointment at not being at the table but they are not a union, they did not want to play the part of a union. I’m sorry they feel slighted.
I believe with all my heart that the IEA leadership “did the right thing”. Negotiations is the way to solve these things. “Just Say No” is just not a viable option – except to be run over.
Because it is a negotiated agreement not everyone will be happy. That often is the results in negotiations. I know you were a local negotiator — Criticism is to be expected — but just like back in our locals — criticize – ask tough questions — but support your union in the end.

IFT on the pension deal.

Dear Members,
We are writing with important and historic news. As you know, we have been fighting to protect our pensions for several years now. While defending against drastic attacks to our guaranteed benefits, we have also been proactively trying to address the state’s fiscal crisis.
For the past several weeks, our union coalition has been meeting with Senate President John Cullerton to try to negotiate a pension agreement, demonstrating our willingness to share in the sacrifice and be part of the solution in the fairest way possible.
And finally, we have reached an agreement.
The agreement echoes our principles. It includes an ironclad funding guarantee, revenue by dedicating additional payments to the pension system, contractual protections for access to health care in retirement under several options, and limits the shared sacrifice asked of workers and retirees who did not cause this problem. You will find a full summary of the agreement here
President Cullerton calls our agreement “credible” and “constitutional.” It represents our willingness to help stabilize our retirement systems, but remains our final, best offer.
We have paid into the systems dutifully from every paycheck while Springfield skipped payments. 

John Dillon on the pension deal.

As pre-teens, my brother and I used to fantasize and argue at night from our beds about illogical differences. For example, I held that the French Foreign Legion was a better choice than my brother’s favorite: British Commandos. The two bills remind me of one of our quickly settled arguments: how would you prefer to die – by sword or gun?
…If you are wondering about the “choice” bill when first brought up, Bayer was quick to dismiss it, and he earned the wrath of Cullerton for quite some time, probably still. Not only did Stevens, AFSCME’s lawyer describe the coerciveness of the choice but Mr. Bayer also reminded Cullerton 

Where has this kind of pragmatism gotten us?

I sent an email to the local IEA office this morning canceling my seat on the bus to Springfield next Wednesday.
It wouldn’t feel right going to Springfield to lobby against SB2404 on a bus paid for by the IEA.
Even though I pay dues.
SB2404 is the deal worked out between Democratic Senate President John Cullerton and the We Are One coalition of state employee unions.
You can see the details of the deal here.
I asked my colleagues in our new Skokie chapter of IEA -Retired what they thought about going to Springfield.

The in box. The Illinois Retired Teachers Association (IRTA) opposes the pension deal.

As you are probably aware the We Are One Illinois coalition including the IEA negotiated an agreement with Senate President Cullerton concerning pension reform. The agreement is structured as a choice proposal affects current retirees.
The proposal will provide a choice between access to healthcare and accepting a staggered two-year COLA freeze or keeping your 3% compounded COLA and no retiree health care access.
The impairment and diminishment language in the proposal is clearly unconstitutional. The IRTA will continue to oppose legislation that diminishes benefits for retirees.

The in box. Express you views on the pension deal at Orland Park forum.

Southwest Suburban Federation of Teachers
AFT Local 943
AFT Local 943 and Orland Council 135
are proud to present
Monday, May 13th at 4:30 p.m.
Century Junior High
10801 W. 159th Street
Orland Park, Illinois
Please attend, share your concerns, and learn the latest on what’s happening in Illinois and how