SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Quinn again dogged by AFSCME

Friday, Sep 21, 2012

* AFSCME sent out this alert early today…

A day after new data revealed the Illinois unemployment rate rose to 9.1% in August, public employees and retirees opposed to Governor Pat Quinn’s threat to lay off nearly 4,000 child protection workers, disability caregivers, correctional officers and other public servants will demonstrate outside two public events where the governor is scheduled to appear.

CHICAGO: 7:45 a.m. today (Friday, Sept. 21) at Wildfire, 159 N Erie St.
JOLIET: 10:00 a.m. near Joliet Union Station, Jefferson and Scott Sts.

Union members will form a “Pat Quinn Truth Squad” to picket and leaflet against the governor’s thousands of threatened job cuts, his false and exaggerated claims about public employee pensions, and his efforts to weaken workers’ right to collective bargaining.

Gov. Quinn’s scheduled Chicago appearance comes at a breakfast hosted by the Institute of Medicine of Chicago. He is slated to be in Joliet for the groundbreaking of a planned high-speed rail station.

In recent weeks similar “Pat Quinn Truth Squads” have dogged the governor’s events at a farm near Mount Vernon, confronted him after a bill-signing ceremony near the Quad Cities and booed him off the stage at the State Fair. Two weeks ago a mobile billboard truck shadowed Quinn at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, and last week a Truth Squad picketed a scheduled appearance in Springfield where the governor failed to appear.

* The union’s Facebook page has some photos of the protests…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anders Lindall, AFSCME - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 11:55 am:

    The woman in the third photo is a retired librarian. Her pension is just $33,000 a year and she is ineligible for Social Security. Her sign and her expression tell you exactly what she thinks of Quinn’s phony claims of “extravagant pensions.”

  2. - Cassiopeia - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 12:01 pm:

    At least Governor Walker was upfront and honest about his anti-labor feelings. Quinn is a near complete phony about his union beliefs. He has totally betrayed workers.

    I hope someone takes him out in the March 2014 democratic primary.

  3. - Shore - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 12:14 pm:

    The unions continue to overplay their hands. I don’t think they realize how greedy they’re coming off to the public right now. Quinn is not scott walker or even john kasich by any stretch and they need to realize that if they continue to play this way they may eek out a win in the next battle but they’ll get killed in the war. $33k to be retired from a government job stacking books is a lot better than some people are doing employed right now.

  4. - Anyone Remember? - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 12:31 pm:

    Shore -

    Librarians do more than just stack books.

  5. - Earnest - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 12:31 pm:

    I agree with Shore. “Just $33,000 a year” is tone-deaf. Most of the people I know would be thrilled to be making $33,000 a year (though I know that amount doesn’t go nearly as far in other parts of the state) and would be thrilled to either have insurance or to not have to pay so much for it. When people see a statement like that and look at services they need being cut because the state doesn’t have enough money to go around, it makes them less inclined to be supportive of state employees, even the rank and file. I don’t begrudge this person her pension but I don’t see AFSCME getting out the message that will get her and others the public support they deserve.

  6. - Reality Check - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 1:01 pm:

    I am not sure where Shore and Earnest are living when they claim public employees and retirees don’t have public support in their battle to protect the services they provide and the modest pay and pensions they deserve. See last year’s poll by the We Are One Illinois pension coalition (, last month’s poll from the IEA ( and Rich’s own poll ( about the CTU strike. You may live in an anti-worker echo chamber but in Illinois people support public services and the men and women who provide them.

  7. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 1:09 pm:

    As an AFSCME member, I do agree the union is not doing a good marketing job. They should be educating the public about the poor conditions in the prisons and being clearer about how pensions are paid. I would like to see a full page ad in the newspaper (or on this site) stating how pensions are actually funded. Much of the public does not know that state employees pay for their pension. When I am accosted about my pension, I explain that I have paid 4% of my salary, plus social security, for 23 years, and that I wasn’t given a choice and that if EVERYONE, even burger flippers, had to put close to 12% of their salary into retirement, they might have a pension, too. People sometimes still disagree with the state employees receiving a pension, but they at least understand WHY I expect to receive mine.

  8. - Crime Fighter - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 1:11 pm:

    == how greedy they’re coming off to the public right now. ==

    I think the opposite true. People are starting to see through the bogus “benevolent oligarch” arguments made by Fahner, Whitely, Quinn, and their other minions.

    I pay more tax on a patch for my bicycle tire than combined yacht servicing taxes paid by the anti-worker crowd. The more times the millionaires keep repeating the “greedy janitor” claim, the more ludicrous it sounds.

  9. - thechampaignlife - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 1:32 pm:

    A $33,000 pension today would only be worth $26,000 in inflation adjusted value when a 65 year old librarian is 85 with the proposed COLA changes. That’s a significant cut right around the most expensive years of one’s life.

  10. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 2:09 pm:

    @Anders -

    Hey buddy, sorry I missed it: I know others have called workers’ retirements “extravagant,” but can you provide us a link to when Quinn actually said it? If he did, I agree he was off the mark.



    As for the general position of AFSCME, I don’t think anyone really doubts my general support for unions. Not only was my dad a union leader, but my grandfather worked for state government and was an AFSCME member.

    That said, I agree with Rich that the union finds itself in a tough position to defend. On one hand, they want to block Quinn’s plan to close prisons to fund DCFS while at the same time opposing cuts at DCFS.

    As for the bigger picture, they oppose laying off 4,000 state employees, but they have also opposed changes to the pension system that would relieve the fiscal pressures that are forcing cuts in the state’s operating budget across the board.

    I suppose what irks me the most, however, is that in their fight to prevent prison closures in particular (as well as the Jacksonville center), AFSCME has aligned itself very tightly with Republicans who refused to put a single vote on even a TEMPORARY tax increase, let alone the kind of permanent tax reforms needed to address our structural budget deficit.

    I know there are no “permanent friends” in politics, only allies. But its not like the tax vote was a decade ago. It was less than two years ago, and its being used by the very same Republicans you are aligning yourselves with to try to unseat Democrats who voted to raise taxes when the only other alternative was to cut state programs by $8 billion.

  11. - Dan Bureaucrat - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 2:10 pm:

    Pensions are one thing, but prisons are pork-barrel spending. AFSCME should know the difference. And if they don’t, everyone else should.

  12. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 2:25 pm:

    –Most of the people I know would be thrilled to be making $33,000 a year–

    C’mon man, that ain’t Easy Street by a long shot. And it’s a pension — she worked all her life and made contributions from her wages for it.

    We’ve been going through tough times since the Masters of the Universe ran the world economy into the ditch. There’s no use crying about it, we’ve all taken the hit and will continue to do so to clean up the mess.

    But for God’s sake, can we stop pretending that the schmuck who goes to work every day is somehow a parasite and worthy of scorn? Jesus H Christ, they’re the people.

  13. - OneMan - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 2:28 pm:

    == but prisons are pork-barrel spending. ==

    Don’t agree with that…. We may have too many people in prison, but I would not consider them pork-barrel spending.

  14. - geronimo - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 2:36 pm:

    How do people happy to earn $33K/year own a computer to type on? In the suburbs you’d qualify for food stamps. If you have kids you’d be considered low income, eligible for free school lunches and if in college on the FAFSA your child would qualify for government subsidized loans. So what’s up with thinking 33K is luxury? Given the average cost of housing, you’d be living on the streets for 33K anywhere near Chicago. Government workers never made the same kind of money to be able to sock it away for retirement and the percentage they paid to their retirement fund WAS their savings that they expected and were constitutionally guaranteed to be there. Workers have time to adjust and compensate for an increase in their deductions toward their pension. Retirees do not.

  15. - Team Sleep - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 2:58 pm:

    I think Quinn is telling the truth. Whether it’s her version of the truth is a different story.

    Mr. Lindall, I appreciate the post. I don’t think that is an extravagant pension. I also don’t think it’s “mean” or “unconstitutional” to pay a small premium for healthcare. The last time I checked, most retirees do not have either a free primary or secondary payer plan.

  16. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 3:01 pm:

    === We may have too many people in prison, but I would not consider them pork-barrel spending ===

    You apparently haven’t been reading all of the comments by union members, mayors and legislators about how prison closures will impact local economies and jobs.

    Anyone who thinks opposition to prison closures is about public safety is delusional.

    Roughly 1/4 of state inmates are nonviolent drug offenders.

    And last time I checked, roughly half of the inmate “recidivism” rate was not for inmates who committed new crimes, but who committed technical violations of their parole.

    Kentucky is saving tens of millions by no longer incarcerating people for nonviolent drug offenses. And California is saving hundreds of millions by no longer sending former inmates back to prison for technical parole violations?

    Do the downstate Republicans and Democrats opposing prison closings support these changes? Does AFSCME support these changes?

    If so, they aren’t holding any press conferences.

  17. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 3:02 pm:

    Word-slinger: What you said!!!!!

  18. - cassandra - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 3:15 pm:

    Which 4000 employees are projected to be laid off, and for what reason. Unless you call involuntary transfer to other positions in the agency a layoff (I don’t) I don’t think any of the corrections employees will be laid off, the plan is to offer equivalent jobs in other facilities.

    I’m not certain about the numbers resulting from he planned closing of large residential institutions for those with special needs, but that train has left. We aren’t going to build any more mammoth insitutions staffed by public workers for those with special needs. Across the country, those places are closing. Illinois is, if anything, behind the trend.

    DCFS is apparently eliminating some middle manager jobs and other back office and support positions which are very likely redundant. The days of large back offices full of support personnel is so over in this technological age, for both the public and private sector. Most of the projected (remember, they haven’t happened yet and the deadline has already been extended) DCFS layoffs seem to result from the accelerated privatization of the agency’s family protective services program. According to some, including one Cap Fax commenter, there was already a plan to substantially privatize this program, over a longer time frame. So these jobs were probably being transferred to the private sector anyway. Of course, attrition is a less painful way of going about these changes, but our political leaders say they have no money. We’ll see. But even if the monies are restored, it seems likely that the privatization will proceed at some point. Whether you agree or not, privatization of government services won’t disappear or reverse.

    Government has been accused of being behind the times, but public employee unions seem to be a tad behind the times themselves. Maybe they should direct their organizing energies towards the nonprofits and private agencies which are contracting for these services. That’s hard work of course.

  19. - Anyone Remember? - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 3:33 pm:

    cassandra -

    ==The days of large back offices full of support personnel is so over in this technological age, for both the public and private sector.==

    Obviously, you’ve never met Auditor General Bill Holland and his definition of and focus upon “segregation of duties / segregation of functions” … .

  20. - Earnest - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 3:34 pm:

    -C’mon man, that ain’t Easy Street by a long shot. And it’s a pension — she worked all her life and made contributions from her wages for it.-

    I agree, and didn’t mean to imply otherwise. I stand by my point, though: don’t use the phrase “only $33,000/year” to win support when many people out there make less than that while working and are seeing their services and supports cut. There are too many messages out there that drive people to pull others down to the lowest common denominator than to lift each other up. AFSCME has a loud enough voice to make those arguments amidst all the monied interests arguing otherwise and I’d like to see them doing it effectively.

  21. - Earnest - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 3:40 pm:

    cassandra, AFSCME did a big push to organize community agencies in the 90s, and was successful with a number. However, while they may have supported their members in negotiating contracts with those agencies, they put their statewide resources into the contracts/funding for their state employees, often at the expense (at least to my perspective) of funding for those community agencies, one of the reasons direct care workers in the community, even those in agencies organized by AFSCME, make such low wages relative to their state counterparts.

  22. - Truthteller - Friday, Sep 21, 12 @ 4:39 pm:

    Who arrested the inmates? Who were the judges and who were the juries? Who did the sentencing? Who passed the sentencing laws?

    Not the folks who worked in the prisons which are badly overcrowded. Why blame them for the 48,000+ inmates we have?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Sign of the times?
* Question of the day
* Exelon Just Received A $1.7 Billion Rate Increase Through The Market-Based Capacity Auction
* Today's number: 60
* No imminent power shut-offs
* Chamber all-in on impasse
* COGFA: State receipts down almost a billion dollars in first quarter
* Two racetracks will likely close
* "How many babies have to die?"
* Report: "A billion-dollar giveaway rife with failure"
* Frerichs warns of impasse consequences
* Quinn touring the state
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

    * iPhone 6s, Samsung Gear S2, Nexus 6P comments & more – Pocketnow Daily Recap
    * Jetpack Joyride brings you Back to the Future theme for October
    * Viber: “heart” messages, more characters, forward public chats
    * Samsung Galaxy Active Neo coming to Japan
    * Top 5 Android games of September 2015
    * Escape from the dark in Dim Light, now out on Android
    * Bounce the ball around shapes in Geometry Bounce

    * Garcia gives White Sox walk-off win vs. Tigers
    * White Sox relish in walk-off as season nears end
    * Alexei takes in possible final games with Sox
    * Montas takes hill for Sox 2015 finale
    * Garcia gives White Sox walk-off win vs. Tigers
    * Albers holds scoreless streak as free agency nears
    * Alexei takes in possible final games with Sox


    Main Menu
    Pundit rankings
    Subscriber Content
    Blagojevich Trial
    Updated Posts

    October 2015
    September 2015
    August 2015
    July 2015
    June 2015
    May 2015
    April 2015
    March 2015
    February 2015
    January 2015
    December 2014
    November 2014
    October 2014
    September 2014
    August 2014
    July 2014
    June 2014
    May 2014
    April 2014
    March 2014
    February 2014
    January 2014
    December 2013
    November 2013
    October 2013
    September 2013
    August 2013
    July 2013
    June 2013
    May 2013
    April 2013
    March 2013
    February 2013
    January 2013
    December 2012
    November 2012
    October 2012
    September 2012
    August 2012
    July 2012
    June 2012
    May 2012
    April 2012
    March 2012
    February 2012
    January 2012
    December 2011
    November 2011
    October 2011
    September 2011
    August 2011
    July 2011
    June 2011
    May 2011
    April 2011
    March 2011
    February 2011
    January 2011
    December 2010
    November 2010
    October 2010
    September 2010
    August 2010
    July 2010
    June 2010
    May 2010
    April 2010
    March 2010
    February 2010
    January 2010
    December 2009
    November 2009
    October 2009
    September 2009
    August 2009
    July 2009
    June 2009
    May 2009
    April 2009
    March 2009
    February 2009
    January 2009
    December 2008
    November 2008
    October 2008
    September 2008
    August 2008
    July 2008
    June 2008
    May 2008
    April 2008
    March 2008
    February 2008
    January 2008
    December 2007
    November 2007
    October 2007
    September 2007
    August 2007
    July 2007
    June 2007
    May 2007
    April 2007
    March 2007
    February 2007
    January 2007
    December 2006
    November 2006
    October 2006
    September 2006
    August 2006
    July 2006
    June 2006
    May 2006
    April 2006
    March 2006
    February 2006
    January 2006
    December 2005
    April 2005
    March 2005
    February 2005
    January 2005
    December 2004
    November 2004
    October 2004

    Blog*Spot Archives
    November 2005
    October 2005
    September 2005
    August 2005
    July 2005
    June 2005
    May 2005


    RSS Feed 2.0
    Comments RSS 2.0


    * Number of Chicago heroin overdoses hits 74 in 3 days
    * Car crashes into northern Illinois church, injuring 6
    * University of Illinois opens center for wounded veterans
    * Opponents upset Chief Illiniwek merchandise available online
    * Chicago man charged in 20-month-old's death acquitted
    * Health officials in Lake County encourage flu shots
    * Alleged improprieties force out 2 parole board members
    * Suburban officer accused of using excessive force sentenced
    * Illinois tax break deals yield uncertain results for state
    * Rauner: Illinois budget standoff 'could go on for a while'

    * Legal marijuana stirs hope in southern Illinois town
    * Statehouse Insider: We have a problem. Is anyone there?
    * AP Exclusive: Legal marijuana stirs hope in southern Illinois town
    * Gov. Rauner: Illinois budget standoff 'could go on for a while'
    * State revenues down by nearly $1 billion in first quarter
    * Former Gov. Quinn makes speech in Champaign, says he has no plans to run for office
    * Supporters of sexual assault, domestic violence programs warn of cuts due to budget impasse
    * University presidents urge end to Illinois budget stalemate
    * Illinois attorney general seeks details from Volkswagen
    * Home day care workers seek repayment of union dues

    * Property tax hike adds up to 'a lot of hot dogs'
    * This tech company is 'ugly and boring'—and booming
    * South Side hospital may reverse years of losses
    * Big boys to change Chicago's skyline
    * Big blunders by Rauner, Madigan leading to Springfield stalemate

    * 6 wounded in shootings since Saturday morning
    * 2 shot, including 15-year-old boy, since Friday night
    * 2 teen boys suspected in Logan Square armed robberies of cellphones
    * Flags tell winning story at Wrigley this season
    * 74 overdoses in 72 hours: Laced heroin may be to blame
    * Famous Naperville Halloween house goes dark
    * Motorist rescues 2 women being mauled by pack of dogs in Indiana
    * Man exposes himself, touches woman on Green Line platform
    * Woman charged with reckless homicide in I-294 death of off-duty officer
    * Wisconsin airman among 11 dead in Afghanistan plane crash

    * Legal marijuana stirs hope in southern Illinois town
    * Bernard Schoenburg: An added loss for workers at Illinois State Museum
    * Angie Muhs: Comics, the 'Power of the Press' and more
    * Bernard Schoenburg: An added loss for workers at Illinois State Museum
    * Statehouse Insider: We have a problem. Is anyone there?
    * Statehouse Insider: We have a problem. Is anyone there?
    * Jim Bordeaux-White: Help give lung cancer patients hope for a cure
    * Charles Krauthammer: Obama's Syria debacle
    * Gov. Rauner: Illinois budget standoff 'could go on for a while'
    * State revenues down by nearly $1 billion in first quarter

    * Look back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was
    * Tom Kacich: Could Springfield atmosphere affect selection of auditor general?
    * Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come
    * Ask 'Mimi,' Oct. 4, 2015
    * 'Ungifted' is nothing short of genius
    * Mike Pemberton/Voices: Newspaper, coffee and the way of the world in a hotel lobby
    * C-U haiku, Oct. 4, 2015
    * Esther Cepeda: Spare the talk of an 'Asian invasion'
    * John Frayne: Gunns mixed it up in an intimate setting
    * Ted Kooser: An American Life in Poetry, Oct. 4, 2015

    * Now it gets interesting: Cubs still alive to host WC playoff
    * Report: Des Plaines shrine rector removed from ministry for 'inappropriate relationship'
    * Sharp, Oduya come home
    * 'True fan' of 80+ years just misses Cubs' playoff season
    * South Alabama holds on to 24-18 win over Troy

    * House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
    * Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
    * The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
    * Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
    * Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
    * CBD Oil, and politics
    * Simon considering state Senate bid
    * Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
    * Shutdown? State may not notice
    * Rep. Bob Dold

    * Senators Introduce Landmark Bipartisan Sen......
    * Senators Introduce Landmark Bipartisan Sen......
    * Durbin cites health benefits in push to ra......

    * Committee Passage of Measure to Support Ju......
    * Chez Family Foundation Center for Wounded ......

    * Meet Uptown's "Gangsters and Ghosts" On October 29th
    * You’re Invited – Illinois REbarcamp Powered by YPN!
    * Next 10 general admission registrants for Vertex 15 Conference get extras
    * Chicago chapter of NAREB collaborates to serve consumers
    * 6 things you need to remember about TRID before Oct. 3
    * Watch for Illinois REALTOR® story about Kinney scholarships
    * NAR honors Goodwin and four other Good Neighbor winners
    * Morning Minute: Signs show housing is shifting to a buyer’s market
    * Two Illinois REALTORS® to be honored with SRES Outstanding Service Award
    * New book offers REALTOR® safety tips for discount

      Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller