* As I told subscribers this morning, Speaker Madigan is calling yet another “weekly order of business” this Thursday on pension reform. From the IEA…
This means there will be floor debate on legislative amendments that, if passed into law, would reduce pension benefits for participants in TRS, SURS and the other state pension systems.
The floor debate and voting, which are expected to begin on Thursday, will focus on areas of great concern to IEA members in the affected pension systems;
The annual cost of living adjustment (COLA)
The retirement age for active members of the state pension systems
Employee contributions to the retirement systems, as well other pension-impacting proposals offered by members of the House.
This is a serious attack on your pension– Call NOW!
IEA members are urged to contact their state representatives immediately to stop these pension-cutting proposals from getting out of the House.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Tribune…
…House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, has filed a package of amendments viewed by some as a “scared straight” approach that could shock government workers opposing any kind of benefit rollback into thinking about the potential alternatives.
Madigan distributed to his Democratic troops a description that says one amendment would eliminate all future cost-of-living adjustments and one would halt the adjustments until the pension plans reach an 80 percent funding level. A third proposal would raise the retirement age for full benefits to 67 and a fourth would require employees to chip in another 5 percent of their paychecks toward retirement. The changes would apply to lawmakers, rank-and-file state workers, university employees and public school teachers outside of Chicago.
Republicans this week have grumbled that they expected Madigan to put these before the full House Thursday to test each measure’s support on up-or-down votes similar to the way he rolled out more than a dozen amendments on the concealed weapons legislation on Tuesday.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Madigan’s “scared straight” amendments that will be debated tomorrow…
[ *** End Of Updates *** ]
* Meanwhile, this is from AFSCME…
URGENT: Strong rumors in the state Capitol indicate that legislation stripping state employees of their right to collective bargaining over health care costs and benefits could be moved in the House of Representatives as soon as today. Your action is needed NOW to prevent its passage.
At this point there is no substantive language or a specific bill. But a shell bill that could be the legislative vehicle passed out of committee on Tuesday night, Feb. 26. Substantive language could be added to this or other legislation and called for a vote of the full House chamber at any time. If passed by the House, the bill would go to the Senate.
This is a direct attack on state workers’ fundamental right to collective bargaining. Negotiating health care benefits and coverage is just as vital as bargaining over wages and other benefits.