* Mike Schrimpf sent this out at around 5:30 yesterday…
To clarify a lot of misinformation that has been circulated today, below is a summary of President Cullerton’s consideration model for pension reform, which the governor is supporting. If President Cullerton has specific concerns with legislative language, we are confident those can be worked out. What is imperative now is for President Cullerton to make clear whether or not he stands in support of the below consideration model, developed by his office.
Pension Plan Summary
Tier 1 members (hired before January 1, 2011) in SERS, SURS, TRS, and GARS are provided two choices and must make an election between the two choices.
· COLA is the lessor of 3% OR ½ CPI, simple interest on the originally granted annuity.
In Exchange For
· Future increases in salary will count as pensionable salary.
· No changes to current level of pension benefits; COLA remains at 3% annually, compounded.
In Exchange For
· Future salary increases will not count as pensionable salary.
* Any “misinformation” was solely created by Gov. Rauner himself when he told reporters…
“In order for President Cullerton’s bill to be constitutional, salary increases have to be taken out of collective bargaining. This is a key point. Salary increases come out of collective bargaining. So the union has nothing to do with it in the future.”
That’s just not true. It’s so untrue as to be ridiculous.
So, I asked Schrimpf why he didn’t just admit the governor made a mistake, which would instantly clear everything up.
Somebody else from the office called and we had a bit of a shouting match. Friendly, to be sure, but quite loud and extended.
* And then Schrimpf sent an e-mail labeled “Important Update” at 8:19 pm…
Please attribute to governor’s office:
“Perhaps the governor was not as precise in his word selection as the Democrats would have liked. To be clear, the governor agrees with the Senate President that the only labor law revisions that are necessary are those modest ones that ensure that employers shall not be required to bargain over compensation or benefits affected by President Cullerton’s changes, the impact of those changes, or the implementation of those changes. This is what the governor was trying to say. We agree. Let’s move forward to get pension reform done.”
* Natasha Korecki…
Reporters immediately raised suspicions in tweets and initial stories, wondering why Cullerton wasn’t standing next to Rauner. Plus, Rauner’s language was incendiary, sounding anything like someone who was trying to build bridges. He blasted Madigan, he blasted unions. Above all though, he said something Cullerton, who has courted unions, said he never would have agreed to: “Salary increases come out of collective bargaining so the union has nothing to do with it in the future. That is necessary and a requirement for this to be constitutional.” Adding that his and Cullerton’s lawyers agreed on this point. But, according to Cullerton, they hadn’t.
Take-away: Rauner’s credibility is on the line after this one. Illinois Playbook flagged earlier this week that Rauner was expected to make a series of announcements in the leadup to next week’s State of the State address. If his intentions weren’t questioned before. They will scrutinized closely, if not dismissed.
That said: Late Thursday, Cullerton’s office seemed open to moving forward with Rauner if indeed he was not demanding a poison pill. But the whole episode reflected the deep-seated distrust among the parties. The media was not kind.
This isn’t DC. But she makes a good point.