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It’s just a bill

Friday, Jul 27, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release from yesterday…

The Illinois Education Association (IEA) today encourages the Illinois General Assembly to consider SB 3622, a bill introduced by State Sen Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) that will revert the end-of-career retirement benefit for educators in the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) and State Universities System (SURS) from three percent back to six percent.

“Governor Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly did a disservice to our educators by capping end-of-career benefits at three percent,” said IEA President Kathi Griffin. “Passing SB 3622 is one step to address the issue. We encourage lawmakers to stand with Senator Fowler in support of our teachers’ and our students’ futures.”

The TRS and SURS shift to three percent was hidden on page 741 of the BIMP bill (HB 4332) and passed along with the budget back in May sparking immediate outcry from teachers across the state. Because educators can qualify for retirement benefits after five years of employment, the three percent cap encourages school districts to limit all educator salary increases to three percent. The cap limits financial compensation and deters teachers from furthering their education and taking on additional coaching or tutoring roles. All of this makes the teaching profession a less desirable career choice and ultimately lowers the quality of education our students receive.

“Many parts of Illinois are in the midst of a teacher shortage crisis – and I believe lowering the cap will only make that worse,” said State Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg). “This is why I’m sponsoring this legislation.”

Additionally, the three percent threshold shifts the state’s financial responsibility onto already cash-strapped school districts, limiting their ability to fund the educational needs of their students without considering other revenue options, like raising local property taxes, to alleviate the new financial burden.

The IEA remains committed to repealing the three percent threshold. To date, we have collected more than 11,250 signatures from IEA members and community supporters on our petition demanding the Illinois General Assembly rescind the three percent.

The bill’s co-sponsor is Republican Sen. Neil Anderson. Both men voted for the BIMP bill.

So, you’ve got two Republican legislators running for reelection sponsoring an IEA bill to shift some pension costs back to the state in direct opposition to the GOP governor, who has been pushing this concept since 2015.

But, hey, you gotta do what you gotta do and Rauner has shown very little interest in contributing much if any money to the Senate Republicans.

       

34 Comments
  1. - Just Me - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 12:18 pm:

    IEA is totally out of touch with the taxpayers if they think and end of career bump purely for pension purposes is acceptable.


  2. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 12:29 pm:

    What happens if a teacher takes a different position in the district in the last couple years of their career? Would say going from a classroom teacher to Administration be penalized for the salary bump that exceeds 3%?


  3. - ughh - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 12:33 pm:

    –What happens if a teacher takes a different position in the district in the last couple years of their career? Would say going from a classroom teacher to Administration be penalized for the salary bump that exceeds 3%? –

    the school district would pick up the difference.


  4. - don the legend - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    ==So, you’ve got two Republican legislators running for reelection sponsoring an IEA bill to shift some pension costs back to the state in direct opposition to the GOP governor, who has been pushing this concept since 2015.==

    Rauner is clearly “not in charge”.


  5. - JS Mill - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 12:45 pm:

    IEA is totally out of touch with the taxpayers if they think and end of career bump purely for pension purposes is acceptable.=

    Every member of the IEA is a taxpayer. And this isn’t soley limited to concerns about end of career increases.

    3% increase does not keep up with costs for educators even when COI has been low insurance cost increases have exceeded 3% with regularity.


  6. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 12:46 pm:

    the school district would pick up the difference

    What if they switch schools? With the new school be penalized for hiring someone at a higher salary than they were making at their previous School? This seems like it is full of flaws to me.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 12:47 pm:

    ===Rauner has shown very little interest in contributing much if any money to the Senate Republicans.===

    Depending on the outcome in November, the caucuses have the ability to independently, and both collectively, build the party again. They can decide to be caucuses of Maureen Murphys and Mark Beaubiens… or be so terribly monolithic archaic minority, but speaking with one voice, seemingly wondering time and again “are we in step with Illinois voters, are we diverse enough to find a majority of voters to govern?”

    If you can’t fully grasp, comprehend, understand, or “get” that I long for a diverse GOP where a Topinka and a Jim Ryan can sit at the same table, respect the intra-politics of the GOP, and pull together… you will never understand me. Ever.

    We can be a governing party or a party of parody, so similar to each other the few Republicans left will miss mock 80% agreement… openly… and purposely.

    It’s bills like this… where can I help?

    Where can I be part of a rebuild where we as a party understand Raunerites and Slytherins aren’t for a party, but for themselves.

    You know where to find me.

    Oswego Willy


  8. - Just Me - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 12:56 pm:

    JS Mill — I totally and completely reject the idea that because teachers are taxpayers they share in the pain in paying for the teachers’ salaries and benefits.

    Karen Lewis spreads that line of B.S. all the time too.


  9. - Original Rambler - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 12:59 pm:

    Anonymous, the prior “free-for-all” on end of career pay increases was way worse than any issues with this bill. It doesn’t bother me one bit if the school districts that were the worst at abusing TRS with outrageous end of career raises to pass on costs that the school districts rightfully should have borne but instead passed on to all State citizens now have to bite the bullet in unusual cases.


  10. - anon - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 1:03 pm:

    “Because educators can qualify for retirement benefits after five years of employment, the three percent cap encourages school districts to limit all educator salary increases to three percent.” Do the unions have evidence of this happening and districts actually acting based on this possibility? If someone retires after just five years of employment the pension will quite small and the district’s share of the last bump (over 3%) will be negligible.


  11. - Occam - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 1:06 pm:

    “Additionally, the three percent threshold shifts the state’s financial responsibility onto already cash-strapped school districts, limiting their ability to fund the educational needs of their students without considering other revenue options, like raising local property taxes, to alleviate the new financial burden.”

    Wasn’t Rauner’s pension cost shift proposal killed by both republicans and democrats?


  12. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 1:09 pm:

    ===Wasn’t Rauner’s pension cost shift proposal killed by both republicans and democrats?===

    Well, maybe just “Deader than a rock on a stump”

    https://bit.ly/2LwAanS


  13. - Demoralized - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 1:14 pm:

    ==I totally and completely reject the idea that because teachers are taxpayers they share in the pain in paying for the teachers’ salaries and benefits.==

    You can totally and completely reject it if you want. It doesn’t change the fact that teachers are, in fact, taxpayers and they do, in fact, share in the same “pain” when it comes to taxes.

    Any suggestion otherwise is nonsense.


  14. - walker - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 1:14 pm:

    Maureen Murphy and Mark Beaubien.
    I second that emotion o’Willy.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 1:16 pm:

    - walker -

    It’s a choice as a party.

    Thanks. Appreciate that. Time will tell if that thought can grow whenever Rauner leaves the stage.


  16. - JS Mill - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 1:25 pm:

    =JS Mill — I totally and completely reject the idea that because teachers are taxpayers they share in the pain in paying for the teachers’ salaries and benefits.

    Karen Lewis spreads that line of B.S. all the time too.=

    Do you also reject the fact that the earth is round? You sound like a child, maybe your parents shouldn’t let you play on the computer.

    In the last seven I have have not received a raise over 1.5% in years that I have actually received a raise.

    Just perusing my tax bill and state income tax I see that rates have gone up and my taxes have as well.

    Same “pain” as everyone else, and I don’t need your acceptance.


  17. - Change in Strategy Coming - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 1:32 pm:

    The 3% cap on ALL credible earning primarily affects Tier 1 employees (those in a pension plan before 2011) The spiking cap (6% or 3%) of ALL credible earnings applies to the last 4 years of employment under Tier 1 rules. Traditional teacher contracts had credible earning raises including step and lane of 2-4% for non-retiring years, and then a 6% credible earning raise for those retiring in each of their last 4 years. Meaning that the contracts had separate language for Retiring and non-retiring teachers. Look for future negotiations to flip this language and push for hire raises such as 4,5,6% for non-retiring teachers until they get to 5 years before retiring and those in the last 4 years of their career maximizing at the 3%. In my opinion the 3% cap actually helps the teacher shortage because it allows for more $$ to flow to new and younger teachers. Tier 2 is a different ballgame with a look back at 8 out of 10 years. when it comes to the 3% cap.


  18. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 1:40 pm:

    “Jack and the Beanstalk”
    “Hansel and Gretel”
    “Rumpelstiltskin”
    and “Illinois’ pension crisis was caused exclusively by the state not making required payments”.


  19. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 1:48 pm:

    JS Mill, I’m in your corner, and I imagine most folks are when they are properly informed.

    Change in Strategy, your reading of the law is incorrect. The caps apply to any year used in pension calculation, those being the high four of the last ten, which isn’t always the last four. Further, my knowledge is a bit dated, but I never saw a District with two CBAs, one for retirees and one for all others.

    The worst part of the caps along with stifling raises was the effect on trying to hire coaches, department heads, board certified teachers, and other folks who might trigger the cap by nature of a new assignment.

    This new cap was passed in a lousy way and needs a full airing. Let’s do that.


  20. - NYGirl - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 1:52 pm:

    =Change in Strategy Coming
    I disagree with your thinking because it assumes a school districts know when a teacher is retiring. However, a school district could reasonably argue that no one can take an increase of greater that 3% because technically retirees could be at almost any point on the salary schedule. A teacher can “retire” from the profession at any point in their career and go back to collect a pension once they reach retirement age and the school district will be on the hook for any increases above the 3% threshold.


  21. - Change in Strategy Coming - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 1:59 pm:

    AA - Fully admit I did not read the new law and agree that the old law was the highest 4 consecutive out of the last 10. The 6% cap does apply to only the last 4 years before retirement. It is not a separate CBA - it is 1 CBA that has distinct language for teachers that are considering retirement. Retiring teachers submit binding paperwork to the district with a retirement date and then are eligible for the 6%.


  22. - JS Mill - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 2:02 pm:

    @AA- Thanks for the correction. Much appreciated.

    My understanding is that even if you move into admin the cap still applies if you are in the same district. This will hurt big and small districts trying to “grow their own” administrators.

    The number of people taking licensure exams dropped approximately 74% -from 53k in 2012-2013 to 13k in 2016-2017. The new law, if not fixed, will increase the movement of staff and make it much more difficult to retain people. Hiring is very difficult right now and it is only going to get harder.

    But people should be ok with reducing course options and increasing class sizes since it is what they voted for./s

    =In my opinion the 3% cap actually helps the teacher shortage because it allows for more $$ to flow to new and younger teachers.=

    You really do not understand how it works at all. typically contracts base the percentage increase in pay on the base salary. That means if the new contract calls for a 3% increase those at the bottom will get 3% while those at the top will get much less in terms of percentage but the same dollar amount. The exception is if they move over a lane (based on education attained) which is open to everyone. The cap hurts the newer teachers and lets more money flow to the top because they can get a ;larger dollar amount raise because the cap is based on a percentage.


  23. - consistent... or not? - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 2:04 pm:

    cap helps districts save money to hire new teachers; just like the pension spike is used to encourage retirements - so the districts can save money to hire new teachers?


  24. - G'Kar - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 2:05 pm:

    Change in Strategy, the problem with your suggestion is that people quit all the time with little or no advance warning. For example, at my college two faculty resigned and moved out of state long before you would have expected them to retire. If the 3% cap was in place the college would have to have paid penalties for both.


  25. - Anon - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 2:18 pm:

    When you have school board lawyers describing the one in a thousand case where maybe just maybe there could be a charge, this becomes a de facto cap. When you have a teacher shortage and are trying to encourage HS students to take up teaching as a profession this is the wrong message to send. The sound bite on pension spiking does not meet up with reality when the rubber meets the road throughout Illinois.


  26. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    Change, my apologies for misreading your comment on the CBAs. You are correct.

    However, you are mistaken on what salary years are subject to the cap. See 40 ILCS 5/16.158(f)


  27. - Sue - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 2:39 pm:

    The cap has far more impact on Tier 1 teachers then tier 2 so how does something that impacts you at retirement influence the 23 year old college grad thinking about being a teacher. Less then a half of teachers stick it out to receive a pension so please forgive us for laughing at the assertion this hurts recruiting. What hurts recruiting is an economy generating much better alternatives


  28. - Just Me - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    Demoralized - how much money do teachers pay in taxes? How much do they receive in taxpayer money?

    To say they fund their own salaries just like everyone else is ridiculous. Everyone else isn’t receiving those salaries and pension benefits. In fact, everyone else doesn’t get a pension anymore at all.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 3:34 pm:

    (Sigh)

    ===how much money do teachers pay in taxes? How much do they receive in taxpayer money?===

    Those salaries need to be payed regardless. Unless you think teachers should work for free… otherwise this has no merit.

    ===To say they fund their own salaries just like everyone else is ridiculous. Everyone else isn’t receiving those salaries and pension benefits.===

    No one is stopping ANYONE from being a teacher, or getting those benefits.

    ===In fact, everyone else doesn’t get a pension anymore at all.===

    That’s the give and take in career choices. Some jobs have these benefits, other jobs have those benefits.

    Your life choices are yours.


  30. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 3:38 pm:

    ===Everyone else isn’t===

    Everyone else isn’t trying to teach your bratty, spoiled kids, either.


  31. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 3:46 pm:

    Just me, he didn’t say teachers pay their own salaries or pensions. He merely noted they pay taxes like the rest of us.

    If you have teacher salary or pension envy, go sub for a day, if you qualify. Come back and tell us what you think then.


  32. - Morty - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 3:55 pm:

    Just Me

    Just stop.

    With each word you sound more like an ignoramus


  33. - Morty - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 3:57 pm:

    Btw, my district is already defering any payment over 3% (in violation of our contracr, imo, and it will go to grievance) because of this.

    It’s NOT being applied to teacher’s in retirement incentive programs but across the board.


  34. - JS Mill - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 4:00 pm:

    =so please forgive us for laughing at the assertion this hurts recruiting.What hurts recruiting is an economy generating much better alternatives

    =

    Another “I don’t care about facts” genius heard from.

    From 53,000 down to 13,000. You cannot (well you would) argue with those numbers.

    And more jobs in other areas that pay better with good benefits is a part of the issue. If you are a free-marketer then you would realize it will also make teachers more expensive eventually.

    =To say they fund their own salaries just like everyone else is ridiculous. Everyone else isn’t receiving those salaries and pension benefits. In fact, everyone else doesn’t get a pension anymore at all.=

    Funny, you must not read very well. Let me help you-

    Teachers. Are. Taxpayers.

    Your comment about pensions? Interesting because there is a bill in congress (can’t remember the number or title) proposed by a republican that will make it easier for companies to get together and create pensions.

    Seems they are desirable.

    We are hiring, if you are qualified I suggest you give it a shot. You would last less than a week.


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