Report on Monthly Meeting, October 9, 2013

The monthly meeting of AFSCME Retirees, Subchapter 161, was held at Ruby Tuesday’s on October 9. The principle business was to prepare for the bi-annual convention in Springfield on October 16 and 17.

Delegates and representatives from the subchapter will provide reports (including pictures) to be reported to the members in future emailings and web postings.

The subchapter agreed that the delegates should support the following:

Be it resolved that AFSME subchapter 161 supports working with We Are One Illinois Coalition of Unions for a fair and acceptable pension reform legislation. Be it resolved that a fair pension means there is no legislative reduction of any benefits for State employees, active and retired, that are guaranteed in the State contract and the Illinois Constitution.

Whereas the effects of the sequestration will have an adverse effect on women and their families due to proposed cuts to Human Services, Primary, Secondary and Post-secondary Education. Whereas the ripple effects of these cuts would result in an estimated loss of 750,000 public sector jobs in 2013 alone, in which 63% of these jobs were found to be to be staffed by women. Whereas women’s economic well being is threatened by cuts in retirement security in the public sector. Whereas the loss of retirement security combined with proposals to reduce cost of living adjustments in the Social Security program (Chained CPI ) which systematically underestimates the real cost of living, fundamental changes to the Medicare, Medicaid and SNAP programs will have disproportionate negative effect on women who tend to have lower lifetime incomes and longer life expectancy. Whereas these threats to social safety net not only hurts women but their families. Whereas severe cuts in entitlement and education programs has a negative ripple effect on the entire economy according to  mainstream economists. Be it resolved that AFSCME in cooperation with women’s and other grass root organizations support legislation in the city, county, state and federal level for improvements in those vital programs and organized actions to react to proposed cut to human services and education.

Be it resolved (1) Illinois Colleges and Universities are exempted from the provisions of the BISS law regarding annuitants for affected annuitants with a SURS pension of $20,000 a year or less. Also college and university employers which involuntarily discontinue or reduce employment of any SURS affected annuitant with a SURS pension of $20,000 a year or less will be subject to penalties of the BISS law regarding affected annuitants as if they were otherwise employing a BISS affected annuitant for each such discontinuation or reduction. (2)  Illinois colleges and Universities which involuntarily reduce any employee’s working hours below the qualifying level for the Affordable Care Act, will be subject to the penalty of the BISS law for their employment as if he/she were an affected annuitant, for each such case.

In other business:
Mary Bennett distributed a Consumer Reports Guide to Health Reform.  A copy can be viewed by clicking here.

David Rolston recommended that members view the blogsite of Fred Klonsky for information about Medicare Advantage (see

Mike Schoenburg noted that Senator Daniel Biss will be hosting a community forum on The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and Upcoming Healthcare Transition.  The forum will be at the Levy Center in Evanston (300 Dodge) at 3 PM on Sunday, October 13.  Besides Senator Biss, the forum will include U. S. Representative Jan Schakowsky, State Representatives Robyn Gabel and Laura Fine, and Charles Watkins from the Governor’s Office. Members are encouraged to attend.

Walt Esler noted that a discussion of using the Obamacare exchanges, with practical tips, can be found at:

David Rolston noted that the Fall Membership Meeting of the Green Party will be held October 19 at UE Hall, 37 S. Ashland Ave, Chicago (between Madison and Monroe on Ashand), starting at 8:00 AM (see

The next monthly meeting of the subchapter will be November 20 (back on our regular schedule of the third Wednesday of the month).

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