Subchapter 161 member Walter Esler has published an analysis of the alleged basis of the current “pension crisis” (http://northsidegreenparty.org/drupal/node/504). The report may be viewed by clicking here.
From bimontly emailing, November 23, 2013
22 November 2013
Sub-Chapter 161 member:
I have received an urgent request from AFSCME Council 31’s leaders and the Council 31 Retiree leadership asking members to contact their State Senator and Representative. The legislative leaders in both houses are calling a legislative session on Dec 3rd to deal with the “Pension Crisis”.
Our pension benefits and annual cost to the budget didn’t cause the “Crisis”. Illinois has a serious systemic revenue problem it has neglected for years. By not paying its annual pension contributions (as you did), the state owes the pension systems almost $100 Billion. By not dealing with the first problem (Lack of operating revenue) , they now find themselves with 2 problems.
Let’s be clear. Should the legislators succeed in eliminating our pensions, they would still have the original problem (not enough revenue to cover operating expenses), plus mounting expenses of the living costs we can no longer pay. What we can’t pay, our friends, family and others will have to pay in state, local and property taxes.
I am asking you to join me and others in calling your legislators now. Call the district office. Have a short, prepared statement. Tell the legislator or their staff person your situation. That they are not to vote to reduce or abolish your pension and benefits. Be succinct, be polite, and be firm. Keep in mind we will be calling in the future; and your listener also wants to have a pension when they retire.
If you are an IMRF retiree, you might assume because that system is better funded, you won’t be affected. Think again. The state’s failure to deal with its revenue shortfall has caused local governments to increase your property taxes which erode your pension’s buying power.
Do this for yourself. Do it for your family. Do it knowing that your one act will be part of an organized community effort that will move our legislators to action.
Charles Hogan, President
From: “David Amerson, AFSCME Retirees” <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2013 9:35:49 AM
Subject: Pension Emergency Action Plan
PENSION EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN
Politicians are expected to return to Springfield on Tuesday, December 3, to vote on a new pension bill that will likely be as damaging to SERS, SURS and TRS retirees as any yet proposed.
This is it – the biggest legislative threat to our retirement security that we’ve faced.
Our response has to be just as big. This is a real emergency situation. AFSCME Retirees, along with the We Are One Illinois union coalition, is calling for a series of Pension Emergency Action Days beginning next week.
- Pension Emergency Call-In Days – November 25-26, Dec. 2-3: We’ve got to completely swamp the switchboards of every legislator on these four days. No matter how many times you’ve called your legislators, call again. Call both your representative and your senator. Be sure to leave a strong, clear message: “VOTE NO ON ANY PENSION BILL THAT DOESN’T HAVE THE SUPPORT OF THE WE ARE ONE UNION COALITION.”
- Pension Emergency Legislative District Actions – Monday, December 2: We’ll be targeting the district offices of key “persuadable” legislators all across the state for a vigorous grassroots lobbying effort with as many union members and retirees as possible in attendance. Clear your schedule NOW so that you can make sure legislators in your area feel the heat. Details about these actions will be coming soon, but our ability to turn out will be critical to retirement security. Also, talk to every person you know, whether they be fellow state retirees, retirees from other systems, or even just people that believe public employees have a right to the benefits they were promised, and get them to turn out, too.
The new bill will likely have the backing of all four legislative leaders. It will blend unfair, unconstitutional elements from old, failed bills – such as cutting COLAs by one-third or more, hiking retirement ages, undermining pensions by expanding 401(k)’s, and other devastating pension cuts. With the legislative leaders behind this scheme, it will take everything we’ve got to stop it. So be prepared to give it your all.