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Bringing the Pension Issue Home

4/29/2013

As lawmakers continue to address pension challenges in Springfield, IFT locals are engaging their communities and union members about this important issue that affects us all. Here are just a few examples:

The Cook County College Teachers Union, Local 1600, partnered with Northern Illinois Jobs for Justice to sponsor a rally on April 24 at Harper College in Palatine. The event was held prior to a forum hosted by Reboot Illinois and the Daily Herald. Illinois Education Association President Cinda Klickna offered the union coalition’s perspective on the issue as an overflow crowd carried signs reading “Public Employees Are Not the Enemy.”

Earlier in the month, the downstate IFT Retirees Chapter hosted a special pension presentation in Fairview Heights. Rich Frankenfeld, TRS director of outreach, gave an informational presentation to a standing room only crowd of members to update them on the status of pension legislation and the state of TRS.

The North Suburban Teachers Union, Local 1274, hosted a public conversation on pensions in late February at Niles North High School in Skokie. The local encouraged community members to to hear a variety of perspectives on the difficult issue. IFT President Dan Montgomery topped the list of speakers at the event, which included Rep. Elaine Nekritz, Sen. Daniel Biss, Ralph Martire, executive director for the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (CTBA), and others.

On May 13, the Southwest Suburban Federation of Teachers, Local 943, will host a pension forum at Century Junior High in Orland Park. Community and union members are invited to attend to learn more about the pension issue and voice their concerns. Guests are scheduled to include:  Ralph Martire, CTBA;  Richard Ingram, executive director of Teachers Retirement System (TRS); IFT President Dan Montgomery; and area lawmakers. Click here, then click on "Pension Forum 2013" for details about the event.

If your IFT local or council is planning a community event in the days ahead, please let us know! Send an e-mail tocommunications@ift-aft.org.

Local events like these are great ways to jump-start an important conversation about how what happens “under the dome” hits closer to home.

Member engagement is also critical, so make your voice heard!  Join us for IFT Lobby Day this Wednesday, May 1, to speak directly with your elected lawmakers at the Capitol. Click here for details about how you can be heard and make a difference! And keep your eye on the IFT Web site for pension developments as they become available.
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