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Be heard during IFT Local Power Week

5/18/2015

As budget talks play out in Springfield, Governor Rauner is using our fundamental rights as a bargaining chip to try to force through the harmful proposals in his “turnaround” agenda. In exchange for funding critical programs and services, the Governor wants lawmakers to take away our collective bargaining rights, reduce benefits, increase health insurance costs, and slash wages for union and non-union workers. Our communities are in serious jeopardy, but as we've seen at city council and county board meetings across the state this spring, when we stand together in our unions, we win.

It's time to fight back against the Governor's attacks! That's why this week (May 18-22) is IFT LOCAL POWER WEEK. We're calling on every member to learn what's at stake and to step up to protect your community today and prepare for tomorrow's challenges.

Governor Rauner has been pushing a “turnaround” agenda” that would move Illinois backwards by:

  • Taking away your voice at work -  The Governor disguises his proposal as “local control” while others call it “right to work,” but what it means is that school and county boards could decide what – if anything – they will negotiate over in an employment contract. Teachers, PSRPs, higher education professionals, state employees and others could lose their voice on the job and have no say in wages, benefits, health insurance, class size, and other critical issues.

  • Constitutionally eliminating your retirement security - The Governor is demanding that lawmakers change the state Constitution to eliminate its pension protection language – the same language that the Illinois Supreme Court earlier this month unanimously agreed guarantees that your life savings cannot be diminished or impaired.

  • Giving non-members a “free ride” – No one is forced to join a union, but everyone reaps the benefits of a union contract. That's why those who do not join pay a legal fair share fee. But Governor Rauner is demanding that non-members get for free the benefits of the union you've built and the contracts you've bargained. That's just wrong.

These are just a few components of what our Governor is bullying lawmakers into passing before he will agree to a responsible budget that funds our schools, universities, and public services.

During IFT LOCAL POWER WEEK, let's show the Governor and our elected officials that our voice matters. Talk to your local union or council leader to learn more about the Governor's out of touch attacks. Then be ready to contact your lawmakers to urge them to address our state's real problems by passing the "Millionaires' Amendment," a measure that asks the wealthiest Illinoisans to pay a bit more in taxes to provide more than $1 billion in dedicated education funding and to alleviate other budget pressures. If lawmakers approve the bill, which may come up for a vote on Thursday, voters will have the chance to weigh in on this important Constitutional amendment.

Together we can stop Rauner from using our rights as a bargaining chip in his irresponsible political game.

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