The attacks on educators have been relentless. Bruce Rauner didn't start this trend, but he has turned it into an art form.
Last week, he did it again. Without warning or time for discussion, Governor Rauner insisted on a budget provision that will make it more difficult for K-12 teachers and college educators to bargain for fair pay increases as they approach retirement.
Currently, school districts and higher education institutions can provide end-of-career salary increases of up to 6 percent without incurring additional pension costs.
But Rauner’s provision caps the increase at 3 percent, after which employers (rather than the state) will be financially responsible for the pension liability on anything over 3 precent if that increase factors into a member’s annuity calculation.
We are already seeing employers use this threat of higher pension costs as an excuse to keep wages low across the board. This so-called “reform” could have the practical impact of limiting final average salary increases — and possibly all salary increases — to 3 percent for participants in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and State Universities Retirement System (SURS).
The moment we learned about this proposal, the IFT acted. Thank you to all our members who heeded the call and contacted lawmakers to oppose this provision. Unfortunately, the measure was part of a final budget that included additional money for early childhood programs, K-12 schools, tuition assistance, and public universities.
Sign here to tell politicians that educators shouldn’t be punished for financial problems they didn’t cause. The IFT will be delivering the petition to legislators and Governor Rauner soon.
The governor's latest attack comes at a time when Illinois needs to recruit and retain qualified educators, not send a message that the state is unwilling to invest in them and their retirement security.
Last week’s action was the latest failure for Rauner, who has already:
Held our state hostage for an historic 736 days without a budget.
Decimated higher education and human services, doing damage that will take years to rebuild.
Forced a private school voucher program into last year’s school funding bill.
Teachers, faculty, and school staff deserve respect and the ability to retire securely after a lifetime of public service.
We deserve better than Bruce Rauner and this unfair treatment. Sign the petition today.