ILLINOIS RETIRED TEACHERS ASSOCIATION – YOU ARE PATHETIC
Just received an urgent e.mail from the Illinois Retired Teachers Association. It was entitled, “It Is Time To Act”. The e.mail went on to say that the General Assembly may soon be considering legislation that changes the promise for active and retired teachers. The Assembly was expected to vote on the bill the same day that it’s proposed. According to news reports, the Assembly could be acting as soon as tomorrow.
“It is time to act” ? Really ? Oh, why not wait until the legislation is actually proposed ? What’s the hurry? Time to act indeed! No, IRTA, the time to act was many years ago and every year since the Assembly started stealing funds from the Teachers’ Pension Fund. The time to act was when you saw several years ago that certain political groups were targeting teachers and teacher pensions. The time to act was when the reformers, politicians and the press started making teachers scapegoats for the State’s financial difficulties. The time to act was when the Governor, Speaker of the House and the Mayor of Chicago met months ago to plot the attack on teacher pensions. The time to act was a few years ago when we saw public opinion beginning to agree with the plotters that teacher pensions were “lucrative” and out of control.
Sorry, IRTA, the time for action has come and gone. Now it’s time to sit back and ponder just how much more retired teachers are going to be paying for health insurance. How our cost of living increases are going to disappear. How current teachers are going to be asked to retire later and to contribute more towards their pensions.
An e.mail campaign and phone calls to legislators aren’t going to do the trick this time. You lost the public opinion battle a long time ago. The public is hell-bent on attacking those “lucrative” public employee pensions, and the legislators sense this and feel that they now have a mandate for change. They might not even wait until November to act.
IRTA, your call to action is a few years too late. Maybe it’s not too late for me to request my IRTA dues to be refunded. Maybe my refunded dues can help offset some of the costs when my health insurance premiums double and my cost of living increases disappear. I’m sorry to say this, but I’m ashamed to be an IRTA member. You’re pathetic.