by Cal Skinner
Year after year, when the choice came down to pump more money into State Aid to Education or pay pay the state's share of pension payments, teacher unions took the money and ran.
As far back as the 1970's, current teacher raises trumped paying for future pensions time and time again.
That's what hit me while I was reading today's Chicago Sun-Times editorial entitled,
$82 bil. pension debt
Teacher union leaders knew that as long as the Illinois Constitution is interpreted by the Illinois Supreme Court--who are in a public pension system just like they and I are--pensions promised would be pensions paid, even before future State Aid to Education.
How disingenuous it is for those in the know (and I'm not counting the Sun-Times editorial writers as necessarily being among such folks) to argue
"That liability, it's important to note, cannot be blamed on excessively generous pension benefits.If you are or were a legislator beholding to the Illinois Education Association or the Illinois Federation of Teachers (and way too many Republicans recruited by Lee Daniels were and are) would you chose to come down on the side of
"Instead, it is largely reflects failures year after year by the sate to pay its fair share."
- the teachers lobbying you and living in your district for higher wages or
- retired teachers who may or may not live in your district, when you know future legislators will have to come up with the pension money, not you?
These striking teachers are from Huntley School District 158. Last year they "settled" for 5.25%, with less in salary in future years, but the difference going to lessen their share of the current teacher pension burden.