While currently most GEO members do not pay into the state pension plan, it’s certainly possible that at some point in the near future members may find themselves part of the state system and will be adversely affected by Governor Quinn’s plan if it goes into effect.  With this plan, an increase in employee contribution, along with an increase in the retirement age, means a prolonged struggle for those who have to wait even longer to retire.  Please see the attached document for more information about Governor Quinn’s plan and please see below for a message from IFT President Dan Montgomery about how we as GEO members can address this problem that could end up affecting a majority of us in the future.


Dear IFT Members,

You have undoubtedly heard by now that Governor Quinn proposed a plan last week that would make significant changes to the state’s public pension systems. His proposal is an unfair assault on your benefits, and would largely shift the cost and obligations of fixing Illinois’ retirement systems – about $85 billion – onto the backs of the members who have contributed to them faithfully while the state has failed to pay its share.

Immediately after Quinn’s announcement, IFT and the “We Are One Illinois” coalition (IEA, AFSCME, SEIU and other unions) issued a statement<http://www.ift-aft.org/news/dailynews/12-04-20/Labor_Coalition_Blasts_Pension_Proposal.aspx> reiterating our continued willingness to work with the governor and lawmakers to find a fair, constitutional solution to the funding crisis that will result in a secure and sustainable system.

As IFT president, I want to keep you informed about efforts moving forward. You should know that, in Springfield, we are working on this critical issue. On Wednesday, April 25, I and key IFT staff will be meeting with our coalition partners to discuss coordinated next steps in our campaign to protect your pension. On April 26 and 27, the coalition will meet with representatives of the governor and key leaders in an effort to determine whether any progress can be made toward a bill that will secure the future of our pension systems.

But we must be ready to fight any unacceptable proposals that will harm your retirement security and that of other IFT members in the state funded systems. To be effective, we will need your help!


*   UPDATE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION!  Visit the IFT Web site<http://www.ift-aft.org/news/dailynews/12-04-24/Register_or_Update_Your_Contact_Information.aspx> now to securely register or update your home e-mail address and phone numbers. The next several weeks will be critical, and we must be able to reach you to keep you informed and let you know how to help. This is particularly important for our K-12 and higher education members who may be on summer break beginning as soon as May.

*   CHECK YOUR INBOX AND THE IFT WEB SITE<http://www.ift-aft.org>. Electronic updates are the fastest way to get news about pension actions in Springfield, scheduled events, Action Alerts and more. Regularly check your email and the IFT homepage<http://www.ift-aft.org> for the latest information. (Again, be sure we can reach you, now and in the weeks ahead, by securely registering or updating your home e-mail address and phone numbers online<http://www.ift-aft.org/news/dailynews/12-04-24/Register_or_Update_Your_Contact_Information.aspx>.) Stay connected to your local as well by talking with your elected leaders, visiting your local or council Web site, reading your newsletter and other sources of local or council information.

Things change quickly in Springfield, and I will work to keep you informed every step of the way. Thank you for doing your part by making sure we can get you the information you need about this issue that is so critical for us all.

In Solidarity,
Dan Montgomery, IFT President

This message has been sent by the
Illinois Federation of Teachers.
500 Oakmont Lane
Westmont, IL 60559


Quinn’s Epic Pension Proposal 04-20-12

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