The last-minute pension proposal introduced as part of the budget package has several components, the most concerning of which is a decrease to 3 percent from the current 6 percent that employers can offer educators in both the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) and State Universities Retirement System (SURS) for pay increases in the years used to calculate their retirement without incurring any additional costs.
The IEA has developed a FAQ on the topic. It’s posted on the Members Only section of the IEA website. The FAQ will be updated if there are any changes or new developments.
Because educators can qualify for the pension program after five years, there is some concern that employers will attempt to limit any salary increases to 3 percent, which would deter people from furthering their education, and dissuade people from entering the profession, ultimately lowering the quality of education students receive.
We are currently under a three-year contract with the District. That means, our contract is grandfathered and the change from 6% to 3% will not impact us until we bargain our next contract. That gives us some time to decide how to best deal with this change. It also means that any members who are currently in the 6% pipeline will continue receiving their incentive, and any members who qualify and submit a letter under our current Agreement will also receive their 6% incentive.
Please take a moment to download the FAQ from the Members Only section of the IEA website.
IEA members and all supporters of public education are asked to sign this petition to reverse a harmful piece of legislation that was inserted in the budget passed by the Illinois General Assembly last week.
Without warning or discussion of the damage it would do to students and schools, Illinois lawmakers imposed a 3 percent threshold on final average earnings salary increases for any education employees participating in the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) or State Universities Retirement System (SURS).
In the final 48 hours of the 2018 legislative session, Illinois’s four legislative leaders sneaked into the budget implementation bill a measure making school districts or universities financially liable for any contribution to those employees’ larger than a 3 percent increase in the final 10 years of their careers. Because educators qualify for a pension after five years and can leave at any time, districts and higher ed institutions would likely institute a 3 percent threshold across the entire contract.
As a result of this legislation, teachers would likely be denied extra compensation for after-school work that benefits students, such as coaching, directing plays, tutoring in the evenings, taking classes toward master’s degrees and, therefore, devaluing the continuing education of our educators and ultimately harming students. In addition:
- Reducing benefits to educators will make the already serious Illinois teacher shortage even worse.
- At a time when committees are being formed to try to figure out how to keep graduating seniors from fleeing the state and choosing instead to stay at Illinois higher education institutions, this action will drive professors away from the profession.
- This would financially harm the teachers of this state who devote their careers to teaching the next generation of students, impacting their salaries now and in the future, by limiting salary growth to no more than 3 percent, when rates of inflation hover around 2.5 to 3 percent each year.
Please sign this petition to encourage lawmakers to reverse this terrible piece of legislation and show educators that their work is valued and that teachers and professors deserve respect.