I have written periodically of how teacher unions during the 1990’s encouraged legislative leaders to take money governors earmarked for pension payments and put it into current teacher salaries through the State Aid to Education program.
Articles on this subject have appeared on McHenry County Blog since at least 2009:
- 5-11-9 Present Versus Future Salaries for Teachers
- 3-4-11 Teacher Union Complicity in Pension Funding Shortfall
- 5-16-11 Teacher Pension Mess Brought About by Teacher Union Requests for Current Salaries Out of Money Earmarked by Pensions
- 5-7-12 Pat Quinn Tells Truth about Pension Underfunding, But Not Whole Truth
- 8-14-12 IEA Spokesman Too Young To Know His Union’s Role in the Pension Crisis
- 5-14-13 The Role of Teacher Union Lobbyists in the Pension Debacle
- 5-31-13 Media Ignores Madigan “What me worry?” Culpability in Pension Debacle
- 5-11-15 The Teachers’ Union Role in the Pension Shortfall
Sure, legislators made the decision, but they were strongly urged to do by teacher lobbyists.
Now the Chicago Tribune editorializes,
“We’ve written that, over the past four-plus decades, many of the folks who run our state and local governments signed suicide pacts, spectacularly unaffordable retirement deals that left too little money for the services those governments provide.
“Often when these deals were cut, the public officials and the union leaders were, in effect, seated on the same side of the negotiating table, holding hands.”The pols knew they were creating someone else’s problems. When the devastating costs came due they would be gone, out of office, retired.
“Collecting fat pensions.”
That pretty much says it all, even if the chief architect, Mike Madigan is not yet drawing a pension because of support of people like McHenry County’s State Rep. Jack Franks.
(Franks, by the way, will have the 20 years he needs to qualify for the maximum legislative pension–85% of final salary–if he served one more term. Not bad for someone who promised to serve only three terms.)
My “No” votes on lots of 1990’s budgets are looking better and better.