Labor Day Rally in Woodstock Square 11-4

A press release from Patrick Murfin:

Labor Day Celebration Returns to Woodstock Square

Woodstock—The third annual Labor Day Celebration on historic Woodstock Square returns on Monday September 4 from 11 to 2 pm.

The event celebrates the courage, solidarity, and sacrifice of the American labor movement.

AFSCME Union Steward Carlos Acosta spoke to a rally at the Woodstock Square in June of 2015.

“If Charlottesville taught us nothing else, it is that when we stand together, we are stronger. This is why we are extending this invitation to all activists across the area,” the official invitation says,

“Be there for unions, be there for working families and help each other in the process, for the workers on strike, for our teachers fighting against privatization, for the dignity of a fair wage…This is Labor Day as it was intended, be there.”

The event acknowledges Woodstock’s own historic connection to labor history as the place where railway union leader Eugene V. Debs was held in jail after the 1893 Pullman Strike and where the citizens and workers of McHenry County carried him triumphantly on their shoulders to the train depot after his release.

Debs’s message of solidarity continues to inspire working people today.

The event is put together by volunteer activists and is sponsored by McHenry County Progressives and Illinois Indivisible 14.

This year featured speakers will include Jim Walz, a Democratic Candidate for Congress from the 14th District;

  • activist and blogger at Gold Pin Independent Nancy Zettler;
  • Carlos Acosta, long time McHenry County Latino leader and member of AFSME 2833;
  • Bob Paddock of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150; and
  • master story teller Jim May.

Keith Johnson and friends from Off Square Music will provide music.

Taking up hosting duties this year will be Patrick Murfin, a former leader of the Industrial Workers of the World, labor historian, blogger, and longtime McHenry County social justice activist.

He previously organized and hosted the Diversity Day Festival that ran on the Square for 13 years.
For more information contact Murfin at 815 814-5645 or or see the Facebook  event invitation.


Labor Day Rally in Woodstock Square 11-4 — 42 Comments

  1. Ready for you diatribe, Angel, as you apparently are the one who has ever worked or been a union member.

  2. Cal are you going and taking irritating pictures?

    Fair and balanced, lol!

  3. Carlos Acosta is brilliant, committed, and a true patriot. Watch him as he is a rising star in McHenry county politics. Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  4. Communism and Authoritarianism are the antithesis of American Values.

    These people are traitorous scum with no values in common with America.

    Their opinions are bankrupt, their thoughts go against home and hearth and their existence in America is an offense to anyone who stands for freedom.

    This said, whomever fears these bankrupt goofs for voicing their idiotic thoughts fails to understand how powerful the argument for freedom against their message of slavery truly may be.

    Go talk to them.

    They’ll either ignore you, cry, run or turtle but they sure won’t engage a true American Patriot because they have no arguments.


  5. Priest, Jim May is a bankrupt thinker?

    He could sink your dribbling talk in about five minutes on most topics.

    I know Nancy Zettler, you priest “ain’t no Nancy.

    If you think you are a “true American patriot” you are as foolish as your comments.

  6. Tom, I have been watching you.

    Be careful with that word FOOLISH.

  7. Okay Tom, I want to thank you for stepping up for today’s entertainment.

    Pick any liberal policy, gather up Nancy and Jimmy, and make your best argument.

    I’m excited to hear what you have to say which changes my mind about just how insane, ignorant or traitorous one would need to be to espouse a liberal idea in America.

  8. Our very own second coming of William F. Buckley Jr. comes out of the arrogance cave and continues his/her search of a liberal worth debating while carrying a Diogenes-like lamp around beautiful McHenry county. The catfights of this freak with our very own version of Alex Jones are legendary and, needless to say, very entertaining. Sit back, relax, and be entertained by more compassionate conservative lessons on how to be a real American patriot. 2018, is that you knocking at the door? Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  9. Oh my sweet Angel.

    Sweet baby, I know I tried to treat you like an adult when you first started posting and you failed miserably.

    Lately you have been begging for my attention and I know I have been ignoring your childish jumping around for attention but, if you think you are ready to sit at the adult table, I’ll listen for today only.

    Go ahead sweetheart.

    Dazzle me with any libaeral idea you may have.

    I’m prepared to be amazed by your growth from child into tween in the last few months.

    I’m here and paying attention.

    You can stop jumping up and down pulling on my coattail.

  10. Liberalism is a mental disorder, ARL is the living embodiment of that statement.

    So why bother challenging him to intelligent adult debate based on facts and logic ?

    To do so only makes you as much a fool as he is.

  11. Our very own liberal taster, second coming of William F. Buckley Jr., the same person obsessed with toe-playing babies, continues the search of a liberal worth debating. Were you lucky to spot this freak wandering the Woodstock Square during the Labor Day rally? Very few people have the privilege of witnessing our 21th century Diogenes. By the way, what is exactly a “libaeral?” Is it the opposite of a “compassionate consaervative” Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  12. Now that is funny.

    How is it you idiots prove my point so quickly.

    Your best response to an open invitation to adult discussion is to revert to nanananabooboo immediately.

    Well, sweetheart, you’re nothing if not entertaining.

    You’re clearly not intelligent, educated or remotely mature.

    You are relegated to the children’s table yet again.

    We shall resume ignoring your childish pulling on my coattail for attention.

    Poor little damaged child we pity your future as it is already known and no one can save you from your choices.

  13. Compassionate conservative sunshine nation: Sadly, our very own second coming of William F. Buckley Jr. just announced returning to his/her legendary road trip around McHenry county. We just wasted a perfect Labor Day gift; a golden opportunity for an adult discussion with a reactionary libertarian fanatic on what it means to be a real American patriot. And we know that, like the chances of witnessing a total solar eclipse, these opportunities do not come by very often. If you are fortunate enough, say hello to this freak carrying a lamp in a never ending search of a liberal worth debating. 2018, we have another freak you can take with you…tic, tock, tic, tock…

  14. The Democrat agitator Angel Llavona is an English as a Second Language (ESL) tenured teacher in Maine Township High School District 207, which draws students from Park Ridge and Des Plaines.

    His 2016 pay per the Open the Books Widget was $132,635 in his 22nd year teaching.

    If he never received another pay increase after 2016 and retires after 35 years of service, his starting pension will be $99,476.

    Years of service is usually less than years worked for retiring teachers and administrators in the Illinois TRS pension fund.

    How likely do you think it that Mr. Llavona did not receive a pay hike in 2017, and will not receive a pay hike in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028, & 2029?

    The chances of that are zero.

    Thus, his starting pension will be much larger than $99,476.

    The calculation for Tier I TRS pensions is 75% of the average of the last 4 years worked.

    The $99,476 pension would increase by 3% annually, so after 24 years, the pension would have doubled to $138,952.

    In Illinois, pensions are not subject to state income tax.


    Are such pensions affordable to Illinois taxpayers?

    Do taxpayers understand the financial condition of the state pension funds?

    A state commission in the legislative branch of government, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA), issued a 15 page document in November 2016 titled, “Special Pension Briefing.”

    Page 2 of that document contains Table 1:

    “Summary of Financial Condition FY 2016

    State Retirement Systems Combined

    Assets at Actuarial Value / With Asset Smoothing (PA 96-0043).”

    The chart lists the following for the 5 “state” pension funds (TRS, SURS, SERS, GARS, & JRS):

    Accrued Liability (amount that should be in the pension funds): $207,978.3 billion.

    Actuarial Assets (amount that is in the pension funds): $81,474.7 billion.

    Unfunded Liability (amount that should be in the pension funds, but is not): $126,503.6 billion.

    Funded Ratio (actuarial assets as a percent of the accrued liability): $39.2%.

    Thus taxpayers in Illinois owe $126,503.6 billion to the pension fund.


    What is the cost for taxpayers to finance that unfunded liability?

    It can be calculated as follows.

    Page 10 of the previously referenced document contains a chart titled:

    “Funding Projections for the State Retirement Systems

    All Five Systems Combined

    Projections Based on the Retirement System’s FY 2016 Actuarial Valuation

    ($ in Millions)

    Revised Nov. 29th, 2016.”

    That chart includes the projection of unfunded liabilities (taxpayer IOU to the pension funds) for years 2017 – 2045, at which point the funds are projected to be 90% funded.


    Side note.

    Such projects have been fallen short in the past, meaning taxpayers ended up owing more than was projected in state issued reports and legislation, especially over longer periods of time such as 10 and 20 years.


    Using a 7% interest rate, the annual interest on the unfunded liabilities for 2017 – 2045 totals to $252,080.6 billion.


    $252,080.6 billion just for interest on the unfunded liability of the 5 state pension funds for the years 2017 – 2045.

    The interest on the unfunded pension liability is one reason why it takes so long to pay down the unfunded pension liability.

    The unfunded liability interest is in lieu of investment returns, since the unfunded liability represents the amount that should be in the pension fund, but is not.


    Are taxpayers will to pay $252,080.6 billion to finance unfunded pension liabilities?

    Well, per one sentence added to the state constitution on December 15, 1970, the pension benefits are contractual and cannot be diminished or impaired.

    So taxpayers in the state have no choice but to follow whatever finance scheme is approved by the state legislators and Governor.

    On the other hand, will enough taxpayers stay in the state to tolerate the taxes, fees, and service cuts that will be necessary to fund the pensions.

    For the taxpayers that do remain, what will be the impact on their quality of life to fund the 5 state pension funds?

    Remember, the above unfunded liability is only for the 5 state pension funds.

    Most McHenry County property taxpayers are also responsible for local fire, local police, and IMRF (the exact mix and amount depends on taxing district where one owns property).

    Since the price once pays for rent is impacted by property taxes, renters also need to be concerned.


    Due to the ability of powerful Chicago politicians to craft legislation that benefits Chicago at the expense of the rest of the state, McHenry County and all school districts outside Chicago can receive less than their fair share of state funding.

    This recently happened with state funding for education, with the 550 page education funding reform bill, Senate Bill 1947 (SB 1947).

    SB 1947 was signed into law as Pubic Act 100-0465 (PA 100-0465) on August 31, 2017 by Governor Bruce Rauner.

    The leader of the State House, Michael Madigan, and leader of the State Senate, John Cullerton, are both Chicago Democrats.

    Chicago Democrats want more money for Chicago Schools.


    Carolos Acosta is a state employee.

    Mr. Acosta is a Child Protection Advanced Specialist at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Servics (DCFS).

    He is a member of the AFSCME Local 2833 labor union, which is also known as the Collar Counties State Employee Union.

    Thus he will also receive a state pension as a participant in the State Employees Retirement System (SERS) pension fund.

    Most of those contributing to SERS also contribute to Social Security.

    SERS has two benefit formulas.

    One for employees who contribute to Social Security, and one for employees who do not.

    No clue which category Mr. Acosta falls into.

    The accrual rate for employees covered by Social Security is 1.67% for each year of service (45 years of service to achieve the 75% of final average salary maximum rate).

    The accrual rate for non-covered employees is 2.2% for each year of service (34 years of service to achieve the 75% of final average salary maximum rate, the same as TRS).

    Per Open the Books widget, his 2016 pensionable income was $92,440.

    So lets assume he never receives another raise until he retires, and works until he achieves the maximum 75% of final average salary, his starting pension would be $69,330.

    Plus he may or may not receive Social Security on top of that.

    If he is classified as considered a coordinated / covered member, he will not receive Social Security.

    If he is classified as a non-coordinated / non-covered member, he will not receive Social Security.


    The AFSCME state employee union, consisting of many locals, is in Illinois are in budget negotiations with the Illinois state government.

    The Governor is in charge of those negotiations for the state.

  15. A pop quiz for sunshine nation? What is OCD? Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  16. Typo above.

    The $99,476 starting pension for Mr. Llavona would increase by 3% annually, so after 24 years, the pension would have doubled to $198,952.


    Once again, the starting pension is based on a ridiculously conservative estimate that has not and will not receive a pay raise after 2016.

    The starting pension is also based on Mr. Llavona working another 13 years (or achieving 13 years of service), as of 2016 he worked 22 years, and 35 years of service is required to retire with full pension benefits in the TRS pension fund.

    Most in TRS who retire with full benefits retire with fewer than 35 years worked, due primarily to the ability to exchange up to 340 accumulated sick days for years of service credit.

    In TRS, a teacher year is considered 170 days (even though most school calendars are 180 days or so).

    Thus 340 accumulated sick days is equal to 2 years of service credit.


    The number of sick days a teacher receives per year is stipulated in the collective bargaining agreement.

    For suburban Chicago school districts, the number varies.

    The following is found in the Maine Township High School District 207 teacher collective bargaining agreement covering the years 2014 – 2020 (Mr. Llavona is employed by Maine Township High School District 207).

    “Employees shall be granted twelve (12) days of cumulative sick leave per year.

    Teachers shall have the right to accumulate sick leave days up to, but not exceed, 370 days.


    So if TRS accepts up to 340 days, if a teacher in Maine Township High School District accumulated 370 days, and at retirement exchanged 340 days for TRS years of credit service, would the district would compensate the teacher for the remaining 30 days?


    There’s more.

    This is also in the same collective bargaining agreement.

    “2. Sick Leave.

    An eligible teacher who submits the resignation and retirement notice with a retirement date five (5) years in advance of retirement shall be credited with an additional 170 days of sick leave as long as, at the time of the credit, the provisions of ILCS 5/16-128(d-10) and 80 Ill. Admin Code 1650.351(c) permit a grant of sick leave days in excess of the normal allotment five (5) years prior to retirement without triggering any employer contributions.

    The sick leave will be credited upon acceptance of the teacher’s notice to retire and will thereafter be charged when used after the exhaustion of the teacher’s existing sick leave and will be made available for use pursuant to TRS rules and regulations.”


    Following is the link to the Maine Twp HSD 207 teacher collective bargaining agreement covering 2014 – 2020.

  17. The high salary, extremely generous pension, and ridiculously high number of sick days, all was negotiated by labor unions and Illinois politicians at the state and local level.

    Working families are forced to fund that system.

    Does Mr. Llavona and Mr. Acosta explain to working families those very generous benefits?

    And how those very generous benefits require higher taxes from working families?

    If the working family pays higher taxes to support those teachers and state worker Cadillac benefits, that is less money for working families to save for their retirement.

    The retirement benefits of working families not employed by Illinois government is much less than the retirement benefits we have outlined here.

    Working families are concerned about taxes too.

    Working families are concerned about the cost of government too.

    It is important for working families to educate themselves.

  18. Mark, our Fallen Angel and Acosta don’t care.

    The Middle Class was quiet for too long and they spoke last November 7, 2016 with the Election of President Trump.

  19. In his/her bitter display of projection and OCD, our prodigious researcher overlooks the fact that Labor Day was instituted to honor and pay respect to the immense contributions American workers have made to our society and the rest of the world. Sadly, our prodigious researcher chooses to attack organized labor without realizing the strategy of intimidation and cyberbullying is not working here. To prevent further disappointment in the immense readership of our glorious sunshine blog (estimated to be approximately 17 human beings), I will allow myself to share with my compassionate conservative brothers and sisters some additional prodigious research of my own about the significance of the remembrance of this wonderful Labor Day holiday.

    “As summer draws to a close and schools prepare to open their doors again, Labor Day comes around like a sweet salve to workers in the United States.

    Celebrated on the first Monday in September, Labor Day is one of just 10 federal holidays in the United States and pays tribute to the American workers movement.

    According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the holiday is “a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.” Labor Day is a “yearly national tribute” to the “contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and wellbeing of our country.”

    But while it is celebrated in modern times with BBQs, holidays and sales shopping, the holiday has a bloody history and came out of a long battle for workers’ rights in the country.

    In practice, all government offices and organizations are closed, while many private businesses also shut for the day to enable workers to mark the occasion with their families.

    Workers in New York City celebrated the first Labor Day on September 5, 1882, with a parade organized by trade unions. It was overseen by the Central Labor Union (CLU), a left-wing union that later broke up into local organizations that are members of the modern American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

    But while the first rally was held in New York, Oregon was the first state to institute Labor Day as a holiday, passing legislation to that effect in 1887. Over the following seven years, some 30 states made it a holiday. In 1894, the U.S. Congress voted unanimously to approve Labor Day as a national holiday, and President Grover Cleveland signed it into law.

    There is some dispute over the foundation of the holiday, according to the Department of Labor. Some records attest to Peter J. McGuire, the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was the first to propose a holiday in honor of workers. The holiday, McGuire said, should honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

    But other historians propose that another man, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, was the founder of the holiday. According to some research, Maguire proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the CLU in New York.

    The holiday evolved out of decades of tensions between workers and unions on one side, and state security forces and employers on the other. During the last two decades of the 1800s, workers carried out some 37,000 strikes in the United States; and between 1870 and 1914, up to 800 American workers were killed during strikes, almost entirely by state security forces or the military, the Washington Post reported, citing historian Edward T. O’Connell.

    The tensions culminated in the Pullman strike, during which workers for railcar manufacturers the Pullman Company in Chicago went on strike after their wages were cut by almost 30 percent, but the rents and prices at company-owned accommodation and stores remained static. The strike was backed by other unions—the nationwide American Railroad Union pulled its members from trains that had Pullman Cars—and a total of 125,000 workers on 29 railroads quit rather than handle Pullman cars, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica.

    The strike came to a bloody head when the federal government sent in the military to enforce a court injunction against the strike; the riots resulted in 30 deaths and $80 million worth of damages. Just six days after the end of the strike, President Cleveland signed the bill that made Labor Day a national holiday, in an apparent bid to appease workers.

    In the spirit of the founders, Labor Day is still celebrated with union-organized parades, colorful festivals and parties and picnics. Many use the last days of summer as an opportunity to have a BBQ with friends, while others use it for a last-minute getaway: the holiday is associated with heavy congestion on roads and at airports.

    Less so in the spirit of the founders, Labor Day has also become something of a festival of consumerism. Many shops and online retail outlets hold week-long “Labor Day” sales and the holiday has become one of the biggest sale days in the United States”.

    Now go ahead and cheer my prodigious research. Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap! Thank you. Please remember Jack D. Franks is a Democrat. Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  20. We are paying respect to the American workers forced to fund overly generous pay, Cadillac pensions, absurd ability to accumulate 370 sick days.

    That is part of labor history.

    The state laws and collective bargaining acts are part of labor history.

    They were achieved by organized labor lobbying politicians, and the collusion of labor helping to elect the politicians that pass the laws.

    Where is the sunshine for that greed?

    Right here.

    Right now.

    And the proposed laws to feed that beast are endless.

    Early labor history is very interesting.

    So is current labor history.

  21. Some additional prodigious research to prevent disappointment from this sunshine blog immense readership and help our now self-proclaimed defender of American workers understand the meaning and significance of Labor Day. Interesting how far the owners of production are willing to go in order to abuse workers.

    The Pullman Strike was a disturbing event in Illinois history. It occurred because of the way George Mortimer Pullman, founder and president of the Pullman Palace Car Company, treated his workers. Organized in 1867, the company manufactured sleeping cars and operated them under contract to the railroads.

    Pullman created Pullman City to house his employees. It was on a three-thousand-acre tract located south of Chicago in the area of 114th Street and Cottage Grove. His workers were required to live in Pullman City. They were also expected to accept cuts in pay and not criticize workloads. Pullman charged money for use of the library. Clergy had to pay rent to use the church. “He wasn’t a man to let you pray for free,” it was claimed in The Call, a socialist newspaper.

    In 1893, because of a depression, factory wages at the company fell about twenty-five percent, but the rents George Pullman charged did not decrease. If a Pullman worker went into debt, it was taken from his paycheck.

    On May 11,1894, three thousand Pullman workers went on a “wildcat” strike, that is, without authorization of their union. Many of the strikers belonged to the American Railroad Union (ARU) founded by Eugene V. Debs. Debs, who was from Indiana, had moved to Chicago where he became a railroad fireman. He became aware of the working conditions of his fellow laborers. He saw men working for low wages, some of whom were injured or killed because of unsafe equipment. He was determined to make things better.

    On June 26, 1894, some ARU members refused to allow any train with a Pullman car to move, except those with mail cars. Debs did not want federal troops to get involved, and he knew that if the U.S. mail was tampered with, the troops would be there immediately.

    The railroads had formed an organization called the General Managers Association. They announced that no one could tell them whom to hire, whom to fire, or how they should pay their workers. The twenty-four railroads that were part of the General Managers Association immediately tried to end the strike. They announced that any switchman who refused to move rail cars would be fired.

    Debs’s union announced that if a switchman was fired because he refused to move Pullman cars all the union members would walk off the job. By June 29, fifty thousand men had quit their jobs. Crowds of people who supported the strike began stopping trains. Soon there was no movement on the rails west of Chicago. In some places, fights broke out.

    In order to break the strike, the railroads needed help from federal troops. Getting their assistance, however, was a difficult task. The railroads could only get help from federal troops if the President agreed. President Grover Cleveland said that he would only send the aid of government troops if a governor requested them.

    The governor of Illinois was John P. Altgeld. He did not want to request troops because he believed that workers should have the same rights as their bosses. These ideas made the General Managers Association uneasy. The railroad managers started flooding the newspapers with stories that made Debs’s American Railroad Union seem like a violent and lawless gang and portrayed Eugene Debs as a radical. They claimed that unrest had always ended in violence and threatened that this strike would be the same. The railroads began sending people to work on railroads as strike breakers or scabs.

    Attorney General Richard Olney supported the General Managers Association because he believed that the railroads had the right to do things their way, and if the workers disagreed with the treatment they were receiving, they could quit. On June 29, 1894, Debs went to Blue Island and asked the railroad workers there if they would support the strike. The railroad workers there felt they were being discriminated against. Angry railroad workers in Blue Island began destroying the yards and burning anything that was flammable. Attorney General Olney requested President Cleveland to send federal troops into Chicago to break the strike.

    On July 2, 1894, Olney obtained an injunction from a federal court saying that the strike was illegal. When the strikers did not return to work the next day, President Cleveland sent federal troops into Chicago. This enraged strikers, and rioters began stopping trains, smashing switches, and, again, setting fire to anything that would burn. On July 7, another mob stopped soldiers escorting a train through the downtown Chicago area. Many people were killed or wounded from bullets.

    On July 10, 1894, Debs and three other union leaders were arrested for interferring with U.S. mail. They were released within a few hours, but Debs realized that continuing the strike would be a lost cause because of the federal troops.

    Most railroad workers resumed their old jobs and received the same wages as before. Some workers were put on a blacklist, which meant that no railroad in the United States was allowed to hire them. On July 17, 1894, Debs was sent back to jail and served a term of six months in jail. The union he had created no longer existed when he got out of jail.

    The Pullman Strike was important because it was the first time a federal injunction had ever been used to break up a strike. George Pullman was no longer regarded as an enlightened employer who took care of his workers, but as a greedy and intolerant man. He was offended by his workers’ ingratitude. Pullman worried that people would try to steal what was his from him. Shortly before he died in 1897, he requested that his grave be lined in concrete to keep looters from robbing him. [Source,From Linda Jacobs Altman, The Pullman Strike of 1894; Stephen Longstreet, Chicago, 1860-1919; Albert L. McCready, Railroads in the Days of Steam.] But if you want to believe everything came from me, that’s ok too. Jack D. Franks is a registered Democrat. Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  22. As a teacher I hope you learned about paragraphs when you copied this material.

    It’s much easier to read that way.

  23. Here are your pictures Cal:
    Woodstock police were overwhelmed with crowd control.
    A second story on the same subject same day:
    This should go over big with the majority of the commenters here: Carlos Acosta announced he is running for the board in the 5th District.

  24. The bolshevik’s still want socialism to take over the world.

    If you have any doubts, check out the history of the unions and theirs ties to Karl Marx and the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution that formed the USSR.

  25. Previously, Mark asked some questions about the 5 pension funds for teachers and government workers in Illinois and cited info from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA), in its 15 page document in November 2016 titled, “Special Pension Briefing.”

    Mark asks:

    What is the cost for taxpayers to finance that unfunded liability?

    Do taxpayers understand the financial condition of the state pension funds?
    Are such pensions affordable to Illinois taxpayers?

    From COGFA, Mark cites these data regarding the 5 funds:

    Accrued Liability (amount that should be in the pension funds): $207,978.3 billion.

    Actuarial Assets (amount that is in the pension funds): $81,474.7 billion.

    Unfunded Liability (amount that should be in the pension funds, but is not): $126,503.6 billion.

    Funded Ratio (actuarial assets as a percent of the accrued liability): $39.2%.

    Thus taxpayers in Illinois owe $126,503.6 billion to the pension fund.

    How will Illinois ever make these pension funds sound?

    Consider the amount of total taxes that the State has collected in each of the past 4 years as follows:

    2013, $37.9 Billion
    2014, $38.3 Billion
    2015, $37.8 Billion
    2016, $34.5 Billion

    Illinois taxes of all kinds – income, sales, excise, gaming, motor fuel – would have to be set at crushing levels for a number of years to make up the shortfall.

    Clearly, the consequences of this would be catastrophic to this State.

    Illinois is already in a state of financial crisis due mainly to inept leadership of the Democrat Party which has controlled the Illinois Legislature for most of the past 4 decades along with school boards and other government entities which have bowed to the demands of powerful unions.

  26. It will be so much fun taking Angel’s pension away, through Bankruptcy.

    Tick Tock

  27. Aren’t these the same folks that ran Venezuela into the ground?

  28. Sunshine alert! In a monstrous international conspiracy to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, communist international operators in conjunction with Illinois labor unions are planning to launch an attack on American democracy and American values at large with the announcement of no other than Carlos Acosta to run as a candidate in the fifth district of McHenry county board. Fortunately, our sunshine commenters and this sunshine blog stand as a beacon of hope and determination to stop this latest assault of evil communist forces in our very own compassionate conservative, rural, family values, God fearing, gun clinging, beautiful McHenry county. This award winning sunshine blog will not tolerate even the most remote possibility of allowing a single working class, union member to disrupt the balance of complete dominance of lawyers and business owners in our county board. 2018, is that you knocking at the door? Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  29. Tom,

    We have waited the customary 24 hours for your brilliant response and none has been forthcoming.

    Another bright light of liberal thinking amounts to nothing.

    I guess Nancy and Jimmy aren’t the luminaries of liberal thought either as you couldn’t gather them up to bring their sharp wit to bear.

    Folks, a liberal is a whiny name caller with nothing to offer any society, community or small group of people anything.

    They are unintelligent, unproductive, uneducated, uninteresting thieves who want to yell you into submission.

    And then what?

    They are absolutely bankrupt of thought or action.

    Challenge them and they whine, cry, fling poo or turtle.

    So be unafraid to challenge them.

    Especially in person, or even a group, they are idiot cowards with no tools whatsoever with which to fight you.

    Stand up.

    The only way evil wins….

  30. Really getting tired of union leaders talking about “working families”.

    Over the past 35 years, “working families” have decided that they are better off without a union.

    This is evidenced by facts from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that says that union membership is down from 20 percent to approximately 10 percent in the U.S.

  31. “Folks, a liberal is a whiny name caller with nothing to offer any society, community or small group of people anything.
    They are unintelligent, unproductive, uneducated, uninteresting thieves who want to yell you into submission.” No need to seek for an inspirational leader when our very own second coming of William F. Buckley Jr. provides the best available caricature model from the parallel universe of reactionary compassionate conservatism; pontificating about American values while providing arbitrary 24-hour deadlines for a response…And this freak thinks people here are begging for his/her attention. How about another catfight with our very own female version of Alex Jones? Is there a mental health professional in the room? Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  32. Remember, the 7% interest to finance the $126,503.6 unfunded liability on the five state pension funds from 39.2% funded to 90% funded through 2045 is $252,080.6 billion.

    The details are in comments above.

  33. Here is an update on the current pay, and an example of a possible pension (assuming he achieves 35 years of service) for Angel Llavona.

    Mr. Llavona being the most vocal public school teacher on the McHenry County Blog.


    Per Open the Books, Angel R Llavona’s 2018 pensionable income (pay) was $137,020 as an employee of the Maine Township High School District in Cook County.

    Cross referencing against the Teacher Service Record (TSR), 2018 was his 24th year teaching.

    Per the Maine West High School (Des Plaines) website, Angel Llavona is in the ELL & Bilingual Education Department.

    ELL = English Language Learner.

    Presumably he is still an ELL & Bilingual Education Teacher.


    Full retirement for an Illinois public school teacher outside of Chicago in the Tier 1 TRS pension system is 35 years of service.

    Angel Llavona is in TRS Tier 1.

    Since unused sick days can be exchanged for years of service credit in the TRS pension system, years worked is typically less than years of service.


    The formula to determine a TRS Tier 1 pension is generally 75% of the average of the last 4 years worked, if one achieves 35 years of service.

    For illustration purposes, if Angel Llavona never receives another pay raise and achieves 35 years of service, his starting pension will be:

    $137,020 x .75 = $102,765.


    Each year in retirement, the pension will increase 3% per year as a result of the cost of living allowance (COLA), otherwise known as an automatic annuity increase (AAI).

    A 3% annual increase results in the pension doubling after 25 years.

    In other words, after 25 years in retirement of 3% annual increases, such an annual pension will have grown from a starting $102,765 annually, to $215,167 annually.

    Such a pension cannot be diminished or impaired per the Illinois State Constitution.


    That is for Tier 1 pensions.

    Tier II pensions (Tier 2 pensions), for those beginning their career after January 1, 2011, have less lucrative benefits.


    A full school year for Illinois public teachers is about 180 days (36 weeks).

    Thus Illinois public school teachers don’t work as teachers about 16 weeks per year.

    In addition to not working 16 weeks per year, there are additional perks spelled out in the collective bargaining agreement, such as sick days.

    Per the 2014 – 2020 Maine Twp HSD 207 teacher collective bargaining agreement:

    “Employees shall be granted twelve (12) days of cumulative sick leave per year.

    Teachers shall have the right to accumulate sick leave days up to, but not to exceed 370 days.”


    In other words, Maine Twp HSD 207 teachers either get another 2 weeks and 2 days off per year for sick days, or are compensated for the sick days at retirement in some way (exchange unused sick days for service credit or receive cash for the unused sick days).

    That obviously affects the 36 weeks working, 16 weeks not working statistic.

    The end result is the equivalent of 34 weeks working, 18 weeks not working, per year.

    Not many employees in other professions receive 16 or 18 weeks off per year.


    The TRS pension unfunded liability is a state taxpayer liability, on behalf of the local school district.

    TRS is about 40% funded (60% of the money is missing from the investment fund to payout the pensions in full).

    Thus McHenry County residents are liable for Mr. Llavona’s future pension.

    Similarly, residents in all 102 Illinois counties are liable for Mr. Llavona’s future pension.

    That would be residents who pay taxes and fees to the state, such as state income taxes.

    The unfunded liability is a taxpayer IOU to the pension fund.

    The unfunded liability increases every year due to pension interest, salary hikes, and other reasons.

    A game was played year after decade of not properly funding pensions and endlessly hiking salaries and benefits, since the main goal was hiking overall compensation, not fulling funding pensions.

    The so called pension protection clause in the Illinois State Constitution was the enabler of this diabolical scheme.

    Who cares if pensions are underfunded, apparently thought the unions and all those going after overall compensation hikes, since one sentence in the state constitution states the pensions cannot be diminished or impaired.

    A very basic analogy would be repeatedly charging the credit card and not worrying much about the interest that is being accrued, if the state constitution stated the items purchased cannot be diminished or impaired.

    The result is massive interest costs.

    As a result over 1/2 of the state contributions to the state pension funds is for pension interest.

    What a waste of money.

  34. Here is an update on the actuarial projections of the five state pension systems (TRS, SERS, SURS, JRS, & GARS) for years 2019 – 2045.

    The source document is the November 2018 Special Pension Briefing from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA).

    COGFA is in the legislative branch of Illinois state government.

    Refer to page 13 of that document.


    The chart on page 13 of the COGFA Special Pension Briefing is titled:

    Funding Projections for the State Retirement Systems

    All Five Systems Combined

    Projections Based on the Retirement Systems’ FY 2018 Actuarial Valuations


    There are annual pension projections in that chart for years 2019 – 2045.

    To comprehend the taxpayer cost of having a large unfunded pension liability for decades, one first has to understand the meaning of an unfunded pension liability.

    An unfunded pension liability is the amount that should be in the pension fund, but is not, as of a specific date, based on actuarial projections.

    In other words, the unfunded pension liability is missing money.

    Since the money is not in the fund, the rate of return is zero.

    Restated, the rate of return of zero, is zero.


    That is an enormous problem, since the expected rate of return of the five funds is about 7%.

    To get a general understanding of the enormity of this problem, let’s us the following overly simplistic example.


    Here is the result of adding the projected unfunded liabilities of the 5 state pension funds for years 2019 – 2045.

    As an example, using rounded numbers:

    2019 – $136 billion unfunded liability (40% funded)

    2020 – $139 billion unfunded liability

    2021 – $140 billion unfunded liability


    2045 – $33 billion unfunded liability (90% funded)(the unfunded liability is projected to increase, then decrease)


    First, to understand the point being made, let’s take $136B unfunded liability x .07 pension interest = $9 billion.

    Meaning, taxpayers accrue $9 billion pension interest because $136 billion is missing from the pension fund.

    Using a point made earlier, the investment return in 2019 on the missing $136 billion is zero.

    The missing investment returns, which can be thought of as pension interest, are absorbed into the unfunded liability in the annual actuarial calculations.

    As an analogy, interest is added to a credit card balance which is not paid in full.


    Adding the actuarial projected annual unfunded pension liabilities for the 5 state pension funds from 2019 – 2045, one arrives at $3,284,561,700,000.

    That’s 3 Trillion dollars.

    $3,284,561,700,000 unfunded liability in the 5 state pension funds from 2019 – 2045 x .07 assumed rate of return aka pension interest rate = $229,919,319,000 pension interest.

    That’s $229 billion dollars in estimated pension interest for years 2019 – 2045 for carrying such a large unfunded pension liability for 27 years.

    If the pensions were fully funded, the estimated pension interest would be zero.

    What a waste of taxpayer money.

    Many of the Illinois taxpayers paying that interest to the state government in the form of taxes and fees (state income taxes for example) are laborers not in one of those five state public sector pensions.

    The result is a higher cost of government due to pension interest.

    As an analogy, when one purchases an item on a credit card and does not pay the credit card balance in full, the result is a more expensive item due to to credit card interest.

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