Despite the last minute, desperate antics surrounding pension reform legislation in the Capitol today, the 97th General Assembly adjourned late this afternoon without voting on blatantly unconstitutional pension legislation that could have decimated the retirement savings of active employees and current retirees. Clearly, bill sponsors could not get the required votes to pass their bad proposal. That is because of YOU.
As the IFT has been proud to say many times before, this victory is the result of the activism and dedication of our members. This session, thousands of you called, visited and e-mailed your lawmakers and came to Springfield to rally and lobby, especially in recent days. In huge numbers, you made your voice heard and stood up for the pensions you have paid for and were promised.
Your extraordinary efforts combined with those of tens of thousands more members of We Are One Illinois coalition unions statewide, making all the difference. Together you sent a clear message to lawmakers that “A Pension Is A Promise.”
IFT President Dan Montgomery joined coalition leaders in Springfield to strengthen your powerful voice and to promote the coalition's message. In numerous meetings with lawmakers, through testimony in committee and in press conferences that garnered media attention statewide, Montgomery and other leaders urged lawmakers to do the right thing for Illinois' middle class public servants.
But this fight is far from over. We know that public employee pensions will remain the target of unfair, unconstitutional attacks in the days ahead. Thanks to the power of union solidarity and your activism, we are confident we will continue to prevail. IFT members and all public employees WILL be heard.
The members of the 98th General Assembly will be sworn in tomorrow afternoon in Springfield, and the next session begins in earnest in early February. The IFT and leaders in the We Are One Illinois coalition are already planning next steps in the ongoing fight to find long term, fair and constitutional solutions to the pension crisis that include SHARED sacrifice. So-called "solutions" that place the debt entirely on the backs of dedicated, middle class public servants who have paid their fair share will continue to be simply UNACCEPTABLE.
Thank you for everything you have done, and will continue to do, to protect your retirement security and that of ALL Illinois’ public workers. Watch the IFT Web site and your inbox in the days ahead for updates from Springfield and to learn what you can do next to ensure that state keeps its pension promise.
Publication: IFT-AFT Email
Publication Date: January 9, 2012