(via the Illinois Federation of Teachers)
Since the day it was enacted, the IFT has been working to repeal the 3% liability cap enacted as part of former Governor Rauner’s last budget. Shifting pension liability to local employers for salary increases over 3% has had a negative impact on collective bargaining and sends a terrible message to educators that they aren’t valued. This session of the Illinois General Assembly is winding down but there is still time to get the 3% repealed! Your voice can make the difference. Lookup your lawmakers today and urge them to repeal the 3% before the end of session on May 31. The liability cap depresses salaries for members of TRS and SURS by forcing the employer (rather than the state) to pay the pension liability for any increases over 3%. (The previous cap was 6%.) Since the 3% limit was enacted, employers have been using the threat of higher pension costs as an excuse to keep wages low for all employees, not only those approaching retirement. Please find your lawmakers today and ask them to repeal the 3% cap. The lower salary increases caused by the cap are making Illinois’ teacher shortage worse, particularly in the hardest hit downstate communities. To recruit and retain the best educators, especially in smaller school districts, we need to invest in teachers and offer competitive salaries. The 3% also weakens the teaching profession. Fewer college students are entering teaching because they know they won’t be paid like other professionals. To recruit new educators, Illinois needs to show that we value teaching and pay teachers what they’re worth. We can’t let lawmakers leave Springfield this month without ensuring that the 3% repeal is part of any bill that will implement the budget for the next fiscal year.
Make your voice heard now! Please call your lawmakers today and urge them to repeal the 3%.