To the Editor:
What is good for the goose is good for the gander. No?
“To put a bill up in lame-duck session and ram it through by taking advantage of people leaving ... is a mistake … something that has this much impact and interest should have a full debate in the General Assembly with the proper time.”
This quote comes from state Rep. Mike Tryon. I was so excited to see his position, as I am someone who for 18 years has paid into a pension system that the state of Illinois has allowed to go terribly underfunded by not making its constitutionally obligated contributions. Because of this gross dereliction of responsibility, teachers are now being singled out to “reform” this system.
Teachers have paid 9.5 percent of their income into the retirement fund, considerably more than most workers pay into Social Security. The average pension in Illinois is $43,000 a year. Is this too much to pay a retired educator?
Have there been abuses in the system? Yes! Have those loopholes and practices been stopped in the past decade? Yes! Are new teachers now expected to teach until age 67 before they can retire? Yes! Is this going to stop the best and brightest from choosing a career in education? Yes!
During the upcoming veto session, promises may be broken to teachers and retirees without much debate. Yet Rep. Tryon was talking about stopping a gay marriage bill from being adopted, a much more important item apparently than not paying your bills or meeting your promises to those that do so much for society.