CHICAGO—The president of Illinois’ largest taxpayer organization today called the striking teachers of Kankakee School District 111 “astoundingly greedy” and recommended that the school board strike back with pay cuts.

Right now, the teachers make an average salary of $58,400 for a 180-day school year. Eighteen make more than $100,000 per year. By retiring at age 55, with 34 years on the job, a teacher making $100,000 will receive more than $3 million in total pension income, plus free first-class health benefits for life.
According to The Daily Journal, both sides agreed to a $400 increase in base pay in the contract’s first year. The union wants an additional $600 increase in base pay in the contract’s second year, plus a $4,800 lump-sum retirement payment.
“The District 111 teachers are shameless for demanding raises while millions of Americans are unemployed and underemployed,” said Jim Tobin, President of National Taxpayers United of Illinois (NTUI).
“And it’s unbelievable that they would ask taxpayers to pad their already lavish, gold-plated pensions when hard-working people in the private sector have seen their retirement savings cut in half.”
“The school board should tell the striking teachers that Americans are tightening their belts and introduce salary and pension cuts into their negotiations. Perhaps if the basic math regarding Illinois’ fiscal position was taught to teachers, they might choose to help keep our state solvent, rather than risk losing a healthy chunk of their outrageous pension benefits in court.”
The list of the Top 100 Illinois Pension Payouts is available from the website. In that list, 96% are teachers, with the top recipient, Tapas Gupta, receiving $390,716 in pension income last year.
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