As a public school teacher, I find myself increasingly angry and disgusted with the greedy union that controls my school and most other suburban public schools. While Illinois’ unemployment rate soars, household budgets tighten and mortgage foreclosures increase, the union is calling for more pain for the taxpayer.

The Illinois Education Association supports Governor Quinn’s call for a 50% increase in the state income tax but opposes any and all of the Governor’s proposed reforms of teacher pensions. Currently most public school teachers can retire as early as age 55 with a guaranteed lifetime benefit of roughly 75% of their previous annual salary. With many retiring teachers making well over $100,000 a year, this means many retirees will receive over two million dollars in lifetime benefits and some as much as three million dollars or more. These amounts are well beyond what the average teacher contributes to the pension fund and well beyond what the system can pay out without massive infusions of taxpayer dollars.
In addition, many so-called “retired” teachers deceptively take advantage of the system and double-dip by returning to work in other school systems or even returning as part-time substitutes in the same system while continuing to collect their full pensions.
Reform is urgently needed. Teachers themselves, not taxpayers, should fund teacher retirement benefits. If the union is going to insist on no changes in benefits, then currently-employed teachers should be required to contribute a greater percentage of their income to the pension fund. In addition, the retirement age should be increased to 60 or 65 to discourage pseudo-retirements and double dipping. As a long-term solution, new hires should be required to fund and take responsibility for their own retirements as most other people do through Individual Retirement Accounts. No one is owed a living.
On May 6th, many of the state’s public school teachers will be taking the day off work and descending on Springfield for the Illinois Education Association’s Lobby Day. State Senators and Representatives should ask these truant teachers, why they are not in their classrooms teaching, and what makes them think they are entitled to live at everyone else’s expense?
Jerry Kohn
H.L. Richards High School
Oak Lawn, Illinois
Click here for a printable copy of the news release.

  1. Ditto!

  2. I don’t make near $100,000 and I have been teaching 33 years. No one, except administrators around my area make $100,000 a year. Maybe in ChicAgo, but the rest of us don’t!

  3. I built A Restaraunt in Bradley a few years ago. We had to fight local greedy, blackmailing union thugs for 9 months, costing us and your community. As I would drive around yours and neighboring communities I would see all the empty buildings where buisnesses were bankrupted by greedy unions. It seems like the wole northern part of Illinois has been shipwrecked by these greedy, underhanded pigs. Why do you all allow this to happen. Why dont you people stand up for yourselves?! Im not even from the area, and I stood up to them at risk of my life. If you just stand by and watch things happen, you get what you deserve. Just like any other enemy that is too far gone to be changed, these thugs have to be defeated. Grow some! Hopefuly, Kevin

  4. Smash the Bosses’ Lies!
    Workers Control, Now!

  5. @LongLiveLenin
    Yes… look at how well “Worker’s control” worked out in the Soviet Union. It was a complete utter failure.

  6. You are nuts. I’m a union president, all volunteer. No benefit except to protect teachers from parents with agendas, like kicking out the teacher that “gave” their kid a grade they earned. Max salary in our district no where near 100K. Union pay? About 500 dollars a year for a ton of work. Get real.