Without warning or discussion of the damage it would do to students and schools, Illinois lawmakers imposed a 3 percent threshold on final average earnings salary increases for any education employees participating in the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) or State Universities Retirement System (SURS).
Please sign this petition to encourage lawmakers to reverse this terrible piece of legislation and show educators that their work is valued and that teachers and professors deserve respect.
Tell them to rescind the 3 percent threshold and to support HB 350 and SB 60.
In the final 48 hours of the 2018 legislative session, Illinois’s four legislative leaders sneaked into the budget implementation bill a measure making school districts or universities financially liable for any contribution to those employees’ salaries larger than a 3 percent increase in the final 10 years of their careers. Because educators qualify for a pension after five years and can leave at any time, districts and higher ed institutions would likely institute a 3 percent threshold across the entire contract.
As a result of this legislation, teachers would likely be denied extra compensation for after-school work that benefits students, such as coaching, directing plays, tutoring in the evenings, taking classes toward advanced degrees and, therefore, devaluing the continuing education of our educators and ultimately harming students. In addition:
Reducing benefits to educators will make the already serious Illinois teacher shortage even worse.
At a time when committees are being formed to try to figure out how to keep graduating seniors from fleeing the state and choosing instead to stay at Illinois higher education institutions, this action will drive professors away from the profession.
This would financially harm the teachers of this state who devote their careers to teaching the next generation of students, impacting their salaries now and in the future, by limiting salary growth to no more than 3 percent, when rates of inflation hover around 2.5 to 3 percent each year.
Tell them to rescind the 3 percent threshold.