Why are so many people prejudiced toward retired teachers specifically and retirees in general? Why are so many people prejudiced toward teachers unions specifically and unions in general?
Which brings us to the topic of attacking those of us who justly criticize some of the actions and inactions of the present leaders of the Illinois Education Association (IEA) and Pres. Cinda Klickna. These loyal critics also offer positive suggestions for improvement.
(By the way, yesterday Klickna made a terrific open rebuttal to the teacher bashing, multimillionaire, gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner. Read HERE. Yes, Klickna also makes some terrific decisions.)
One major Rah-Rah figure in particular continues to make mass email attacks against Fred Klonsky and any others who dare to criticize and suggest improvements to Klickna and the IEA. These attacks are vicious and divisive as they claim that Fred is vicious and divisive.
What happens with these types of attacks? Chris Hedges recently wrote, “Criticisms, no matter how tepid, will be treated as acts of subversion.” Read HERE.
Rah-Rah is the self appointed Sen. McCarthy of 2014, and he’s old enough to understand this comparison. Old enough to know better is the topic today.
Reading or listening to an old Rah-Rah is as embarrassing as watching a fat old man wearing a pair of Speedos as he attempts to do a back-flip off the diving board of a local community swimming pool in an effort to show off how he used to do it in the old days. Someone needs to tell him to cover it all up and stop it.
It’s things like that that give the rest of retirees a bad name.
Which brings us to the topic of Rah-Rah, Klickna and IEA’s attempt (SB 2404) to give away some teacher pension benefits as “shared sacrifice.”
What was wrong about a written agreement to any cuts to a contractual agreement? Ellen Schultz explains it succinctly.
“Since a unilateral political decision to cut public pensions is definitely illegal, unions and their leaders must be part of the cast of characters. This is essential for an effective retirement heist. All future ease of theft and destruction require it.
“We could convince the union that unless we reduce our retiree and employees costs we will be unable to continue to operate… thus creating significant hardship for their members. If the union didn’t agree, it would be tough to cut their benefits… So Pittman suggested a strategy he called ‘Creeping Take Aways.’ Using this approach, Varity ‘would progressively introduce minor reductions and usage controls rules into the medical benefits plan.’ These were ‘designed to be insufficient to warrant incurring the legal cost and trouble to have the benefits reinstated.’ A few years later, Varity could take an ax to the benefits, provoking the union to sue. In court, the company would say that because the union hadn’t objected to the earlier cuts, it tacitly agreed that the company had the right to cut their medical coverage unilaterally.”
– Retirement Heist by Ellen E. Schultz (pages 149-150)
Read my full blog from May 15, 2013 HERE.
Paul Krugman on July 21, 2013 stated this about all public employee pension issues: But even if the shortfall is several times as big as the initial estimate, which seems unlikely, this is just not a major national issue. Read HERE.
Shamefully, Rah-Rah knows this, but his angry blather and attacks on those (Fred Klonsky and others) who point out real problems are the poor judgment of one extremist who wants everybody to march in lock-step to any tune played by Rah-Rah’s piper. Please refocus on the legislative attacks on active and retired teachers. Focus. Get a new prescription for your mental glasses, or we will tell the youngsters to take away the keys to your car.
Everyone, please frequent Fred Klonsky’s superb blog and consider what is at stake. We are all in this together. Connect to Fred’s blog HERE.