By Jim Vail
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn told teachers at the House of Delegates meeting last week that he hadn't made his mind up yet on the poison teacher pension bill.
Well, he did today.
Quinn just signed onto Mayor Rahm Emanuel's pension bill that the unions estimate will cut the average teacher pension by up to one-third.
On the Chicago Teacher's Union website's masthead, it states in an alarming tone:
Pension Theft: "The Signing today by Gov. Pat Quinn of Senate Bill 1922, a proposal by the mayor of Chicago that will cut the retirement savings of thousands of city workers and school employees, is a slap in the face to the citizens who put them both in office."
The CTU decided to endorse the governor four years ago after the political action committee, of which I was a member of when Core won the election to take control of the CTU, was against it.
I say the CTU is playing a silly game that is rigged, where they know they are going to lose every time they play.
But CTU President Karen Lewis says she can't have her hands tied.
They say they need to have supporters in Springfield to pass necessary legislation.
But Lewis admitted it is a sick game and the working people of the city continue to lose in a political game that is controlled by the 1%.
Emanuel worked with Quinn and the democratic machine to make the workers give up their pensions, while giving corporations and campaign donors a free pass.
Lewis has said pensions are "sacrosanct."
But if our pensions are truly "sacrosanct" - then why would the CTU want to endorse this governor again?
The next argument that will be played out in the union halls will be, 'Oh, my God, the republicans and Bruce Rauner will win!"
Sure Rauner is bad. He wants to eliminate all worker pensions and hates unions.
But let's take a quick look at the federal level to see just how bad the republicans really are in comparison to the democrats.
People voted for democrat Barack Obama, and thus ended the eight year reign of republican George Bush.
But who is worse on education?
Believe it or not - Obama is! Obama's Race to the Top is speeding up the destruction of public education by forcing states to adopt laws that push for more charter schools, less public schools, more high stakes testings, and crazy, stressful teacher evaluations tied to testing.
Bush started it all with No Child Left Behind. But he couldn't get the republicans to enforce it by throwing tax payer dollars at it.
Enter Mr. Obama. He and the democrats love using tax payer dollars to really expand and enforce this odious corporate agenda.
Obama has taken education reform to a new level that Mr. Bush could only dream of!
If you would look closely at Bush's 8 year reign, you would actually see some measures he took that were actually union friendly. For example, my friend is a widow of a former railroad worker. She told me Bush signed legislation to extend health care benefits to the widows of railroad union workers.
The democrats and the republicans work together because both parties are controlled by the 1%.
They both agree that worker pensions must go the way of the dinosaur. Not to mention unions, worker protections, business regulations, etc.
They just play it off each other, and fool people to go out and vote for either party that is destroying our livelihood.
The CTU led a courageous fight that led to the first teachers strike in over 25 years in 2012.
But endorsing a governor today who is openly hostile to the teachers by signing this latest "slap in the face" pension legislation, and choosing as a running mate Paul Vallas, who is one of the leading fighters against teachers unions and public schools, would put the CTU back in the realm of a company union.
A company union does what the boss wants, even when it is extremely harmful to the workers.
If the CTU and Karen Lewis really want to fight for our "sacrosanct" pensions, then this governor will not be endorsed.
Otherwise, the union is saying, even if you destroy our pensions and our job protections, we will still support you.
No to Quinn!