By: Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner

“Shared sacrifice?”

As hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans are getting laid off or seeing their pay slashed as a result of the economic shutdown, Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been quietly finalizing the $1.5 billion, five-year contract she negotiated with the Chicago Teachers Union six months ago. WBEZ reported on May 5th that final contract negotiations are “nearly complete.” 

At the same time, Gov. J.B. Pritzker still plans to pay $261 million in raises to AFSCME workers, part of a $3 billion multi-year, guaranteed contract he signed with the union last year. Never mind his lockdown has contributed to the joblessness of more than one million private sector Illinoisans.

Pritzker and Lightfoot’s actions lay bare how Illinois would spend federal state aid for the pandemic. Public payrolls are getting slashed around the country – California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom just announced 10 percent wage cuts for state employees and a 10 percent reduction in public school funding – but not in Illinois. Quite the opposite.

Both leaders are doling out raises all while saying Illinois’ financial problems can’t be solved without help from Congress. 

Here’s what Lightfoot said last week: “If we don’t get additional help from the federal government, we are going to be in a world of hurt, there’s no two ways about it.” 

What’s Lightfoot offering in her contract, which she calls the “most generous” ever granted to the union? Average teacher salaries that jump to $100,000 by 2024, an increase of 24 percent from 2019. Average second-year teacher salaries that jump to $73,000 after five years, an increase of 35 percent. Nurses will also get increases to $73,000, up 48 percent.

In all, the agreement will cost Chicagoans an extra $1.5 billion through 2024 – excluding pension costs –  even as Lightfoot says the city faces a new $1 billion deficit due to the shutdown. 

And at the state level, thousands of AFSCME employees, who are already some of the nation’s highest paid state workers, are scheduled to receive automatic raises in July. They’ll get step increases plus cost-of-living raises worth an additional $260 million in the face of what Pritzker says will be a 2021 deficit of $7.4 billion.

Illinois state workers already average more than $110,000 in total compensation, including free retiree health insurance for most state workers. (See Appendix for details on CPS and AFSCME benefits.)

Pritzker and Lightfoot’s favoritism toward government unions makes it clear that there are two classes of people in Illinois.

The first class, the public sector, is protected by long-term employment contracts, guaranteed pay and constitutionally protected pensions. The second class, hit by massive pay cuts, job losses and uncertainty, must pay for the first class, no matter what.

Those have been the rules of the game for decades in Illinois. And Mayor Lightfoot and Gov. Pritzker are guilty of continuing those rules amidst the worst downturn since the Great Depression. The private sector’s ability to pay for government will only worsen the longer Illinois’ lockdown – the nation’s strictest – continues.

Instead of foisting the entire cost of the crisis onto ordinary Illinoisans, the governor and mayor should immediately reduce costs by furloughing workers, cutting wages and pushing off non-essential expenses. Cost of living adjustments for pensions should also be cut across the board, as deflation is likely to be with us for some time.

Neither politician had a problem shredding contracts, guarantees and civil liberties across the private sector as part of their government-mandated shutdowns. The two have no excuse not to move forward on the public-sector reforms the state needs.

Both Pritzker and Lightfoot want federal dollars. But they refuse to make any reforms or embrace shared sacrifice. That’s plenty of reason for other states – many of which have made cuts of their own – to have little sympathy for Illinois’ pleas.

Read more about AFSCME, the CTU contract and the impact of COVID-19 on Illinois:

 

Appendix 1.  Benefits of Chicago teachers

Appendix 2. Benefits of state AFSCME workers

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Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago

Highest taxes and still broke.

Follow the money, who is getting it.

Not going to services for the General Public.

Maybe for Luxury Homes in Florida and Luxury Cars.

$100,000 per year pensions are the norm, 3% increases every year by law.

Run for your economic life, or die a slow death from Slavery to the Greedy Government Employee.

Cops, Teachers, and Firemen love you like a cat loves a Bird.

James
1 month ago
Reply to  Poor Taxpayer

“$100,000 per year pensions are the norm.” Unless you are purposely cherry picking a particular fund and locality that figure is far from the “norm” overall. A much closer figure for all systems statewide would likely be more like $60-65k for full-career pensioners as a guess with maybe 14-18% of total pensioners drawing at least $100k. Pensioners with less than full-career service reduce that $60-55 annual pension guesstimate “norm,” too. In short your disdain for public pensions is distorting your description of reality unless you are choosing a case or two where it’s true.

Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago
Reply to  James
Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago
Reply to  James

FIRST NAMELAST NAMEANNUAL AMOUNTYEARS OF SERVICEFINAL SALARYBENEFIT START DATESTATUSLeslieHeffez$581,227.32302012-03-01TapasDas Gupta$494,773.32362004-06-01EdwardAbraham$480,761.52362007-03-01RonaldGuenther$473,094.36302011-07-01JosephFlaherty$433,290.00362011-05-01PeterMaggs$429,646.20222014-06-01MahmoodMafee$429,094.56322006-08-01JamesStukel$402,293.28362005-02-01HerandAbcarian$392,682.00202008-12-01RonaldAlbrecht$391,198.68262007-05-01

James
1 month ago
Reply to  Poor Taxpayer

Yep, you’ll find outliers on the upside. I’ll not bother to look for them at the moment, but there are far, far more outliers to be found on the downside. The upside list you’ve cherry picked represents far less than 1% and maybe more like 0.1% of the total state employee pensioners. I’m not happy about the really outrageous pensions either, but the rules which apply were loose enough to allow such things to happen. Tighten the rules and you reduce the problem eventually. The rules as to debating such things that are presently in place are what’s all too… Read more »

debtsor
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Totally ridiculous that you think a $60,000 to $65,000 a year pension is normal after working for 30 years. Retire at 52, live to 82, that’s like having $1,800,000 in the bank today protected against inflation with a 3% COLA. Some of the wealthiest 9.9%’ers I know don’t even have $1,800,000 in the bank. The 90th percentile retirement savings for 60 year olds is $605,500.00. But a state pension for being a dog catcher or janitor in the state of IL is the equivalent of $1,800,000. But you think that’s normal and fine. Except even that bankrupts the state. Just… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by debtsor
James
1 month ago
Reply to  debtsor

You’re putting words in my mouth there, debtsor. I didn’t say that was “normal” to me, but that is likely close to the average IL full-career public employee pension, like it or not. The median would be significantly lower, I think. Then, there are all those people much lower than either figure simply because they had a truncated public employment career. You guys pick-and-choose the worst-case scenarios and try painting them as common; they’re not! I have no argument really with your financial analysis. That’s irrelevant; I’ve said “what is” rather than what (you and numerous others) “ought to be.”

debtsor
1 month ago
Reply to  James

https://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20170523/NEWS02/170529966/illinois-pensions-some-common-misconceptions The median is lower for a lot of professionals and the average is skewed by the highest earners, true. And you’re also right about the average for workers, for the most part. But the article says that it’s not the spiked and high pensions that are the problem, because “…if the size of all pensions could magically be capped at $100,000, the savings at those major funds would amount to $450 million this year, only 2.6 percent of the total.” It’s the sheer volume of former employees all pilfering a pension from the honest tax payers’ pockets, even less… Read more »

James
1 month ago
Reply to  debtsor

I can’t argue with your last sentence. How this all ends is the subject of much speculation. We shall see and likely within just a few years. It isn’t going to be pretty.

Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago
Reply to  debtsor

Cap Pensions at the Max amount of SS, just like the honest hard working taxpayer. Then their would be a big difference.

Flash413
1 month ago
Reply to  Poor Taxpayer

And earliest benefit draw at age 62. At a reduced percentage of course, just like normal workers.

James
1 month ago
Reply to  Flash413

And while we’re at it let’s divide any SS-like benefit by 2 because we all know none of them do any useful work at all and are no better than dog puke anyway, right?

debtsor
1 month ago
Reply to  James

DONG! Finally gets something right! You’re getting better at this game!

Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago
Reply to  James

The smaller pensions are because the thief only worked for 10 years.

A full pension is over $100,000 for many of greedy Cops, Teachers and Firemen who retire at age 52. Max benefit should not exceed the MAX SS payment. Let them live like the poor honest working taxpayer does. Not better, no worse. Best of luck any of them every knowing what a honest days work is.

James
1 month ago
Reply to  Poor Taxpayer

Poor taxpayer, PLEASE say something—anything—new once in awhile. Anyone who has been here awhile knows full well your drum beat. What you say is true but not for all that many as a percentage of total retirees. Besides, if you read debtsor’s argument the basic problem is the number of public employees far more than the high amounts some of them draw.

Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Poor Taxpayer

Taxpayer Education Foundation. May 27, 2020. TEF estimates that more than 148,654 Illinois government pensioners in the SURS, TRS, IMRF, GARS, SERS, & JRS pension systems will receive more than a million dollars in pension payments during their life expectancy. 24,285 retirees currently receive a SURS, TRS, IMRF, GARS, SERS, or JRS pension over $100K. https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/148654-illinois-government-pension-millionaires The following seven lists are on the website: The first list includes only those in the SURS, TRS, IMRF, GARS, SERS, & JRS pension systems. All Illinois Government Pensions Over $100,00 Top 200 GARS Pensions Top 200 TRS Pensions Top 200 JRS Pensions Top… Read more »

Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

Here are the number of retirees receiving an annual pension over $100,000 in each of the following six pension systems. TRS – 15,215 (63%). SURS – 5,350 (22%). SERS – 1,867 (8%). JRS – 929 (4%). IMRF – 854 (4%). GARS – 69 (three tenths of 1%). Total – 24,284. https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Top-pension-over-100000-2020.pdf TRS – teacher and administrators outside of Chicago Public Schools. SURS – University employees (includes community colleges). SERS – State employees. JRS – Judges. IMRF – A myriad of local governments statewide excluding Chicago. GARS – General Assembly (State Representatives, State Senators). There are several pensioners on these lists… Read more »

James
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

Well, you’ve nailed it very nicely. I have to say the % for TRS is MUCH higher than I would have guessed and enough so that I wonder if there is an error in its calculation. It doesn’t strike me as all that unexpected, though, for Chicago suburban teachers except that figure would be balanced a bit by downstate teachers where some districts don’t even hit the mid-60k range for their highest paid active teachers, knowing that their pensions are maybe 2/3 of that presumed highest last-year salary. On the other hand the number of retirees from those systems has… Read more »

The Truth Hurts
1 month ago
Reply to  James

The percentages represent the percentage of six figure pensions out of ALL 6 figure pensions. Not the percentage of retired teachers that receive a 100k+ pension. That’s the reason the percentage for judges are so low. The percentage of retired teachers receiving a 100k+ pension is in the 12-13% range.

https://www.trsil.org/news-and-events/100Ksalary-and-pension-club

Last edited 1 month ago by The Truth Hurts
James
1 month ago

Okay. I appreciate the clarification, and that makes a lot more sense now. Thanks!

Mike
1 month ago

As a side note about the December 13, 2019 TRS press release titled, “Facts about the $100,000 Salary and Pension Club.” Substitute and part-time teachers are covered members of TRS. Substitute and part time teaching compensation is recognized by TRS as creditable earnings. That along with average FTE and average years of service is helpful in putting statistics into perspective, such as the statement in the press release that “The average TRS pension in 2018 was $55,796.” http://www.trsil.org/members/tier-ii/guide/chapter-two-membership http://www.trsil.org/members/retired/guide/chapter-three-earnings Also, retired teachers and administrators can be employed by school districts while receiving their pension. “Following the school year in which… Read more »

The Truth Hurts
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

No doubt the retired teachers that have less than the maximum years of service bring down the average. The key to making the most of any retirement is to have the discipline to start early and consistently save each and every year. The retired teacher with 100k pension per year has typically maxed out their years of service at around 34 years. Let’s pretend a private sector worker applied that same discipline. A 22 year old private sector worker that starts out earning 55k per year, saves 9.2% of their salary, company match of 6%, earns 8% on investments, and… Read more »

debtsor
1 month ago

“Company match of 6%, earns 8% on investments, and averages salary growth of 3%.” This is a great hypothetical on the back of an envelope but isn’t really applicable in the real world. Few people in corporate environments get 6% matches (my spouse gets 3% which is now frozen indefinitely), the 8% return on investments is truly fantasy land, given the four major stock market crashes in my lifetime, and the average salary growth of 3% is unrealistic, given that twice now in my lifetime there have been mass layoffs, salary cuts and frozen salaries. So realistically, someone in the… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by debtsor
The Truth Hurts
1 month ago
Reply to  debtsor

I agree not every company offers a 6% match. My point is that some companies do offer that (and better) and it doesn’t mean those people are greedy. They happen to choose to exchange their labor with a company that values them with a match. Not unheard of by any means.

Also if a company only matches 3% then you kick in the additional 3%.

debtsor
1 month ago

But they are greedy. If they weren’t greedy, then they would voluntarily give up some of their pilfered pensions for the health of the state. but they don’t.

James
1 month ago
Reply to  debtsor

Can we then guess that you likewise are now, or in better times were, supporting some stranger, business or other organization suffering more than you, debtsor, or should we presume your chastisement comes from the no-cost seats where most complaints originate? We know you aren’t greedy; it’s only those other people who aren’t as altruistic as you.

debtsor
1 month ago
Reply to  James

“or should we presume your chastisement comes from the no-cost seats where most complaints originate?”

Ha! that’s good, criticism of the pension system comes from people who don’t care for others.

Mike
1 month ago

TRS is and has always been a state sponsored Ponzi scheme. Are we supposed to bless the Ponzi scheme because its members are teachers and administrators? Is that some sort of emotional ploy? The scheme was perpetuated by politicians (State Representatives, State Senators, Governors, school board members), union lobbyists, the pension funds themselves, others, and the state constitution. The scheme escalated after the pension sentence was added to the constitution in 1970. There are enough examples to fill books. In fact one book was written about Illinois public sector pensions in 2011, named the Illinois Pension Scam, by Bill Zettler.… Read more »

Susan
1 month ago

The orignial premise is flawed. 1. Teachers and other government bureaucrats vest pension entitlements after only 10 years, and may begin drawing entitlements at ages in mid fifties after early retirement pension gimmicks are applied. Other people must wait until at least age 62 to collect a dime. The start date of benefits skews total annuity values, especially when adding in the 3%guaranteed COLA. 2. Health insurance benefits at zero cost post-early retirement (OPEBs) are an enormous additional cost burden to taxpayers, not factored in to comparison. Also, to address cost inflation, cost increases on this additional benefit entitlement have… Read more »

nixit
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

Interesting list, albeit a bit misleading. Anytime you see $0 for “Employee Deposits to Pension Fund” it’s a surviving spouse. I wish the list had a retirement date.

Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  nixit

There were only 10 with “Employee Deposits to Pension Fund” of zero.

All 10 were all in the TRS pension fund.

All 10 had no employer listed, so that’s a good guess that it was a surviving spouse.

In the majority of school districts in Illinois, employees contribute little to nothing to the pension fund, due to “board paid TRS” aka “pension pickup.”

The salary schedule add-on method of board paid TRS hikes gross pay.

Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  nixit

Also you can make the retirement date suggestion to Taxpayers Education Foundation (it’s the same organization as Taxpayers United of America).

Or submit a FOIA to TRS requesting the information.

For one-off estimates, comparing “Current Annual Pension” to “Total Pension Paid to Date” allows one to ballpark the retirement year.

Goodgulf Greyteeth
1 month ago

Governor Tax Cheat’s next, “OH! Look! I’m ‘negotiating’ with a union” stick-it-to-taxpayers AFSCME concession will be what he agrees to have us spend to persuade state employees to actually return to work. No one will be surprised to learn that AFSCME is using the COVID vaporous panic – er, pandemic – as an excuse to keep public employee union members at home, many of them sitting on their thumbs, until Governor Everlasting Jobstopper agrees to remodel every state office so that each state employee is behind plexiglass in a operating-room like cubicle. This, even though the “science” of reducing aerosol-droplet… Read more »

debtsor
1 month ago

Yeah, they aren’t coming back to work until Phase 5 but will continue to be paid the entire time.

Flash413
1 month ago

If you need a laugh, check out these clips of City of Los Angeles employees behaving badly. Incidentally, working for the DWP (Dept of Water & Power) is a coveted job in the city and very high paying, even for California.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7Rf00VYBvk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDSGxhX1Px8

Rick
1 month ago

People who accomplish their jobs using a computer, if their companies go virtual after this forced test run… Then they can reincorporate elsewhere and forego their physical office space in Chicago, and the impending taxes, freeing up Illinois resident employees to move elsewhere as well. I see it happening, not with every type of company, but with many. Microsoft Teams is an amazing program for online work, I’ve gotten more accomplished without the wasted hour and a half per day commuting, that’s one whole work day per week driving. As usual politicians here are a decade behind the times. But… Read more »

Susan
1 month ago

Rather than advancing losing arguments such as economic unsustainability of this economic policy, or trying to appeal to the honor of individuals receiving the benefits of this economic policy at the expense of their neighbors… Capitulate. Agree that humsn dignity demands that all workers deserve similar entitlements. Then let Illinois first class explain to Illinois taxpayers how that cannot be accomplished, or alternatively explain why one class of citizens is worth saving at the expense of killing the other class. One segment of professional underclass is in a strong negotiating position in these days of deadly plague: medical professionals. Illinois… Read more »

Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago
Reply to  Susan

Your are delusional.
The greed of the government employee has DESTROYED THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE HONEST HARD WORKING TAXPAYER AND THEIR FAMILIES.
In the past they would have hung them from a tree. Today the only good answer is to leave the state for a state that has zero income taxes. And millions have already done that.
KISS ILLINOIS GOOD BYE.

Susan
1 month ago
Reply to  Poor Taxpayer

I am trying to make a point. We have had no success arguing against the political class privileges which are destroying our State. Not everyone can afford to abandon their devalued homes and start over elsewhere. So look at the problem a different way: it is a predator-prey problem. Predators are the defined benefit pensions +insurance starting at mid-fifties. Prey are taxpayers who do NOT receive these defined benefits at taxpayer expense. Prey have two ways to defeat predators: migrate to the middle of the herd so that predators pick off the easy prey on the outside of the herd,… Read more »

Tom Paine's Ghost
1 month ago

I look forward to the day that destitute former CTU, AFSCME and SEIU members are begging in the streets. Bankrupt Illinois will have cut off their golden egg pensions and these incompetent fools never learned to cut back on spending. I will step over this gutter vermin and toss them baggies of dog food. I hear that Gravy Train is the suggested option.

Steve
1 month ago

From moral responsibility proceeds doing right when it is yours to do. (Precluding reimbursement.) Governor Pritzker is not so put upon. As is necessary to govern a free people. He’s left to dictate. Expecting him to act differently is crosswise to common sense; it just fuels ones frustration.

Fortunately, it seems Washington is aware that putting Federal Aid in this Illinois Governor’s hands, would do nothing to help Illinois. There’s relief in knowing that Gov. Pritzker isn’t able to cheat all Americans.

debtsor
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

We are the national whipping boy. Everyone on TV rails on IL’s profligacy every chance they get. Then IL passes a budget with zero cuts. Zero cuts! In the middle of the worst financial crisis in our state’s history and they take Oswego Willy’s advice that everything is essentially and there is nothing left to be cut. The other 49 states that are making cuts will see IL and feel much less charitable about bailout is out. The people running the state are delusional. They have no primary challengers, a super-majority legislature, and voters that always vote blue no matter… Read more »

Sherlock Homeless
1 month ago

Premium pay for an inferior education……………again

Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago

No Schitt Sherlock. They do not educate, the best they do is a overpaid babysitter, not even a good one. The whole education system is set up to create high paying jobs and benefits and HUGE PENSIONS for adults. Education is not even on the list.

Steve
1 month ago

Gov. Pritzker : Has premium pay and a premium education…………..sometimes they’re both wasted.

1 month ago

take care of the people for a change instead of your cronies

ronald
1 month ago

Sooner or later we will have a TAX REVOLT

1 month ago

To all of you with the glib answer…just leave, there are hundreds of thousands of us who are stuck here due to family circumstances and can’t just pick up and get out. So to all you who have been able to move to greener pastures, congratulations, really wish we were one of you, but we’re obligated to stay here until we can make the move. Hopefuly by then, our home will still have some value and moving won’t be as painful as staying. Until then, we must stay and take care of our family members and fight the good fight.… Read more »

UnclePugsly
1 month ago
Reply to  NiteCat

There are many people who are stuck, and screwed. Try doing regular little things though to prepare for an exit, e.g. I have been doing small improvements to my home like painting it to help it stand out in a buyers market. I also have kept my landscaping up so that people who come through the neighborhood remember my house as always looking good. I’ve also contemplated selling and then renting so that my exit can be quick when the time is right. I’ve also looked into establishing residency out of state while still being here for 6 months out… Read more »

Mike Williams
1 month ago
Reply to  NiteCat

Illinois has been in death spiral for many years. Circumstances that prevent someone from leaving typically don’t continue year after year. I can’t distinguish the few who really deserve empathy from the multitude that don’t. I suspect that at some point during the last 5 years there was a moment in time when leaving was possible. Perhaps it wasn’t going to be easy, but it was possible. Also, please don’t assume that those who already left didn’t have family responsibilities or other issues to complicate the move.

Goodgulf Greyteeth
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Williams

For my family’s part, we live in the house and on the land that my wife’s parents bought working two jobs each after her father came back from WWII. I’ve been clearing land and fencing pastures out of trees and brush, shoveling horse manure and working on a Viet Nam house (too far in to get out, but no end in sight) on these acres for over 20 years. I haven’t been a quitter through any of that, and I’m not going to go quietly into the night by letting Governor Tax Cheat run us away now. As a recent… Read more »

Mike Williams
1 month ago

Good comment Goodgulf, but I disagree. When people stay regardless of how bad it gets, it plays into the hands of the corrupt, liberal Dems. Now they know they can tax you even more and you’ll pay.

Steve
1 month ago

Constrained by time/opportunity to do so; many leave Illinois to promote their family.
In essence: Need we think less of the Fireman, not having lost his life to the fire?

Many were born and buried responsible Illinois citizens. Playing by the rules to regard their fellow man. And unfortunately had their children in Illinois. Those children being subjected to degenerate governance. Illinois government consumes human resources as a fire consumes wood. But only the crooks are ‘warmed.’

Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago

Cut your losses short. It only gets more expensive by the day. The sooner you leave the sooner you will start getting ahead in life. Your children will have an opportunity to get ahead. Many of the college educated leave as soon as they graduate, at least the smart ones. It is a real shame that the greed of the government worker has destroyed the quality of life for most everyone in the state. So run for your economic life and kiss Illinois good bye.

Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago
Reply to  NiteCat

Getting rid of herpes will be easier than selling a home in Illinois.

Susan
1 month ago

Compare and contrast the assertions of heartless cruelty and throwing grandma under the bus related to COVID-19 shutdown debate with demands of public sector workers in Illinois:
Cruel people care more about making money than protecting society…
Cruel people ignore facts and figures describing the destruction brought upon society by their demands…
Cruel people do not consider the suffering caused by their own behavior, and do not seek to come up with reasonable compromises to solve the problem.

Do these assertions apply to one group but not the other?

Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago
Reply to  Susan

The only answer for an honest hard working taxpayer is to MOVE.
Let all the worthless government employees have Illinois. It is all theirs for the taking.

Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Poor Taxpayer

I know you don’t like the claim that some people cannot move, so how about this: It’s good to have some stay in the belly of the beast to get the word out. Ted and I could leave, but we think somebody needs to be doing that. And I am glad to have others here with us scratching, kicking and clawing as best they can.

Joe Blow
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

sadly you will never win, the machine has gone too long and far to ever give up control at this point. You’re screaming from the mountaintops and nobody is hearing you. For literally everyone its just easier to move. Life is too short to stick around and be miserable.

Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

I don’t think you got the point about whether there is value in reporting from the belly of the beast.

Joe Blow
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

oh there definitely is value in that! and it went right over my head!

DantheMan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Mark (and Ted), I hope you get some satisfaction from those that do leave. As the count goes higher, the source of the beast’s food supply is diminished. That’s how Wirepoints can find victory, by starving the beast.

Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago
Reply to  Susan

Cruel unusual punishment is what the Greedy Cops, Teachers and Firemen have done to the honest hard working taxpayer of Illinois. Slavery is against the law and that is what they have done to the working man.

1 month ago
Reply to  Susan

you just described every democrat in illinois!!!!

Goodgulf Greyteeth
1 month ago

Governor Tax Cheat did the same thing with the SEIU contract for Home Health Aides. 35,000+ of them in the Home Services Program alone in Illinois. 13.48 an hour to 17.00 an hour by 2022 to do less work with less supervision-n-accountability than a private-sector CNA earning 10.50 an hour, who actually has had to undergo training and receive certification. Further, rather than requiring a disabled person to “hire” an additional family member to take care of them to avoid paying overtime, JB decided to allow aides to work up to 60 hours per week – 15 hours per week… Read more »

Governor of Alderaan
1 month ago

Aren’t these SEIU members the same people who have turned nursing homes into killing fields?

Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago

One Half of the students Drop out. The other half can not read at an eighth grade level.
Huge pay for Schitt performance. Chicago schools are some of the worst in the nation.
This is a nightmare story.
Teachers only are on the job (they do not work) 180 days a year. Retire at age 50.
The poor honest working taxpayer WORKS 240 days a year. Retires at age 67 if they can with $1,500 per month SS.
Feel like you are getting screwed?
It is because you are.

Governor of Alderaan
1 month ago

How can Illinois’ supposedly data and science-driven governor deny math?

Andrew Szakmary
1 month ago

No, public payrolls are not getting slashed “all over the country,”or at least there is no evidence for this statement so far. Yes, the governor of one state has proposed a 10% pay cut, but even that has yet to be approved by the California legislature. And yes, state workers in Illinois are getting raises based on contracts signed last year, before the Coronavirus existed, and retirees are continuing to receive contractually required automatic annual increases in their pensions, and wealthy investors holding the state’s bonds are continuing to receive their contractually required coupon interest and principal payments, and life… Read more »

UnclePugsly
1 month ago

Not sure I understand your comment – so where does the money come from to make the ‘contractual obligations’ you mention? My employer has UAW employees, with a contract. That hasn’t stopped my employer from layoffs of those UAW employees. Is a unemployed worker with a ‘contract’ better than a job for that worker?

The Truth Hurts
1 month ago
Reply to  UnclePugsly

“so where does the money come from to make the ‘contractual obligations’ you mention?”

Take a look at the new budget. It comes from borrowing about $5 Billion from the fed and then seeking a bailout so as not to pay it back. It comes from raising taxes. People may not have liked Andrew’s comment but everything he wrote is true.

DantheMan
1 month ago

Stop waking up angry and going to bed angry. If you live with other people, like a spouse or children, it is probably taking a toll on your relationships. Angry people complain and most people don’t want to be around constaint complainers. Illinois not only steals wealth, it hurts relationships. If you won’t leave illinois for your own sake, how about for the sake of those you love? How will you feel in 5 years when everyone is struggling and your loved one asks, “Why didn’t we get out when we had the chance?”

Mike Williams
1 month ago
Reply to  DantheMan

Many years ago, men wondered how they would respond to the question, “What did you do in the war daddy?”. Staying in Illinois now is like answering, “I hid under my bunk the entire war.”

Joyce
1 month ago

I am also getting my house ready as quickly as I can to get out of this cesspool there is no hope here anymore. My goal is to get out of here hopefully in a year won’t be easy unloading this house on a sucker that wants to stay in this hellhole.

Deep in the Heart
1 month ago
Reply to  Joyce

Good for you, Joyce. I left and never looked back. Let’s put it this way, do you ever hear of anyone moving out then returning to become a resident again? The combination of union thugs + corrupt politicians = a lethal force that will not change. Google “most corrupt city in USA” and multiple sites rank Chicago #1. Google “most corrupt state in USA” and Illinois comes up #2 behind Louisiana or #3 if you count Washington DC. Face it Joyce, the democrats and the public sector unions have won. In their mind, putting an eighty or ninety or six-figure… Read more »

Robert Janky
1 month ago
Reply to  Joyce

I’m with you. Getting my house ready to sell , hopefully before the corrupt pols impose an exit tax which I’m sure is coming !

The Truth Hurts
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Janky

They won’t call it an exit tax as those are not allowed. Instead they will add a real estate transaction tax when you go to sell your home. New Jersey has one that’s 8.97% of the profit of your home or 2% of the selling price, whichever is higher. Maybe the state will make it 10% of the sale and waive it if you buy another home in the state similar to a 1031 like kind exchange. From a politicians perspective it’s perfect as it only upsets the people that are leaving the state, future non voters.

debtsor
1 month ago

All of this just to pay the pensions – and pay for the vacation homes – of former state employees. ALWAYS VOTE BLUE, NO MATTER WHO!

Rick
1 month ago

How does an AFSCME custodian clean buildings working from home? I know a few custodians and none of them ever had to buy a roll of toilet paper for their home, they all just steal a few rolls a day or a case now and then. One of them was making north of 150k a year.

Freddy
1 month ago
Reply to  Rick

A friend I grew up with has a pension of approx $83K and retired at 55 now 68. He was a janitor but officially its a custodial engineer.

Eye in the Sky
1 month ago
Reply to  Freddy

See above Freddy, you may need to break down and purchase a suit for the upcoming awards dinner.

Eye in the Sky
1 month ago
Reply to  Rick

Really Rick, this is the wisdom you are imparting on us all? You know a few custodians, they are ALL Stealing the Toilet Paper. Thanks for confirming you are in the running for moron of the year!! You are not alone, Freddy below is running a close second!

debtsor
1 month ago
Reply to  Eye in the Sky

It’s a perk of the job, didn’t you know? You must assume they ARE stealing the toilet paper until proven otherwise. These are greedy, untrustworthy government employees we’re talking about here.

susan
1 month ago
Reply to  debtsor

The way to turn tables is to amass evidence of malfeasance by public taxing bodies (and employees), file tax objection or false claims act or fraud lawsuits, and monetize the fight against corruption.
Corruption is monetized, but there is asymmetry of rewards vs. economic destruction (corruption pays far less to the corrupt participants than the sum of economic damages caused by corruption).
This suggests that the monetization of litigation against public corruption should be net profitable for exploited taxpayers litigants.

JimBob
1 month ago
Reply to  susan

I think there are significant legal obstacles. First is governmental immunity which generally relieves public officials of personal liability. Second is “standing” which often prohibits taxpayers from filing suit unless the plaintiff(s) can prove direct quantifiable harm. A suit against the state itself must generally be pursued in a claims court which is likely populated by elected judges. Finally there is a federal doctrine of “abstention” when it comes to trying to pursue a case in federal court. Other lawyers who read may have helpful insights here. There is a case pending in Kentucky (Mayberry vs. KKR) where I think… Read more »

Fur
1 month ago
Reply to  JimBob

Very true about taxpayers limited understanding of the economic situation in this state. I’m still learning myself. Improved understanding could really turn the light-bulbs on in the shadowy heads of Illinois residents.

Eye in the Sky
1 month ago
Reply to  debtsor

debtsor: could have predicted you would surface to opine. I assume you are basing your assumptions here through your usual research and reconnaissance, peaking out the living room window? We will make you Chairman Emeritus of the Moron Club, you can pass out the awards this year!!

Dick Bleistift
1 month ago
Reply to  Eye in the Sky

Turn your eye to the sky: moon the moon.

Freddy
1 month ago
Reply to  Eye in the Sky

All I said what his pension is and his official title. His father got him the job. It’s not what you know it’s WHO you know. I’m not sure how that makes me a moron. Maybe because I still live in Illinois which then I’m in good company. Also I know someone whose official title is Striper for athletic fields in the school district. His pension from IMRF will be $72K at age 55. So choosing not to have a do nothing derriere kissing state job makes many of us morons.

Douglas
1 month ago

Hey, communist indoctrination of our youth takes money guys. You have no one to blame but yourself if you stay in Illinois, and yes, that includes myself. I want to get my family out and now find myself rushing to get this place ready to put on the market, but I have to take responsibility for not doing it sooner.

Governor jelly belly and the terrorist organization known as the state legislature will not protect your property or liberty. Quit funding a criminal enterprise and move to greener pastures. Pissed off 😤😤😤

DantheMan
1 month ago
Reply to  Douglas

Good for you, assuming you follow through and get out. So many here just complain and continue sending their tax dollars to Springfield. It’s like paying someone to hit you each year. Totally nuts! Reading Wirepoints is pointless unless it leads to action.

nixit
1 month ago

What’s funny is federal bailout money will be used to pay not just CPS salaries but also that 7% of the teachers’ pension contribution that CPS still pays for all teachers hired before 2017. Bailout money used to cover what an employee should be paying out of their own salary, which in turn will be paid for with bailout money. Sour irony.

ConcernedExpat
1 month ago

I know that the leaders in Illinois do not have the chutzpah to do so but if there is any time to back out of a pending contract it is now given a Material Adverse Change has occurred.

If they strike, so what? They are not teaching now anyway?

A 20% increase in this environment? How tone deaf can they be? These are the same people that shame United Airlines for firing their union employees the day after the regulations allow them to.

It’s truly disgusting… these public sector unions are the lowest form of humans. It is legal racketeering!

NB-Chicago
1 month ago

Absolutely sickening…and as i listening to jbs daily covid spin he says the state afscme worker heros will be allowed to keep working from home past his phase III or indefinitely. What a joke

NB-Chicago
1 month ago
Reply to  NB-Chicago

Illinois– fiscally bankrupt, morally bankrupt

Poor Taxpayer
1 month ago

Like I have said many, many times– “There is no hope for Illinois”.
DOA, leave as soon as you can. Run for your economic life.
The day you leave that Schitt Hole of Democratic Cesspool will be the best day of your life and your families life.