Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Letter to Representative Elaine Nekritz Regarding Her Teacher Pension Bill

"The wife" has her say on pensions:

State Representative Elaine Nekritz

Dear Representative Nekritz,

You are quoted in the Chicago Tribune today (Sunday, March 24, 2013) saying you are going to go home for your spring break and "think about pensions."

While you are doing that, think about the downstate teachers outside of the Chicago suburbs who are getting very little in pension benefits and now will see their Cost of Living Adjustments frozen or limited to $750 a year should your bill become law.

As a woman, you know that taking time off from work to raise children is a part of life.  Downstate female teachers who took five-ten years off to "stay home with the kids" will be hurt if your bill becomes law. 

These women teachers were unable to go to graduate school because of family obligations.  In many cases they retired with pensions under $30,000 a year, and since women live longer than men, these retired women teachers who are widows or single are close to the poverty level right now.  Your bill will push them over the edge.

Representative Nekritz, you and your colleagues should look at the corporate tax breaks that are being given out to keep companies from moving out of Illinois, and while you are at it, look at CAT chairman Doug Oberman's $42 million dollar a year salary.  You might find that an investigation of THOSE factors mitigate your eagerness to hurt women teachers.

And also ask yourself why Laurence Msall and his billionaire fellow members of the Civic Federation are working so hard to limit teacher pensions.  Their work is not "civic"; it is self serving.  The Civic Federation members simply don't want to pay taxes.

I hope that you will listen to my voice crying out in the wilderness and that you will defend the pensions of retired teachers who are women.

Thanks for listening to my opinion.

Pam Wyman