Tag: Pension fund

Teach for Chicago

Well, now isn’t this convenient:

Two lobbyists with no prior teaching experience were allowed to count their years as union employees toward a state teacher pension once they served a single day of subbing in 2007, a Tribune/WGN-TV investigation has found.

Steven Preckwinkle, the political director for the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and fellow union lobbyist David Piccioli were the only people who took advantage of a small window opened by lawmakers a few months earlier.

The legislation enabled union officials to get into the state teachers pension fund and count their previous years as union employees after quickly obtaining teaching certificates and working in a classroom. They just had to do it before the bill was signed into law.

Do I even need to tell you that these two guys lobbied for the very law that will now give them at least a million in retirement benefits?

Look, I have no problem with teachers getting good retirement benefits. Nor do I have a problem with union reps getting retirement benefits, providing they are paid out of union money. I do have a problem, however, when a lobbyist is able to raid public funds based on a single day of teaching. We shouldn’t be paying these guys to lobby for more spending and we damn sure shouldn’t be paying them retirement benefits for lobbying.

Not much can be done — what they did was legal. But it really does illustrate the priorities of the union. In future years, real teachers are going to see their salaries or benefits reduced. But these two suckers will pull in millions.