AboutThis website is maintained by and for the approximately 900 members of AFSCME Retirees, Council 31, Subchapter 161, based in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Charlie Hogan is President of the Subchapter. This site is maintained by the eCommunications Committee, John Metz, Chairman. Email communications may be addressed to: email@example.com. Comments, moderated by the Executive Committee, may also be made by clicking on "Leave a reply" anywhere on the website.
Recent entries on Members’ Forum
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• From John Metz, March 1, 2014: Overpaid teachers
• From David Rolston, February 28, 2014: Responses to Governor Rauner
• From John Metz, September 12, 2014: Ad about real Bruce Rauner
• From Richard Locke, notes on resolutions from AFSCME Convention
• From Walter Esler, August 23, 2014: Retirees win round
• From Walter Esler, August 16, 2014: Hope for state pensioners
• From Charlie Hogan, July 30, 2014: On Bruce Rauner
• From Walter Esler, July 29-30, 2014: On pension reform and on the gubernatorial election
• From Charlie Hogan, July 10, 2014
• From Walt Esler, July 4, 2014
• From John Metz, May 22, 2014
• From Walt Esler, April 2014
• From John Metz, April 19, 2014
• From Richard Mayer, April 16, 2014
• From David Rolston, April 11, 2014
• From David Rolston, February 14, 2014
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13 January 2016
AFSCME Sub-chapter 161
We will meet again at Ruby Tuesdays Restaurant at 5203 Old Orchard Road, Skokie, Il. on Wednesday, 20th of January. The meeting starts at 11 AM.
This meeting’s speaker is Judge Gerald Esrig. He will be addressing the importance of the Judges we’ll elect in November. While we know the career histories of state legislators and governors, few of us are familiar with the career track of lawyers who are elected or appointed to the bench.
Since Senate Bill 1 became a law and was overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court, retirees have had a dramatic lesson in the role played by the courts.
Six of us attended the political conference in Springfield on January 9th. We will have a report and provide papers from the workshop.
14 December 2015
AFSCME Sub-chapter 161
We will meet again at Ruby Tuesdays Restaurant at 5203 Old Orchard Road, Skokie, Il. on Wednesday, 16th December. The meeting starts at 11 AM.
This meeting’s speaker is one of Congresswoman Jan Schakowski’s staff. He will be speaking about the importance of national issues affecting seniors.
See you there.
AFSCME Retirees, Council 31, Subchapter 161
Intrachapter Communications Committee
John Metz, Chairman
16 November 2015
AFSCME Sub-chapter 161
We will meet again at Ruby Tuesdays Restaurant at 5203 Old Orchard Road, Skokie, IL on Wednesday, 18th of November. The meeting starts at 11 AM.
Jason Kay will be our guest speaker. Mr. Kay is one of Council 31’s lobbyists. He is part of Council 31’s political staff. This month’s meeting will be focusing on PEOPLE and the retiree role in the upcoming election year. Jason has been involved in Council 31’s political efforts in Springfield for a number of years. I’ve asked him to share his perspective on what’s happened and what we need to be doing in order to support Council 31’s work to protect our pensions and benefits.
This will be a working meeting for members. We have unfinished election work. During the open discussion period, I will be listening for ideas of what we can do as political activists during 2016.
We need ideas for continuing our effort to build a active membership through person -to-person efforts and alliances with other organizations. I will bring materials from the recent conference as discussion aides.
9 September 2015
AFSCME Sub-chapter 161
We will meet again at Ruby Tuesdays Restaurant at 5203 Old Orchard Road, Skokie, Il. on Wednesday, 16th September. The meeting starts at 11 AM.
The business of this meeting is twofold: 1) Election of officers, executive board members, and trustees. 2) With the failure of the Illinois House vote to override the Governor Rauner’s veto of SB1229, there is a probability of a lockout or strike.
In our last meeting. Ms Jo Patton, of Council 31’s staff, laid out the the hostile actions of the governor’s bargaining team during the current negotiations. With the defeat of SB1229’s override vote, Council 31 and AFSCME Retiree Council 31 have decided on a joint course of action.
The bargaining team will continue to bargain for a contract acceptable to the state workers covered by the master contract. Our Union will fight, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst (impasse and lockout). When this happens, the retirees will have a role in this fight.
The second piece of business will be a discussion of how we can re-tool and apply past and current work to this threat.
There are no winners in a strike. Economically, it will touch all of us. Our goal will be to prepare to deter the strike if we can, and help our union prevail if it happens. The purpose of deterrence is to tell your adversary that his chances of success are exceedingly slim to none at all.
Charles Hogan, President
Rauner’s political assault defeats fair arbitration bill
By slim margin, House fails to override veto after unprecedented threats to legislators
Following an intense barrage of false claims about the fair arbitration bill by the Rauner Administration, naked threats of political retaliation by the Republican leadership and paid attacks by right-wing super-PACs, the Illinois House of Representatives today fell three votes shy of the 71 needed to override the governor’s veto and enact Senate Bill 1229.
Although the bill did nothing more than extend to child protection workers, nurses, caregivers, emergency responders and other state employees the same independent arbitration process provided to police, fire and other public safety personnel in Illinois for more than 30 years, the Rauner Administration justified its veto with an array of false claims about the bill’s provisions, constitutionality and potential cost, as well as unsubstantiated ad hominem attacks on the independence and fair-mindedness of arbitration professionals.
Multi-million-dollar super PACs allied with the governor — including Turnaround Illinois and the Koch Brothers-funded Americans For Prosperity — flooded legislative districts with robocalls and attack ads that repeated many of the same false claims, confusing voters about the bill’s true intent.
In reality, public service workers and their unions supported SB 1229 to help avert the potential conflict, hardship and disruption of a statewide strike or lockout by offering arbitration as an alternative means of resolving contract disputes between state employees’ unions and the Rauner Administration if ongoing negotiations fail to produce agreements.
Finally today, House Republican leadership publicly threatened rank-and-file lawmakers with political retaliation if they voted to enact the bill–a threat that longtime statehouse watchers called unprecedented in its brazenness.
“The governor’s ferocious and false attacks on this moderate and responsible bill clearly show he wants conflict, not compromise,” Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan said. “The governor’s assault on this bill may have won the day but poisoned the well for legislators of both parties who want to work together responsibly to solve problems and serve the people of Illinois. It is clear that Governor Rauner will stop at nothing to carry out his scorched-earth agenda against working people, their rights and well-being.”
“Day in and day out, public service workers in state government keep us safe, care for veterans, protect kids and much more,” said Roberta Lynch, executive director of the largest union of state employees, AFSCME Council 31. “State employees don’t want to be forced out on strike, but we’re determined not to let Governor Rauner undercut workers’ rights, jeopardize workplace safety or threaten the economic security of working families.”
As a candidate, Governor Rauner repeatedly vowed to “take a strike and shut down state government for a few weeks” in order to force workers to accept his extreme demands. More recently, the governor has made stripping the rights of workers to bargain collectively a precondition of enacting a state budget. And in a possible signal that he is preparing to provoke a work stoppage, the Rauner Administration has solicited retirees to serve as strike breakers and reportedly considered mobilizing the National Guard.
The governor’s assault on the arbitration provisions of SB 1229 has now derailed the best hope of amicably settling union contracts that are fair to all.
“The Illinois labor movement will remain united,” Carrigan said. “Even though today’s outcome is deeply disappointing, we appreciate that the vast majority of legislators stood with working people and did the right thing. Our fight to protect the middle class from the governor’s extreme agenda is only just beginning.”
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From Jo Patton, speaker at August 19 meeting
From Charlie Hogan
From Rich Miller’s Capitol Fax, Roberta Lynch’s response to Governor Rauner
From Crain’s Chicago Business, Wednesday, August 19, 2015
It didn’t happen by accident. Governors and legislators, Republicans and Democrats, repeatedly approved financially toxic changes that created the worst-funded pension system in the country. http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/pensions
From WEEKLY RETIREE NEWS DIGEST, Volume 20, August 8 – August 14
SPECIAL AFSCME VIDEO: Kids Try Out Right-Wing Ideas
This video was released Wednesday morning has a follow up to the first Republican debate.
AFSCME Press Releases/Statements from Pres. Saunders
by Lee Saunders | August 14, 2015
Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act 80 years ago this week, but if you read what his critics were saying about it at the time, you might think it was just yesterday. It was a job killer and an attack on Big Business. In the words of Delaware Sen. Daniel Hastings, it would “end the progress of a great country.”
Bailey Childers | August 14, 2015
Today we are wishing a happy 80th birthday to Social Security, one of the foremost accomplishments of the last century in providing Americans with a secure retirement. Formed in the wake of the Great Depression, Social Security helps Americans who work hard and play by the rules have a chance at a modest and secure retirement.
From the AFSCME Blog
by Pablo Ros | August 10, 2015
Tim Hyman in his office at the Maryland State Highway Administration explains the use of the Speed Graphic camera on his desk.
The longest-serving state employee in Maryland is about to retire, but don’t ask him about his retirement plans. After 66 years on the job as staff photographer for the State Highway Administration, Tim Hyman says he doesn’t have any.
by Omar Tewfik | August 12, 2015
In yet another sign that rising income inequality is unsettling our nation, the SEC ruled that starting in 2017 most publicly traded companies must identify and disclose how much CEOs make relative to the median salary of rank-and-file employees.
In yet another sign that rising income inequality is unsettling our nation, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruled that starting in 2017 most publicly traded companies must identify and disclose how much CEOs make relative to the median salary (middle salary) of rank-and-file employees.
Darren Williams, President, Local 3600, Lawrence Correctional Center. Daily News, 8/10/2015 3:08:00 PM
Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, August 12, 2015
For better and for worse, Governor Bruce Rauner has never made a secret of his deep contempt—bordering on hatred—for the Chicago Teachers Union …. So imagine my surprise when I got a call from a source I’ll call Cockburn—because he doesn’t want to be identified—informing me that Rauner’s old private equity firm was a paid consultant to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund. …. A spokeswoman for Rauner now stresses he retired from day-to-day control of GTCR before running for office—so stop bugging him about this stuff. But he hadn’t retired when he made those comments three years ago, and he still has an ownership stake in the firm.
From Chaya Rubenstein (S.O.R.E):
From Ron Cox (guest at last lunch meeting, retired CPS teacher)