Last night (May 10) the Illinois Senate passed the bill eliminating health premium subsidies for Illinois retirees. Apparently teachers are exempted, but university employees and SURS beneficiaries will be affected. SB 1313 now goes to the governor, who has said he will sign it.
For the University of Illinois, this is very bad news. Faculty and employees at all levels of employment will experience a major reduction in benefits during retirement. This will affect recruitment, retention and perhaps provoke a wave of retirements. Alternatively, it is possible that some people will have to work longer to be able to retire with health care (Medicare).
Faculty note: the highly unionized K-12 teachers coalition was able to fend off this cut for themselves. We were not. Collective bargaining and an organized coalition could make a real difference for us. If organized we could potentially roll this back.
Contact Governor Quinn’s office today.