Ill. pension fight could create deeper fiscal hole

20 hours ago  •  By SARA BURNETT

With the fight over solving Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation pension shortfall now headed to the courts, the financially troubled state faces a grim possibility: The plan could be tossed, and Illinois could wind up in an even deeper fiscal hole than the one it’s in now.

Legislative leaders, anticipating a legal challenge from public-employee unions once the landmark bill approved Tuesday is signed, went extra lengths to bolster the law’s odds in the courtroom _ including an unusual three-page preamble to the legislation in which they lay out their case for cutting worker and retiree benefits.

But legal experts say those efforts could mean little in a state that provides some of the country’s stronger constitutional protections of pension benefits.

They point to Arizona as a possible warning sign. In 2012, a judge there said a law raising the employee contribution to pension benefits was illegal, and ordered the state to repay the money to workers _ with interest. Continue reading “Ill. pension fight could create deeper fiscal hole”

Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital; issues of retaliation and harassment occurring at the facility.

Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital; issues of retaliation and harassment occurring at the facility.

By Germaine Clarno (Contact)

To be delivered to: Jeffrey Murawsky, VISN 12 Network Director, The Illinois State House, The Illinois State Senate, Governor Pat Quinn, The United States House of Representatives and 2 other targets (click here to see more)

Petition Statement

Help stop the widespread employee harassment, retaliation, and intimidation at Edward Hines Jr. VA Medical Center!

Petition Background

To truly honor our veterans, we must ensure the people who care for them are respected and feel safe in their workplace. This is often not the case at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Illinois, where dedicated employees have frequently been victimized by widespread harassment, retaliatory actions against those reporting abuses, bullying, and other forms of intimidation.

Upper management at Hines has not been responsive in investigating these offenses, which violate Veterans Administration policies, contractual agreements, and the constitutional rights of those victimized. In many instances, members of management have themselves been guilty of these abuses. In other instances they have ignored complaints, dismissed them outright, and used pressure and threats against some employees making these complaints.

Instances of bullying and harassment have increased exponentially, with 650 complaints in the past year as verified by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office records. Hines management has refused to accept accountability or even conduct an open discussion on these issues, despite detailed complaints brought to their attention by employees and representatives of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 781. Members of the National Nurses Union and the Service Employees International Union have also reported similar instances of harassment. Continue reading “Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital; issues of retaliation and harassment occurring at the facility.”