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Baker is stepping down as President of NIU
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sportsfan Offline
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Post: #121
RE: Baker is stepping down as President of NIU
(06-16-2017 12:00 PM)chihuskie Wrote:  This is exactly what I feared. There is NO EXCUSE for what he did, and worse, he admits he did it (ok, admits "it happened on my watch") and the board still gives him a large parting gift. wow! I think we all get to demand an explanation.

I am ashamed for them all!

No argument with any of this but the large parting gift you speak of is probably less than what it would have cost the university in legal fees should he have decided to stay and fight it out.
06-16-2017 06:04 PM
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Doggone Offline
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Post: #122
RE: Baker is stepping down as President of NIU
Until a couple of years ago, teachers in Illinois were allowed to be given substantial raises (around 30%) in their final year so they could collect higher pensions. I'm sure other state unions were the same way. Other problem is the double dipping of pensions that many politicians partake in.
06-16-2017 08:42 PM
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uiniu57 Offline
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Post: #123
RE: Baker is stepping down as President of NIU
(06-16-2017 06:02 PM)sportsfan Wrote:  
(06-16-2017 04:24 PM)niu79 Wrote:  Under TRS the average teacher pension for a retired teacher is $72,000 a year. That is double the retirement benefits paid by social security. Most pensionz funded by the stste of Illinois are very generous, and include annual cost of living increases.
Nope - you are way off and I do know. It's more like $52,000 yearly on average. You may see an individual district average more but statewide, it's around $52,000.

Thank you sportsfan. Once again the average run-of-the-mill teachers -- even if given a boost prior to retirement -- are not the ones responsible for the pension problem. It would take five or six of those teachers combined to equal what a spud like Baker is getting. And Baker: 1) didn't put in a tenth of the time as those teachers; 2) the only lesson he gave was that his friends (consultants) got rich; and 3) his replacement (unlike those teachers) will require an even greater salary while inheriting a mess.
And keep in mind, Baker's severance pay and pension are -- pardon the pun -- small potatoes compared to the governor and legislators.
06-16-2017 10:37 PM
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huskiebob Offline
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Post: #124
RE: Baker is stepping down as President of NIU
(06-16-2017 05:35 PM)bikechuck Wrote:  Many of my friends are retired Ohio teachers and retirees that have worked for the state of Ohio, they have sweet pensions that exceed anything I will ever see from Social Security.

I think that teachers and state employees should have retirement plans but they should not be richer than the retirement plans that the average taxpayer that is taxed to help fund their plans is eligible for.

This is nonsense because teachers contrbuted much more toward their retirement plans than the average taxpayer.

The unfunded pension liability is of course the #1 issue in the financial mess that Illinois now faces. Let's also be clear that BOTH parties are responsible. The first governor that raided state pension funds was Republican Big Jim Thompson. Successive governors of both parties saw the pension funds as "easy money" and continued to do this, exacerbating the problem. Of course, legislators of both parties were complicit in the raiding of the pension funds.
(This post was last modified: 06-18-2017 08:18 AM by huskiebob.)
06-18-2017 08:14 AM
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cawoo22 Offline
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Post: #125
RE: Baker is stepping down as President of NIU
(06-18-2017 08:14 AM)huskiebob Wrote:  
(06-16-2017 05:35 PM)bikechuck Wrote:  Many of my friends are retired Ohio teachers and retirees that have worked for the state of Ohio, they have sweet pensions that exceed anything I will ever see from Social Security.

I think that teachers and state employees should have retirement plans but they should not be richer than the retirement plans that the average taxpayer that is taxed to help fund their plans is eligible for.

This is nonsense because teachers contrbuted much more toward their retirement plans than the average taxpayer.

The unfunded pension liability is of course the #1 issue in the financial mess that Illinois now faces. Let's also be clear that BOTH parties are responsible. The first governor that raided state pension funds was Republican Big Jim Thompson. Successive governors of both parties saw the pension funds as "easy money" and continued to do this, exacerbating the problem. Of course, legislators of both parties were complicit in the raiding of the pension funds.

Well said, Bob.

Hundreds of dollars come out of every check I've earned since becoming a teacher 20 years ago to fund my TRS obligation. I'm doing and have always done my part to hold up my end of the deal. The other part of the equation has not. They've raided that fund that I'm paying into like it's a piggy bank.

I'm not rich and I'm never going to be rich. I knew that when I signed on. The deal the state made with me, though, was that I'd have a pension that would allow me to make ends meet in retirement.

Now, I'll go back to ignoring this board again. Those of you who like to talk offensive line know where to find me.
06-18-2017 10:03 AM
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chihuskie Offline
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Post: #126
RE: Baker is stepping down as President of NIU
(06-16-2017 04:24 PM)niu79 Wrote:  
(06-16-2017 12:39 PM)uiniu57 Wrote:  
(06-16-2017 10:22 AM)DogTracks Wrote:  
(06-16-2017 09:29 AM)thxjoenovak Wrote:  The "public" sector is apples/oranges in how they can operate vs the "private" sector.
Because it's...well...you know...OPM
Other People's Money
Lol. Private side of the coin basically invented the golden parachute.
It's not public vs. private, it's people at the top vs. the rest of us.
If your title is lofty enough and your paycheck big enough, accountability ceases to exist.

DogTracks is right on track! It's not public vs. private, it is the top vs. the rest of us. The normal run-of-the-mill state employee's pension isn't what's bankrupting the state, it's the very top of the government who exempt themselves and sweeten their own deals just like the major corporations.
Under Republicans and Democrats alike in the past, money was borrowed from the pension funds and never replaced. In the meantime, the state legislators put in protections for themselves, the judges, etc., and now people go around blaming state workers in general which is wrong. In the private sector, the CEOs were the first to get severance packages that made no sense other than to buy silence and avoid wasting money on endless legal fees. Now it's the same for a spud like Baker. He's walking away with money in his pocket, doesn't have to pay any lawyer, and will probably end up in a year or two collecting money as a consultant hired by one of his buddies that he took care of while he was in DeKalb.

Under TRS the average teacher pension for a retired teacher is $72,000 a year. That is double the retirement benefits paid by social security. Most pensionz funded by the stste of Illinois are very generous, and include annual cost of living increases.
STOP with lumping teacher pensions into issues about "generous" state pensions. Pensions of politicians are "earned" after a ridiculously low number of years worked, and are generous. TEACHER'S pensions on the other hand and in stark contrast are ONLY EARNED after 30 or so years of service! And teachers have to agree to get paid barely minimum wage pay (when you factor in the time they put in for the salary they get) for years in order to qualify. So, teachers pensions ARE NOT the "generous pensions" you state that they are.
06-19-2017 10:02 AM
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chihuskie Offline
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Post: #127
RE: Baker is stepping down as President of NIU
(06-16-2017 06:04 PM)sportsfan Wrote:  
(06-16-2017 12:00 PM)chihuskie Wrote:  This is exactly what I feared. There is NO EXCUSE for what he did, and worse, he admits he did it (ok, admits "it happened on my watch") and the board still gives him a large parting gift. wow! I think we all get to demand an explanation.

I am ashamed for them all!

No argument with any of this but the large parting gift you speak of is probably less than what it would have cost the university in legal fees should he have decided to stay and fight it out.

1. If Bakers has a contract that ties the university to pay him in spite of bad behavior, then he has a better contract than 99.9% of the world, including professional athletes. And if he does, or even if he arguably does such that the fear of fighting it causes the board to give him that kind of walk away money, then the university has terrible counsel, and the U should sue them for malpractice.

I know everything can be justified, and explained away. But sometimes someone has to just say no. Besides, the university, as a public institution of the state, perhaps should be represented by the state attorney general in any matter, and not have to pay private attorneys. I don't think the AG representation part of my statement is the case presently-- but what I am saying is that maybe it should be. Because making rationalizations for paying Baker that kind of money is ridiculous.
(This post was last modified: 06-19-2017 10:16 AM by chihuskie.)
06-19-2017 10:09 AM
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chihuskie Offline
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Post: #128
RE: Baker is stepping down as President of NIU
(06-18-2017 08:14 AM)huskiebob Wrote:  
(06-16-2017 05:35 PM)bikechuck Wrote:  Many of my friends are retired Ohio teachers and retirees that have worked for the state of Ohio, they have sweet pensions that exceed anything I will ever see from Social Security.

I think that teachers and state employees should have retirement plans but they should not be richer than the retirement plans that the average taxpayer that is taxed to help fund their plans is eligible for.

This is nonsense because teachers contrbuted much more toward their retirement plans than the average taxpayer.

The unfunded pension liability is of course the #1 issue in the financial mess that Illinois now faces. Let's also be clear that BOTH parties are responsible. The first governor that raided state pension funds was Republican Big Jim Thompson. Successive governors of both parties saw the pension funds as "easy money" and continued to do this, exacerbating the problem. Of course, legislators of both parties were complicit in the raiding of the pension funds.
Exactly right. And I remember Democrat Dawn Clark Netsch ran against Jim Edgar pointing out the problem that was being created-- and she was practically tarred and feathered. She lost, and Jim Edgar allowed the problem to continue to get exponentially worse. And the rest all followed suit.
06-19-2017 10:13 AM
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bikechuck Offline
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Post: #129
RE: Baker is stepping down as President of NIU
(06-19-2017 10:02 AM)chihuskie Wrote:  STOP with lumping teacher pensions into issues about "generous" state pensions. Pensions of politicians are "earned" after a ridiculously low number of years worked, and are generous. TEACHER'S pensions on the other hand and in stark contrast are ONLY EARNED after 30 or so years of service! And teachers have to agree to get paid barely minimum wage pay (when you factor in the time they put in for the salary they get) for years in order to qualify. So, teachers pensions ARE NOT the "generous pensions" you state that they are.

Good point, there are few people in this world that work harder or more hours than committed teachers and they are entitled to the benefits that they were promised when they signed on.

That said, unfunded pension obligations are about to become a major problem in this country and not just in Illinois. Yes, state employees and teachers contribute to help fund their benefits but the costs of what has been promised for pensions and health care far exceeds what their contributions will support and taxpayers who will never see retirement benefits anywhere near as generous are asked to fund the difference.

As a taxpayer who is asked to help cover these costs and as a person who has spent most of my career working at a lower salary for a non-profit organization I am a bit envious as when I retire in a few short weeks it will be "Good bye and Good luck". I have been a responsible saver and I will likely be fine but I can't help being a bit envious of the pensions and health care benefits that my taxes have and will continue to help fund for my friends who have retired from the public sector.

Edited to add that I think that we will see the day (and probably soon) when virtually everyone, including public employees will be on defined contribution rather than defined benefit retirement plans. When that happens I would support pay increases for teachers but not so much for bureaucrats and politicians.
(This post was last modified: 06-19-2017 01:03 PM by bikechuck.)
06-19-2017 12:59 PM
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uiniu57 Offline
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Post: #130
RE: Baker is stepping down as President of NIU
(06-19-2017 12:59 PM)bikechuck Wrote:  .....Yes, state employees and teachers contribute to help fund their benefits but the costs of what has been promised for pensions and health care far exceeds what their contributions will support and taxpayers who will never see retirement benefits anywhere near as generous are asked to fund the difference.

As a taxpayer who is asked to help cover these costs and as a person who has spent most of my career working at a lower salary for a non-profit organization I am a bit envious as when I retire in a few short weeks it will be "Good bye and Good luck". I have been a responsible saver and I will likely be fine but I can't help being a bit envious of the pensions and health care benefits that my taxes have and will continue to help fund for my friends who have retired from the public sector.

Couple points of clarification. There was a trade-off being made. As a former state employee I was helping fund my benefits in lieu of making contributions to social security. I had a flat salary which meant there was no such thing ever as overtime, or if I had been in the private sector, night-time pay or weekend differential. The enticement to work for the public was the long-term benefit of a pension. My classmates who had the same degree but went into the private sector were often eligible for bonuses, stock options or a pay raise structure that wasn't available to me. The trade-off was based on my working for years and years and years in order to have more security at the end. As the clowns in Springfield now continue to attempt to duck that obligation while never allowing their pensions to be touched or affected, I have to continue to hope those rules don't change.
And the whole time I was paying taxes too.
So, state employees were essentially helping fund their benefits twice: the amount taken from their paycheck to fund the pension and then also being a tax payer who was contributing toward that pension.
I applaud you for being a responsible saver, but your envy or frustration needs to be directed toward those who were irresponsible in handling state funds. Individuals from both parties continued to siphon from that fund to pay for their pet projects and then made no effort to replace the money borrowed.
06-20-2017 10:59 AM
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