Two Teachers Unions Back Quinn Despite Pension Strife

Jul 30, 2014

  Governor Pat Quinn now has the support of the two statewide teachers unions. The Illinois Federation of Teachers endorsed Quinn Wednesday despite the union's opposition to Quinn's ideas for pension changes.

The IFT is one of the groups suing Quinn for the pension overhaul law passed late last year that would reduce public employee benefits, including those for teachers.

But the union's president, Dan Montgomery, says the election is bigger than the ongoing lawsuit.

"This election is not a referendum on pensions," he said. "This election is a choice between two visions for the state of Illinois. Governor Quinn, we feel strongly, is on the side of everyday working Illinoisans."

Montgomery says Quinn's opponent, Republican candidate Bruce Rauner, is looking to reduce the power of unions; Rauner took aim at union leaders while campaigning before the March primary.

The union also opposes Rauner's stance for a lower income tax and his support of charter schools.

The other statewide teacher's union, the Illinois Education Association, also backs Quinn, despite also being involved in the the pension lawsuit.