Upcoming IL House Vote to Override SB1229 Veto

Hello GSU SUAA Members,

There is an important vote this week in the House related to SB 1229. You may have heard about this bill. It is related to collective bargaining in Illinois and can affect all SURS and SUAA members, both in Illinois and outside, whether in a union or not.

Why? AFSCME negotiates healthcare benefits not only for its members but also for SURS members and SURS retirees. The plans that they negotiate are the ones made available to us. Thanks to the Kanerva case, retirees have reduced charges for their healthcare, a 5% reduction per year of service, but negotiations govern the details of the plan such as deductibles, co-pays, out of pocket expenses, etc..

This is why SB 1229 is of interest. SB 1229 could affect how the ongoing negotiations proceed. SB 1229 is a complicated bill. This is my understanding of how it might affect us. SB 1229 adds a provision to collective bargaining procedures for state employees for the next four years. The provision relates to what happens when the two parties cannot reach an agreement.

Under normal conditions, unions negotiate with employers until they reach a deal on a new contract, which one would expect involves give and take on both sides. If the two sides cannot reach agreement, in most situations the union can go on strike to try to get a better contract. Sometimes, employers "lock out" the employees, a kind of strike by management.

If the governor and the union cannot reach an agreement, under SB 1229, they could opt for binding arbitration. In exchange for adding this new, final step, the union gives up the right to strike and the state pledges not to "lock out" the union members. Illinois has had a similar provision for bargaining with police, fire, and other public safety officers for 30 years. For more details, you can read the entire bill and the list of all the actions taken on it at the Illinois General Assembly web site. The AFSCME web site also addresses the current bargaining situation and SB 1229.

SB 1229 passed the General Assembly on May 31 and was sent to the Governor on June 4. He vetoed the bill on July 29. On August 19, the Senate voted to override the governor’s veto. The House received the bill the next day and will vote on whether to override it in the next few days. An override vote requires a super majority, which appears to be uncertain in the House — close, but . . .

If the House votes to override the governor’s veto of SB 1229, then the bill becomes law and arbitration becomes a possibility to settle the negotiations. If the vote fails, the veto will stand.

Consider where you stand on SB 1229, then let your Representative know now – before the House votes.

To help you locate your representative, you can use the AFSCME locator at

Jane Wells

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Posted by on September 1, 2015 in Uncategorized


Sad News of the Death of Dick Vorwerk

In response to the news of the loss of Dick Vorwerk, Larry McClellan has shared the following email with us all.

All of us who knew and worked with Dick have happy memories of him.

Information on his memorial and funeral is given below.

Larry writes:

Dear Friends,
Following is the memorial statement sent out by the family of Dr. Richard Vorwerk. I have known Dick from the beginning days at GSU. He joined us in the Fall of 1970 when I think there were only about 30 or 40 of us. He brought tremendous perspective and a good heart to that process of creating the university. Later on, when the Village of Park Forest South [which became University Park] and the new community development process was in great distress, Dick responded to the invitation to serve as village treasurer. Again, this bright, good man was of great help to many of us. His work at GSU included service as the founding Director of the Library, Dean of Special Programs and Continuing Education and Professor of Business Management and Ethics. Along the way, Dick and I were part of a group of GSU staff who started playing cards together a long time ago! I am guessing 43 or 44 years. So, we all ended up going through our lives together and with Dick, we saw his two terrific daughters grow up and have their own families and came to know Evonne, his loving and steady partner.

Dick’s hands, heart and mind helped to shape GSU. Over the past months we had many occasions to reflect on this work of which he was very proud. His friendship touched many of us deeply. I am glad, and grateful, that he was a friend of mine.

Peace, Larry McClellan

Richard (Dick) Vorwerk died peacefully on August 26, 2015 at the age of 81. He is survived by his wife Evonne Anderson, daughters Hannah Vorwerk Cassidy (George) and Melinda Vorwerk Humphrey (Pete), grandchildren Peter, Jacob, Luke, Hannah, George, and Henry, sisters Agnes Smith (William) and Frances Peterson, and many beloved nieces and nephews. Dick spent his childhood in Akron, Ohio and attended Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. After obtaining his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, he joined the Jesuits and continued formation for seven years, earning a Masters of Philosophy from Loyola University of Chicago and teaching at the University of Detroit High School. He left the Jesuits in 1963 and continued his academic pursuits, earning a Masters of Library Science and Doctorate of Library Science with an emphasis in Business Management from the University of Indiana. Dick joined Governors State University (GSU) in University Park, IL as the founding Director of the Library in 1970, and served in many capacities during his 35-year tenure, including Dean of Special Programs and Continuing Education, Dean of Off-Campus Activities, and Professor of Business Management and Ethics. He served as Treasurer of Park Forest South (now University Park) during its formative years. He married Evonne and moved to the western suburbs of Chicago in 1994. Dick was blessed with many lasting friendships from every stage of life, including his Poker Club comprised of GSU friends and colleagues, which began meeting on a monthly basis over 40 years ago and continues to this day. Dick had an off-beat sense of humor and love of puns, a sharp, analytical mind, and an eye for talent and ability in others. His family considers his strongest qualities to have been his easy and full appreciation of them as their own people, no matter the ups and downs, and his unconditional, generous love.

Memorial Visitation Sunday 3:00 PM to 7:00PM at Adams-Winterfield & Sullivan Funeral Home, 4343 Main Street, (1 blk. So. of Ogden Ave.) Downers Grove. Funeral Monday at Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church, 1 S 314 Summit Avenue, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181. Memorial Mass 10:00AM. Interment Private. Donations in Dick’s memory can be made to the Richard J. Vorwerk Society, Friends of the Library at Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, Room D34200, University Park, IL 60484, Phone: (708) 534-7892, Web:<;;. For further information<;; or 630/968-1000

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Posted by on August 30, 2015 in Uncategorized


GSU SUAA Meeting: Thursday, August 20

The next meeting of the GSU Chapter of SUAA will be held Thursday, August 20, at 12:00 noon in the GSU Cafeteria Annex.

The minutes of the last meeting (June 25) and other information regarding SUAA are posted at

All members are welcome to attend the meeting.

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Posted by on August 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


SUAA Mini Briefing 7.29.2015

To All SUAA Members and Friends!

Many of you have heard by now that Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Office has filed a request to extend the August 6th deadline to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision on Public Act 98-0599 (SB1) which was decided on in early May. When granted, the Attorney General will have until September 10, 2015 to file an appeal.

The Mini Briefing will provide to you the details of the extension. Also found is the Request for Extension. Both documents are attached.

The SUAA Attorneys will respond if the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear the case.

Linda L Brookhart
Executive Director
State Universities Annuitants Association



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Posted by on July 30, 2015 in Uncategorized


SUAA’s Summer Quick Clip!

To All SUAA Members and Followers!

We hope that you have been following the postings on our website from the SUAA Annual Meeting held in Springfield on June 16th & 17th! Press HERE for the SUAA Website!

You will find the Keynote Luncheon Speaker SURS new Executive Director Bryon Lewis’s Presentation along with:

Illinois Budget presented by Ralph Martire, Executive Director of The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability

Pension and Kanerva Lawsuit Wrap Ups presented by Aaron Maduff, Attorney, Maduff & Maduff

Illinois Illustrated (A visual Guide to Taxes & the Economy), Keynote Dinner Speaker Carol Portman, President, Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois

This publication is available. Please contact Linda at linda for a copy.

The SUAA Board of Directors approved the new Bylaws. Please find the newly updated document by clicking HERE!

Changes to the members of the Executive Committee can be found HERE!.

Amtrak and Higher Education has become a real issue for our campuses with Governor Rauner threatening a 40% cut to Amtrak funding. You can find a Letter to the Editor from SUAA’s Executive Director Linda Brookhart. We are hopeful that many of our chapters and members will advocate the necessity of Amtrak. There will be more information available on this topical issue.

At this time, SURS will be receiving its full funding.

We are still watching the College Insurance Program (CIP) to make sure it receives its funding.

Enjoy the weekend!

Linda L Brookhart
Executive Director

State Universities Annuitants Association

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Posted by on July 11, 2015 in Uncategorized


GSU SUAA Meeting Notes: 6-25-15

Click on the link below to view/download/print the notes from GSU SUAA’s 6/25/15 meeting:

GSU SUAA meeting notes – June 25, 2015

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Posted by on July 8, 2015 in GSU SUAA, Meetings


GSU SUAA Meeting Notes – May 21, 2015

At the link below you’ll find notes from GSU SUAA’s meeting of May 21, 2015. This includes a proposed slate of GSU SUAA officers and board members for next year.

GSU SUAA Meeting Notes for 5-21-15 (pdf)

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Posted by on June 24, 2015 in GSU SUAA, Meetings


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