March 30, 2017, Minutes

Moraine Valley Annuitants Association

3.30 p.m., Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fogelson Theater


Attending: August, Bates, Bauhs, Bentley, Christensen, Corradetti, D’Aversa, Devine, Hessler, Kuropas, Kuzma, Lindquist, Machon, McCauley, McGinnis, Meroz, Moore, O’Connor, Phelan, Rinella, Sakanis, Samyn, Spaulding, Stewart, Strzelczyk, and Tyler

Welcome and Call to Order:  Peggy Machon, president

Review of the Minutes: Sue Phelan, secretary

Joyce Tyler moved that the minutes be approved as presented; Nancy Bentley seconded. The minutes were unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Steve Lebre, treasurer

Steve Lebre provided the following information in an email dated 4/14/17:

As of 3/31/17: Savings —-$2,316.41

Checking — $ 931.76.

As of 3/31/16 (Last Year): Savings —– $2,315.25

Checking — $1,062.19.

So we are about the same.

Membership Report: Jane Corradetti

Jane Corradetti reported over 34 MVCC Annuitants had email addresses which would not accept delivery of emails sent from MVCCAA. We currently have 214 members. Jane indicated the email addresses recorded in the SUAA data base were either incorrect or not available. As of February 2017 MVCCAA had 226 members and zero nonrenewals.  SUAA is strongly encouraging each chapter to increase membership.

Legislative Report: Wes Christensen

Wes Christensen indicated he had nothing to report.

Web Report: Joyce Tyler

Joyce called the membership’s attention to the Announcements tab of the MVCCAA web page.  Peggy Machon gratefully acknowledged Joyce’s efforts to keep the web page current.

SUAA Report: Nancy Bentley

MVCC Annuitants Association is a chapter of SUAA (State Universities Annuitants Association), which is made up of all the 2-year and 4-year public higher education institutions in IL.

SUAA Initiative: A major goal of SUAA currently is making the case and demonstrating the important role that HE plays in Illinois. To this end, SUAA participates in various initiatives to build awareness and draw attention to this goal in Springfield and throughout the state. Recent initiatives and involvement include:

  • SUAA passed out bracelets, car magnets, and signage that focused on the theme “HE Creates Jobs” to reinforce to the public the important impact that HE has on the economy.
  • SUAA participated in “Illinois Coalition to Invest in Higher Education” rally on February 8th. Linda spoke on behalf of the importance of HE and particularly the significant role that almost 180,000 SURS active members and retirees play in serving HE and adding to the state and local economy at approximately $1.45 billion each year – with 78% of annuitants remaining in Illinois after retirement. HE plays a critical role in creating jobs and this and the important value of HE needs to acknowledged and supported through state funding. You can watch a brief 3-minute video of Linda’s testimony at the rally on the SUAA website at:
  • On March 21st, The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability hosted a panel discussion at U of Illinois-Springfield that examined Illinois budget cuts to HE. Overall, state funding for HE in FY2016 was cut by $1.318 billion or 68% from FY2015 levels. One important insight that was gained at this meeting is that we all need to be on the same page and convey the same message: We need to make the public aware of the important role that HE plays and the needs of both students and employees alike. This needs to be a twofold message because you can’t have one without the other.
  • SUAA is getting ready to participate in the “Teach Out” program sponsored by IFT at the Capitol on April 27th to draw attention to the impact of HE on the state. More information should be coming out on this from the Office.

Legislative update:

  • SB11 has become SB16 and is part of “the grand bargain” or looks at ways of dealing with the pension reform through legislative action (i.e., changing or lessening of current or future state employee benefits). The latest word is that this bill may pass the Senate, but likely will fall apart in the House. A number of these issues are ones that the legislature has been trying to address for the past 25 years.
  • You can go to the SUAA website under “Tracked Legislation” link to find legislative bills and watch for possible changes. Pension-related bills often are cancelled.
  • SUAA is opposed to all current pension-related bills; there have been some rumors out there that SUAA supports one or more of these. This is not accurate.
  • Linda mentioned that there is a possible future bill that is currently being worked on and may come out as soon as next week to present a way to sustain the state pension system and raise the state funding level. You may want to watch for this possibility. Who knows?
  • It’s unlikely that there will be an agreed-upon state budget in place in the foreseeable future.

 Other activities:

  • SUAA is encouraging local chapters to sponsor a “SUAA Week” on campus to increase their membership. Kankakee CC had a very successful campaign recently, recruiting 36 new members. The “Office Tool Box” link on the SUAA website provides various ideas for increasing membership as well as membership reports.
  • The SUAA Office has 2 new staff members as of January 2017. The Office is working on updating computer and software systems to better serve members.
  • SUAA is sponsoring a trip to Panama from September 28-October 6, 2017, through Collette Travel. Go to the SUAA website for more info.
  • Connected Benefits provides members and their families with online access to products and services not currently offered by state programs, including individual life insurance, final expense coverage, pet insurance, and travel insurance. It also provides health insurance and dental and vision plans for family members not currently on the state plan. You can access this through the SUAA website.

Annual SUAA Meeting: June 20-21, 2017, in Springfield. Anyone is welcome to attend. Peggy Machon, Sue Phelan and Nancy Bentley will represent our chapter at the summer meeting in Springfield, IL on June 20-21, 2017.

President’s Report: Peggy Machon

Peggy communicated the following information to the membership:

  • SUAA is collecting data from SURS recipients who have experienced difficulty getting reimbursed from the state College Insurance Plan (CIP).  There have been problems reported with people not receiving their benefits from CIP. If this happens, members are encouraged to contact SUAA to report the problem.
  • This year, the Membership Committee has been working on increasing the number of members in our chapter. Along with MVCCAA representation at the Benefits Fair in the fall, we presented at Inservice Day on campus on February 28, 2017. Both were successful events, resulting in the addition of chapter members.
  • Mary Beth Walsh will be doing a survey of members regarding suggestions for a chapter travel experience in the future.
  • Travel Survey – Mary Beth Walsh shared her experiences in Toronto, Canada this past spring. She reminded members to respond to the email Peggy sent asking about travel preferences to assist in planning future trips.

A presentation by Pat O’Connor, Chief of Police, Moraine Valley Community College, President of  Illinois Campus Law Enforcement Administrators Association, and Past President of the Illinois Association of Chiefs.