UI credit union makes plans for helping state workers

UI credit union makes plans for helping state workers

CHAMPAIGN — The University of Illinois Employees Credit Union is extending help to members who face payroll interruption as a result of state budget negotiations.

Senior Vice President Greg Anderson said the credit union can offer several forms of help, including:

— Offering loan payment deferment.

— Waiving or reducing account fees

— Offering low-interest, short-term loans.

— Waiving early-withdrawal penalties on certificate and Christmas club accounts.

At this point, Anderson said, a "minimal" number of members have been affected, he said, citing examples of some people who work for the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center and for Lincoln's Challenge.

But he said the credit union didn't want to wait until hundreds of people are affected by budget cuts resulting in reduced hours or suspended operations, so it made those options available this week.

The credit union took similar moves in 2009 when the University of Illinois implemented furloughs, Anderson said.

Anderson said he expected loan payment deferrals to be the most popular option. Waiving or reducing account fees would likely be the next popular, followed by the availability of low-interest, short-term loans, he said.

"In difficult times, we are glad to offer ways to make things easier for our members," he said.

Anderson said about 2,000 of the credit union's 43,000 members get state paychecks.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on July 04, 2015 at 4:07 pm

It is good that some credit unions across the state are assisting state workers.  At the same time, the credit unions will make money off of the interest on loans.  There should be no need for all of this.  The workers are going without pay while the legislators, and the governor still receive their paychecks.  The state citizenry have to realize that it is two stubborn men in a personal power standoff that created this. 

I can hear it now in state, and university offices, "What is the Union doing about this!".  The fair share union employees are driving the union members to remain silent.  The answer is "what are You willing to do about this?".   There is a no lockout clause, and a no strike clause in the contract.  New contract negotiations are not going well with Rauner.  That means the contract has expired.  Rauner is not going to lockout state workers while he has them showing up to work with no pay.  Don't expect any union activity from the fair share "members".  Many of them will ratout information to management.  Rauner's plan is to starve the state workers out.  How long can you go without a paycheck?  At some point in time, you have to accept other employment.  That results in new hires who are in the new Tier system, less wages, more payment into the retirement system with less benefits in retirement, and less union members.  It is a win for Rauner, and a loss for all currently employed by the state. 

It could be win for the workers if on a chosen date the workers went on a mass strike.  Remember the contract has expired.  Three days, or two weeks of a strike would result in complete chaos, and bring Rauner's goal down.  What is there to lose?  Work with no pay for an unknown time with services being cut to those who need them, or a brief massive strike?  Yes, needed checks would not go out, and those existing services would not be served; but a brief strike could preserve services from being cut, and you would would be paid for your work. 

Fight back against the legislators of both parties, and the corporate governor to preserve services to those in need, and for your jobs. 

Yes, I am a retired state employee who was, and still is an AFSCME member.  I was a Teamster while I worked my way through college.  Unions are needed to create, and maintain a Middle Class.  They are, also, the first to be harrassed by an authoritarian government.  The Corporate Right Wing with their PACs of unknown donors needs some opposition to defend the workers.