Thursday, May 13, 2010

URGENT!!! Contact your legislator now!

Legislature expected to vote on pension reform tonight


Lawmakers have apparently reached a deal on a retirement plan that would hurt thousands of school employees.

At this time, MEA members are urged to IMMEDIATELY contact their state legislators to urge them to vote NO on Senate Bill 1227. Please also tell them to vote NO on House Bill 4073, legislation that would create an insurance trust.

A vote is expected late tonight or during the night, according to legislative sources and media reports.

The "compromise" includes:

A 1.6 percent multiplier (up from the standard 1.5 percent) for those currently eligible to retire, if they retire this summer.

A 1.55 percent multiplier for those who are not currently eligible but who meet the rule of 80 -- that is, their age and years of service total 80 -- if they retire this summer.

All who do not retire will pay an extra 3 percent of salary above what they currently pay toward retirement and this money will be put in a trust set up by House Bill 4073.

House Bill 4073 will be amended to indicate that NO ONE IS GUARANTEED HEALTH BENEFITS IN RETIREMENT.

Employees hired after July 1 will be placed in an inferior "hybrid" retirement plan proposed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Here's why your legislators should vote NO on the conference report for Senate Bill 1227 and on House Bill 4073:

This plan attempts to balance the school aid budget on the backs of employees. There will still be massive cuts in state aid to schools next year.

The continued erosion of the number of employees participating in the system because of outsourcing and privatization and the exclusion of charter school employees will continue to drive up the contribution rate in future years.

The proposal places future employees in a vastly inferior retirement plan and forces them to pay almost 10 percent of their salary to that plan.

All school employees will be required to pay a tax of 3 percent, which totals almost $2,600 a year for experienced teachers.

PLEASE ACT NOW! Don't wait! Your legislators need to hear from you.