President-elect Trump’s appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.
At the behest of the DeVos family, the Republican leadership in the Senate has passed SB 102, which will put our new teachers on a defined contribution plan, which cuts out ANY MATCHING FUNDS the district currently contributes in the hybrid plan rolled out to new hires in 2012. The bill passed in the senate appropriations committee by a 9-8 vote, with three Republican Senators breaking ranks, they are Hansen, Nofs and Knollenberg. These senators deserve our thanks on this one. SB 102 is on the Senate floor for full debate. As of this communication, it is day two of these deliberations. Our voices are being heard, so the letter writing and phone calling is working and needs to continue, so please take action. Click here to find your senator’s phone number.
FYI click on this link to see what other states have expanded or preserved their public employees Defined Benefit pension plan.
Below is an article from Capital Comments…
A message from your MEA lobbyists, with talking points.
We have been informed by several sources that the calls and emails to state senators are working. Your communications blitz is also getting the attention of legislators in the House. Even if SB 102 passes the Senate, your calls and emails are helping us set up a firewall in the House.
Keep calling and emailing!
Remember-threats, yelling, and general abuse don't help at all. As the old saying goes, "You get more flies with honey than vinegar." That sentiment couldn't be truer than when dealing with elected officials.
KEY POINTS TO MAKE IN YOUR COMMUNICATIONS WITH LAWMAKERS
How will you pay for the financial hole that will be created if you move new hires to a DC plan?
• Raise taxes?
• General Fund cuts?
• School Aid Fund cuts?
If the answer is to cut the School Aid Fund, our schools can't afford more cuts (and tell the story of effects from recent cuts or plug in budgetary numbers from below).
Then you can point out that failing to fill the financial hole will destabilize the pension of current school employees and those already retired - and that's not fair.
Your messages in calls and emails must follow this order. If you start with "You are taking away my pension," or some version of that, lawmakers shut down and don't listen because they believe they are only impacting new hires. You have to make the connection for them if you want to stop this from happening.
If the Legislature doesn't accelerate the funding as they should, according to state budget analysts, there will be an average per pupil cut of $1,110 per student over the next five years. If you want exact numbers for cuts that would happen in your district, click here.
Join our Action Network letter writing campaign here.
And you can find contact information for your lawmakers here.