Monday, June 25, 2012

SB1040 On Hold

The Senate adjourned until July 18 without doing anything regarding SB1040. This does not mean nothing will happen, so keep in contact with Senator WalkerAnd your legislator and tell them it is unfair to fix our pension system at our expense. We did not create the problem and it will not go away with the simplistic plan the Senate has put forth. To find out more, go to

Saturday, June 16, 2012

E.J. Teachers Invite All to a Rally Monday

East Jordan teachers and staff will be gathering at 4:30pm Monday, June 18 for an informational picket in the high school parking lot. All MEA MEMBERS and friends of E.J. staff are encouraged to attend. Things have not gotten better with rumors swirling around the board will try to impose a contract retroactive to 2010. It supposedly will include 20% copay on insurance premiums, 10% wage reduction, and paybacks on wages for the past two years among other things. Bring a sign supporting the E.J. staff on Monday at 4:30.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Strange Day In Lansing

After reporting the pension bill was a done deal, news out of Lansing via email from MEA spokesman Doug Pratt, the Senate leadership could not come to terms with the house version and simply left for the day without doing anything. Meanwhile, the House could not move on the bill since their version was different than the Senate plan. The Legislature is scheduled to return July 18 for a one day session, so be prepared to contact your representative and senator to stop or at least get them to amend this bill even further. Stay tuned for round two.

Petition for Constitutional Amendment Rolls On

Yesterday, various groups including MEA supporting the petition drive protecting collective bargaining rights in Michigan turned in over 600,000 signatures to the Secretary of States office. That is more than double the 322,000 needed to place it on the ballot this fall. Boyne City members collected over 200 signatures alone. Way to go Boyne City! Even though the deadline for turning in signatures is July 9, by getting them in early will mean a better placement on the November ballot. But now is not the time to rest. The real job will be getting people out to vote YES in Novenber. Stayed tuned for details.

Pension Reform a Done Deal

Early Wednesday night Senate Leader Randy Richardville signed off on the Pension Reform bill. However, it looks like it will not prevent new teachers from joining the pension system as the senate version wanted. I don't have many details at this writing, but I will keep you informed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

E.J. Needs Your Help

Come join East Jordan teachers This Thursday at Sportsman Park (that's the one just over the bridge on the left in E.J.) for an informational picket.  There is a feeling the board will attempt to impose a contract next month with a 10% pay cut retroactive back to the expoireation of the current contract.

This means teachers will have to pay back the district the reduction in wages!  How would you like that done to you!!

Come support our colleagues!  Stand up and be relevent! 

See you Thursday at 4:30pm.  Bring your picket signs:)

SB1040 on Fast Track in House

Call your representative now. House committee republicans do not seem to care about the financial harm they will do to retirees, current teachers, and future teachers.  When former teachers gave examples of how raising the copay from 10% to 20% would devastate their monthly income, Phil Stoddard of the Office of Retirement Services (ORS) reminded the committee that low income subsidies existed for those finding it hard to make ends meet. 

Really!?  The answer to pulling the plug on someones monthly pension is to say go get a bridge card?  Better start doing something or we will be working for poverty wages.

Current teachers can expect to cough up 4-7% of their annual salary just to keep the 1.5% multiplier.  But if you don't want to pay out that much, you can take a lower 1.25% multiplier.  Not sure what that translates into lost money at retirement, but I bet it is a significant chunk of change.  But wait, you have a third option!  You can be your own financial advisor and put your money into a 401K style retirement fund.  I seem to remember a little something call the Recession of '08.  Ask a retiree how they fared with their 401k after 2008.