Your voices needed at Wednesday hearing on retirement cuts

This Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Retirement is holding a hearing on Senate Bill 1040 -- and we need your help to make sure the voice of school employees and retirees are heard!

SB 1040 is the most sweeping attack on school employee retirement benefits in history. It breaks promises made to both current and active retirees. At the same time, it discourages the best and the brightest from entering the profession.

SB 1040 greatly increases the out-of-pocket costs to current employees, doubles the retiree contribution toward health care and completely eliminates health care coverage for future employees. This latest assault on retirement security is on top of the 3% retirement health care tax imposed on school employees in 2009 AND the taxation of pensions recently enacted by this same legislature.

We need MEA members -- both active and retired -- to come to Lansing on Wednesday and let lawmakers know what we think about SB 1040.

The hearing will be held from 10 a.m. through late afternoon in the Boji Tower first floor hearing room at 124 W. Allegan in downtown Lansing.

Prior to the hearing, Coalition for Secure Retirement (CSR) will hold a press conference at 9 a.m. at the Farnum Building in downtown Lansing -- MEA is a proud partner in the coalition.

MEA will be holding a briefing at 8 a.m. Wednesday at MEA Headquarters (1216 Kendale Blvd, East Lansing) to provide an outline of SB 1040 for members prior to the press conference and hearing. We expect a large turnout of school employees expressing their opposition to this legislation, as well as extensive media coverage -- we want MEA members to be well informed about the bill going into the day.

If at all possible, please make every effort to be in Lansing Wednesday morning. The strength of MEA is the collective action of our 150,000 members. A large turnout will be critical to our efforts to stop this latest attack on retirement security and the promises that have been made to school employees for generations.