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Author Topic: Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law  (Read 2589 times)

Offline Brother Tony

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Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law
« on: June 21, 2011, 08:45:46 AM »
FEA says forcing teachers and other public employees to chip in to retirement plan is unconstitutional

By Kathleen Haughney, Tallahassee Bureau
 
7:06 p.m. EDT, June 20, 2011
TALLAHASSEE— The 140,000-member statewide teachers union sued Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials on Monday to block a new law that requires state employees to begin contributing to their retirement plans.

The challenge, filed in Leon County circuit court, asserts that the law's required 3 percent contribution to the state's retirement fund amounts to a breach of contract with public employees, who accepted their positions with the promise of certain benefits. Those benefits included a pension plan that did not require contributions.

"It is essentially an income tax levied only on workers belonging to the Florida Retirement System. It's unfair — and it breaks promises made to these employees when they chose to work to improve our state," said Florida Education Association president Andy Ford.

The initial suit listed 11 public-employee plaintiffs, including teachers, health-care professionals and laborers representing other unions. Two other unions — the Florida Police Benevolent Association and the SEIU Florida Public Services Union, whose members work for the cities of Orlando and West Palm Beach and the Palm Beach County School Board — also asked to join.

The Broward Teachers' Union filed a brief in court supporting the lawsuit.

"Florida's leaders talk ad nauseam about the need to cut taxes for businesses and the state's wealthiest residents and yet, when it comes to our police officers, firefighters and teachers, they didn't even blink an eye when imposing this income tax increase," said Pat Santeramo, president of the Broward union. "Under the false premise of a retirement pension contribution, the governor and legislators are doing nothing more than trying to balance the state's budget on the backs of public employees."

Palm Beach County teacher Sophia Youngberg agrees with Ford in saying the law breaks a promise made to teachers.

"When we entered this profession, there was a promise that we would be taken care of since we knew that our salaries would never reach those of the private sector," said Youngberg, a 30-year veteran who teaches at Citrus Cove Elementary west of Boynton Beach.

Florida lawmakers spent most of the 60-day legislative session on the pension bill. The state's retirement system is in relatively good financial shape, but lawmakers acknowledged they needed the pension contributions — more than $1 billion from 572,000 public employees — to help offset a revenue shortfall of nearly $4 billion.

Scott had made pension reform one of his campaign issues and spent much of the session advocating for a 5 percent rate, arguing that Florida was the only state that did not require employees to contribute to their pensions. Amid heavy lobbying from law enforcement, teachers and other public employees, lawmakers settled on 3 percent.

Scott, who was in Washington, D.C., on Monday, said that asking employees to contribute to their retirement "makes all the sense in the world," noting that private-sector retirement benefits are far less generous and require employees to contribute.

"It's the right thing to do for our state," he said. "It's within the rights of the Legislature to do it. It's the right thing for taxpayers. It's the right thing for those employees, frankly. People should participate in their retirement plan."

The FEA suit is one of several lawsuits challenging laws passed by the 2011 legislative session.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed two lawsuits, one to stop drug testing of public employees and the other over new laws regulating elections. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Florida chapters of three physicians' groups have also sued to block a new law that restricts a doctor's ability to ask patients about guns in their homes.

Ford of the FEA, in a conference call with reporters, said Monday's lawsuit would be the first in a "series of judicial challenges." The union will likely soon sue to block a teacher merit-pay law that was a top priority for GOP lawmakers. Instead of basing pay and hiring decisions on seniority, the law creates a new evaluation system for teachers that focuses more on student test scores.

The FEA is also raising legal concerns about a proposed constitutional amendment that would eliminate language in the state Constitution that bars state funding of religious institutions, including parochial schools.

William E. Gibson of the Washington Bureau, staff writer Scott Travis and Leslie Postal of the Orlando Sentinel staff contributed. khaughney@tribune.com or 850-224-6214. Follow her on Twitter @khaughne
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Offline Cholly

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Re: Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2011, 09:05:44 AM »
What MOST people fail to realize is Florida Public Sector employees are some of the LOWEST PAID IN THE COUNTRY.

We don't have an income tax here so revenue is restricted to sales and property taxes.

So waaaaaaaaaaay back in the early 1970s, the decision was made by the governor and legislature to compensate public employees very low salaries by giving them better benefits. That consisted of health care and a pension plan.

Because we were paid so little, the State made working for the government palatable by including a retirement plan that didn't require any contribution from the employee. Even with this compensation package, we were STILL some of the lowest paid/compensated government employees in the Nation.

This 3% is nothing more than a pay cut.... and the money they take from us will go towards tax breaks for the rich.

The FRS (Florida Retirement System) was one of the best run in the country and it is the best shape, with a surplus and more than enough money to pay out benefits for the next 40 years.

This was nothing more than a teabagger scheme to redistribute income.  >:(


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Offline Brother Tony

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Re: Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2011, 09:29:26 AM »
 >:( >:( >:(
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Offline Golden Kitten

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Re: Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2011, 10:20:36 AM »
 :no:


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Offline Cholly

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Re: Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2011, 12:18:14 PM »
Quote
Scott, who was in Washington, D.C., on Monday, said that asking employees to contribute to their retirement "makes all the sense in the world," noting that private-sector retirement benefits are far less generous and require employees to contribute.

Generous?

A 30 year employee can at the most expect to get only 48% of his/her maximum 5 year average salary. That is offset by a 100% premium for State Health Insurance.

My mother worked 22 years for the State of Florida. He retirement check from the FRS was just BARELY enough to cover her health insurance until she was old enough for Medicare.

Quote
"It's the right thing to do for our state," he said. "It's within the rights of the Legislature to do it. It's the right thing for taxpayers. It's the right thing for those employees, frankly. People should participate in their retirement plan."

THIS is the lie. We DO participate in our retirement plan... RIGHT NOW!!! We as government employees have sacrificed our salaries for the retirement plan.

I have been a public employee since 1983 and I make LESS than 40% of my counterpart in Georgia. I make 50% of my two counterparts in Alabama. 55% of my counterpart in South Carolina.

And I am not alone.

The MAJORITY of the rank and file government employees from Florida... from high level State Officials to local law enforcement and teachers... earn a FRACTION of the national average salary for their respective professions/positions.

Up to this point, the only mediating factor was good health insurance and a no-load for employees retirement plan.

No more.

Even jeb bush left our retirement system alone and he was the dumbest governor we had ever had up until the election of this DAMN teabagger.  >:( >:( >:(


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Offline uchighlander

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Re: Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2011, 03:27:25 PM »
Quote
Scott, who was in Washington, D.C., on Monday, said that asking employees to contribute to their retirement "makes all the sense in the world," noting that private-sector retirement benefits are far less generous and require employees to contribute.

Generous?

A 30 year employee can at the most expect to get only 48% of his/her maximum 5 year average salary. That is offset by a 100% premium for State Health Insurance.

My mother worked 22 years for the State of Florida. He retirement check from the FRS was just BARELY enough to cover her health insurance until she was old enough for Medicare.

Quote
"It's the right thing to do for our state," he said. "It's within the rights of the Legislature to do it. It's the right thing for taxpayers. It's the right thing for those employees, frankly. People should participate in their retirement plan."

THIS is the lie. We DO participate in our retirement plan... RIGHT NOW!!! We as government employees have sacrificed our salaries for the retirement plan.

I have been a public employee since 1983 and I make LESS than 40% of my counterpart in Georgia. I make 50% of my two counterparts in Alabama. 55% of my counterpart in South Carolina.

And I am not alone.

The MAJORITY of the rank and file government employees from Florida... from high level State Officials to local law enforcement and teachers... earn a FRACTION of the national average salary for their respective professions/positions.

Up to this point, the only mediating factor was good health insurance and a no-load for employees retirement plan.

No more.

Even jeb bush left our retirement system alone and he was the dumbest governor we had ever had up until the election of this DAMN teabagger.  >:( >:( >:(
Waaah....waaaah......waaaah. Sniff...sniff....snifff. :lmao: GO VIKINGS!!!

Offline Brother Tony

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Re: Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2011, 03:39:00 PM »
THIS SCHIT AIN'T FUNNY!  :nono2:
TUSKEGEE.....THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING!

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Offline RamMan4Life

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Re: Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2011, 03:51:39 PM »
Check this link out. Rick Scott dropped it on us in the spring.

www.floridahasarighttoknow.com

It allows anyone to look up salaries of state workers. Not all of them mind you, but certain agencies. Even worse, it's by name, not position. Legislative members are not included,  but a disturbing fact is that a highway patrolman with over twenty years on the job makes less than an elderly abuse investigator (unarmed & unsworn)  with less than three years. The disparities are crazy...
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Offline y04185

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Re: Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2011, 04:07:36 PM »
Check this link out. Rick Scott dropped it on us in the spring.

www.floridahasarighttoknow.com

It allows anyone to look up salaries of state workers. Not all of them mind you, but certain agencies. Even worse, it's by name, not position. Legislative members are not included,  but a disturbing fact is that a highway patrolman with over twenty years on the job makes less than an elderly abuse investigator (unarmed & unsworn)  with less than three years. The disparities are crazy...

Provide proof.

Where is the money coming from?
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Offline RamMan4Life

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Re: Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2011, 04:11:36 PM »
What money are you speaking about ?
A past to cherish....a future to fulfill.

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Offline Brother Tony

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Re: Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2011, 04:30:53 PM »
For some reason I was on that list, but it was removed.  :tiptoe:
However, The Sun-sentinal has my position listed and salary but not my name.  ::) :crazy:
TUSKEGEE.....THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING!

"BRINGING THE WORLD TO TUSKEGEE AND TUSKEGEE TO THE WORLD"

Offline RamMan4Life

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Re: Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2011, 04:38:35 PM »
Check this link out. Rick Scott dropped it on us in the spring.

www.floridahasarighttoknow.com

It allows anyone to look up salaries of state workers. Not all of them mind you, but certain agencies. Even worse, it's by name, not position. Legislative members are not included,  but a disturbing fact is that a highway patrolman with over twenty years on the job makes less than an elderly abuse investigator (unarmed & unsworn)  with less than three years. The disparities are crazy...

Provide proof.

Where is the money coming from?

Y, these are people that I know personally... that list is name-driven.
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Offline Golden Kitten

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Re: Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2011, 04:44:57 PM »
Quote
Scott, who was in Washington, D.C., on Monday, said that asking employees to contribute to their retirement "makes all the sense in the world," noting that private-sector retirement benefits are far less generous and require employees to contribute.

Not only is this statement not true but there is a HUGE difference btwn a pension and IRA or 401K.

The bigger question is do the governor and the legislature have to contribute to THEIR retirement bennies? :shrug:  Of course not...more of the "do as I say, not as I do" mentality... ::)


Teeny and Little

Offline RamMan4Life

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Re: Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2011, 04:49:37 PM »
Quote
Scott, who was in Washington, D.C., on Monday, said that asking employees to contribute to their retirement "makes all the sense in the world," noting that private-sector retirement benefits are far less generous and require employees to contribute.

Not only is this statement not true but there is a HUGE difference btwn a pension and IRA or 401K.

The bigger question is do the governor and the legislature have to contribute to THEIR retirement bennies? :shrug:  Of course not...more of the "do as I say, not as I do" mentality... ::)

Nor do they have to "tighten their belts" as we were told to do earlier this year. The salaries for the legislative section are not on the earlier mentioned website either.
A past to cherish....a future to fulfill.

Class of '92

Home of the1960 Albany State College Rams, who finished the season UNDEFEATED and a DEFENSE UNSCORED UPON!!

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Offline uchighlander

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Re: Teachers union sues Florida over new pension law
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2011, 05:58:04 PM »
Quote
Scott, who was in Washington, D.C., on Monday, said that asking employees to contribute to their retirement "makes all the sense in the world," noting that private-sector retirement benefits are far less generous and require employees to contribute.

Not only is this statement not true but there is a HUGE difference btwn a pension and IRA or 401K.

The bigger question is do the governor and the legislature have to contribute to THEIR retirement bennies? :shrug:  Of course not...more of the "do as I say, not as I do" mentality... ::)
Explain to me the HUGE difference between a pension, IRA and 401K. My employer pays 3% of my gross salary into my 401K on an annual basis....I pay the rest....everyone that I know of who works in the private sector pays the bulk of their retirement ... be it a pension, IRA or 401K. Welcome to the real world folks. GO VIKINGS!!!

 

 

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