Retirement security is at risk for public employees throughout California. Politicians and the media blame government workers for budget deficits, saying they get outrageous pay and benefits. Public employees need to stand together to get the truth out and protect our retirement security.
A new law, known as AB 340 The California Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA), which is supposed to "reform" public pensions in California, passed the State Legislature on Aug. 31. Governor Brown will soon sign it into law. Check this page often for the latest info.
SEIU has long called for public infrastructure investments that could help create jobs and stimulate local economies, including using public pension assets to fund such projects. Now California, home of the nation's largest public pension fund, is seeking greater opportunities to spur economic growth by doing just that.
This week the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has earmarked up to $800 million for investments in California infrastructure such as transportation, energy, utilities and natural resources.
"We know that we need jobs to get our city and state back on track and infrastructure projects are the way to creating good paying jobs," said SEIU 721 President Bob Schoonover.
"Infrastructure drives economic development. Whether it's a massive project like a dam or power plant, or simply retrofitting schools or fixing roads, these projects pay dividends for decades."
By Burris Debenning
Senior Buyer, City of Ventura
As a dedicated Ventura resident and City employee, I buy locally and contribute to Ventura's economy. Many of my co-workers live in this community too, and those who do not, purchase in Ventura to support local businesses.
I, along with several of my colleagues, left other jobs in the private sector to work in this community--not for the pay but for the opportunity to serve our community and, YES, to plan for our future retirement. My wife and I may never be able to afford a house in this community but someday we do want to retire.
Does that make us unreasonable? No.
Do I want the same for all California workers? YES!
As union members across the country face attacks, leaders and members of SEIU 721 are doing our part to help protect workers' rights.
All across the Inland Area, from the City of Riverside to Hemet to the desert, elected officials and the media have been feeding the public a steady diet of negative stories about our work and our benefits. They are blaming public employees for the budget crisis. We know that's not true, but all these negative attacks are having an effect.
SEIU 721 and LIUNA 777 are joining together for a United for Retirement Security membership meeting Feb. 15th.
- Ensuring Retirement Security
- Restoring Step/Merit Increase
- Protecting Health Care Benefits
By Bob Schoonover
SEIU 721 President
and Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic, City of Los Angeles
This week the City of Los Angeles is proposing major changes to the retirement of civilian, police and fire employees. Future hires at LAPD, LAFD and across the city would retire later, pay more and get less. And here's the strange part: most of the changes won't generate savings for 20 years.
In a meeting on October 19, supervisors rejected major retirement changes for future LA County employees after SEIU 721 members and other county leaders said the facts don't support the plan.