The Senate Labor and Pensions Committee will meet this Wednesday to take up two bills that will negatively affect members’ pensions and their associations’ ability to freely communicate with school administrators.
If passed, SB 153 (Sen. Phil Boots-R) will have the state assess educators and public employees $13 million in annual fees to administer PERF/TRF pensions (Annuity Savings Accounts). The new fees will impact the amount of money available to invest in their pensions. This means less money for educators and other public employees to live off of when they retire.
There is absolutely no compelling reason for legislators to make this change. By all accounts, our state’s public pension plans are in very good shape.
Our educators and public employees work for years putting their hard earned money aside for retirement in state required ASA accounts. Especially after cost of living adjustments are few and far between anymore. They deserve to be treated better, particularly after dedicating their lives to educating our children or bettering our state.
The other anti-worker and labor union bill to be heard Wednesday is SB 178 (Sen. Jim Banks-R).
This bill is a reckless attempt to restrict the ability of your association’s local representative to communicate with school administrators and even criminalizes the “violation” of this new law.
Under the guise of protecting a school employee’s privacy, the bill would make it a Class C misdemeanor punishable up to 60 days in jail and a fine for your association’s local representative to conduct business as it is done today.
It could be argued that not only is this bill a burden on school-association relationships, but also on any employer because it restricts an employer conducting its normal course of business.
Restricting communication between a school employer and the exclusive representative of school employees, your association, is just another attack on labor unions. There is no doubt that there are legislators bent on destroying the right of workers to collectively organize.
We strongly urge you to contact the members of the Senate Labor and Pensions Committee and tell them you oppose SB 153 and SB 178.
Contact your own legislator by finding them here.