At the behest of the DeVos family, the Republican leadership of the Michigan Legislature is mounting an attack on educator pensions and AFT Michigan is fighting hard to protect the ability of former, current, and future educators to retire with security and dignity.
On Wednesday, November 30, the Michigan Senate Appropriations Committee voted to approve Senate Bill 102, which would close the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System to new hires, and put all employees hired after July 1, 2017 into a 401k-style defined contribution retirement plan. The bill passed 9 to 8. All Democrats (Senators Gregory, Hopgood, Hertel, Knezek, and Young) voted against the bill and were joined by Republican Senators Hansen, Nofs, and Knollenberg. These senators deserve our thanks.
While Republican Senate leadership indicated they wanted to take up the bill in the full Senate today, they adjourned before taking a vote on SB 102. This indicates that they are short of the votes they need to pass the legislation — which means what we’re doing is working.
We need you to take action TODAY! Please call your state senator and ask them to oppose Senate Bill 102.
Click here to find your senator’s phone number. Give their office a call and let them know that Michigan students and school districts can’t afford this switch — it will cost between $250 and $580 per student per year at the start, and that cost will go up every year for decades.
When you call your senator, it would be helpful to share the funding reduction your local schools could face, which can be found in the link below.
Some more information on the bill:
SB 102 will not only threaten the ability of future education professionals to retire securely and with dignity, but it will actually cost the state — and our schools and students — more money in the near and short term. The Senate Fiscal Agency estimates that the cost of closing the system under the provisions in SB 102 will cost $33.1 billion over 40 years, with the costs over the first five years totaling $1.6 billion. A break down of the annual costs over the next five years is below:
|Total Cost Under SB 102 (in millions)||Cost Per Pupil|
|TOTAL (40 Year)||$33,080|
This will result in a reduction of available funding for schools of $251 per pupil in 2018, and the reduction will worsen every year.
The Michigan Office of Retirement Services also strongly advises the Legislature not go through with this move. They outlined the consequences of ramming this legislation through to the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday.
AFT Michigan and our Michigan AFL-CIO sisters and brothers are conducting member-to-member phone banks asking people to patch through to their legislator to oppose Senate Bill 102. To RSVP, click here. For more information and to download a flier about the phone banks, click here.