New attack launched on public employee pensions
Ballot initiative threatens state worker retirement security

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A coalition of anti-union, anti-public employee groups, including the National Right to Work Committee, launched their latest attack against public employee pensions and the hard-earned retirement security of state workers.

Their misleading campaign, called the “Voter Empowerment Act of 2016,” would undermine collective bargaining and require voter approval for changes to pensions and other retirement benefits, including medical insurance. The initiative will soon move into the signature-gathering phase and will appear on the ballot next year.

“This dangerous initiative is a real threat to the financial security of our members and all public employees,” said Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 president. “It is more important than ever to become a member of Local 1000, to continue building the power necessary as we take up the fight against this new attack on our pensions.”

Sweeping changes in retirement and health care

This is the third attack against public employee unions in just the last four years. This time, the proponents want to make sweeping changes to California’s pension laws that gut the sacred promise of defined-benefit pensions made between public employers and their workers.

Sacramento Bee reporter Jon Ortiz writes that “The proposal would also apply to other retirement benefits, such as medical insurance, aiming to cut what the proponents say are soaring retirement costs that have driven some cities into bankruptcy.”

Ortiz continues that “Other provisions would prohibit government employers from paying more than half the cost of employee retirement benefits without voter approval and block politicians and government agencies from suing or taking other actions to impede voter-approved ballot measures regarding employee compensation or retirement benefits.”

Stay Informed

Local 1000’s research, legal and legislative departments are working now to review and thoroughly understand the myriad threats contained in this new pension attack, including specifics about how Local 1000-represented employees will be affected.

Follow Local 1000’s analysis and news updates at seiu1000.org, Facebook and Twitter.

Get Involved

Join the fight against our pensions and health care benefits. Now is the time to create the power necessary to protect our retirement. Fill out a membership application today.