Showing posts with label Business Econ Unions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Business Econ Unions. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Maryland Reporter: AFSCME members ask legislators to keep pensions and health benefits the same

January 13, 2011 By Megan Poinski

More than 100 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees came to Annapolis on Wednesday to lobby the 428th General Assembly for their No. 1 priority: preserving the health and pension benefits they have.

Before the session began at noon on Wednesday, union members from throughout the state filed into a public lounge in the House Office Building. AFSCME staff handed out green hats and scarves to the union members, as they signed onto a sheet with their names and legislative districts. Once they signed in, they sat at tables organized by district number and prepared to visit their newly elected representatives.

AFSCME is the largest union for state employees. Legislative director Sue Esty said that with several proposals circulating to make cuts in pension and health benefits – as well as recent furloughs, pay cuts and hiring freezes – the union members want to make sure they set the right tone for this General Assembly session.


Recent deliberations and recommendations from the Public Employees’ and Retirees’ Benefits Sustainability Commission galvanized the union members and spurred them into action. The eight-member commission created by legislation last year is recommending that the General Assembly cut state costs of health insurance 10% by hiking premiums and reducing coverage for state employees and retirees, and shift half the costs of teacher pensions to local school boards over the next three to five years.


At Wednesday’s rally, correctional officer Greg Currie, who works at the Metropolitan Transition Center in Baltimore, said he has attended pension commission meetings – even testifying about retirement benefits at a public hearing. Currie said that he just wants to see pensions and health care stay the same. He has written to his representatives in the General Assembly about the issue, and is hopeful that they will make a careful decision.


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My columns appear in the copy of the Baltimore Sunday Sun that is distributed in Carroll County:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

This week in The Tentacle

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20090506 SDOSM This week in The Tentacle