The first meeting of the Statewide Executive Board Leadership Retiree and Active Employee Organizations was held on Friday, the 13th of January at 1:pm at the UAW Local 182, Hall, 35603 Plymouth Road in Livonia.
Opening Statements by President Eugene Wright
My name is Eugene Wright and I am the President of the Wayne County Retirees Association. We are a fairly new group, organized in early 2016, in an effort to bring together what is now the "umbrella group" if you will, for an active coalition of individual Retiree and Employee organizations within Wayne County. Larger Group. Bigger Voice.
Little did we know at the time, that our own struggle to restore and maintain our negotiated and contractual benefits, and to protect our members against future attacks would soon grow to the point where we would would be battling the trend by lawmakers at all levels of government to correct their own fiscal mismanagement on the backs of municipal retirees and employees throughout the State of Michigan.
Now we know.
All of you that have come together today to participate in this Leadership meeting... know that too.
And while this is only the first meeting in so many more meetings that will need to follow, we have very specific goals and responsibilities this afternoon as we discuss the challenges and the opportunities before us.
Goal # 1 - to UNITE. To come together and by doing so create an even larger group and bigger voice. A voice that even BEFORE bills affecting municipal retirees and employees are drafted, will REQUIRE lawmakers to listen to us, to consult us, to consider us.
Goal # 2 - to share ideas and experiences, and identify our common ground. Identify those places where our resources can be shared and mobilize our individual organizations to travel as one...down one road... with a single message to all lawmakers...from this day forward.
Goal #3 - to develop a strategy moving forward that shares the burden of the tremendous challenges ahead of all of us. For only by sharing this load, can we expect to rise above the obstacles in front of us.
These are lofty goals. But if we accomplish just those 3 goals this afternoon we will have overcome the biggest obstacle in front of us.
Do not let us be divided by greed, ignorance, apathy or our municipal or political boundaries.
Opening statement was followed by an introduction of Panel Speakers, the WCRA Board and Moderator Hugh Macdonald.
Meeting Jauary 13th, 2017
Relevant Court Cases
Allen Park Retirees vs City of Allen Park
Harper Woods Retirees Association
City of Pontiac en bac
St. Clair Shores Retirees medical
LRPA vs State
From Nick Ciaramitaro - Director Legislation and Public Policy
Council 25 AFSCME - Michigan
The website for the Coalition for Secure Retirement is csr-mi.com. I've attached a study we conducted on pensions and the NERS report on 401(k) plans. Though not directly related to the current OPEB crisis, they demonstrate the weaknesses of replacing health insurance with HSAs. Further, I anticipate there will be a direct assault on municipal pensions (for new hires) in the near future (the Devos family insists eliminating all public pensions is their number one priority). Though, public pensions are constitutionally protected in Michigan, closing plans the new participants raises the costs by reducing investment income opportunities.
The Klein-Bean Report
Public Pension Resource Guide
In the coming weeks and months we will be calling on EVERY MEMBER of EVERY Municipal Employee and Retiree Group across the State of Michigan to call, write or visit in person, their legislators NOW!! Many of them hold coffee hours in the districts where they meet with their constituents and that information is posted on their websites. GO!!! Voice your objections and follow up with calls, letters or emails. If you don't know who your reprresentatives are, click on the links below and find out. Also do not ignore your City and County Representatives!!! And please... Ask your friends and relatives to help! We are giving you the tools you need to stop this from happening. Please use them.
Find Your Senator: Click here
Find your Representative: Click here
Find your Wayne County Commissioner Click here
Find your Macomb County Commissioner Click here
Find your Oakland County Commissioner Click here