4th District PFFA
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October 6, 2011 -
President Chad Major
Brothers and Sisters,
I am sending out this email after spending the day at the
Capital where I attended the Funding Review Panel Committee meeting. I
wish that each and every one of you could have been in attendance. The
panel has voted to study two separate items. The first item is to change
benefit structures for all new hires which we all have heard before and
we expected to come up again. The second item was to look at
restructuring benefits for present employees.
What does this mean you may ask. What it means is setting
a mandatory minimum retirement age, (and I heard them mention age 60),
changing the three year average and making it a five year average,
changing the accrual rate from 3 1/3 % down to 2 1/2 or 3 %, and who
knows what else they will come up with? Elimination of the DROP?
Employees pay a higher percentage? A defined contribution plan instead
of our define benefit plan?
Of course none of these things will nor can take place
until the legislature is in session and I assure you that we will be
ready to fight. In mentioning the legislature I feel that it is my duty
and responsibility as your President to educate you on the fall
elections. It is more important now than ever that we elect firefighter
friendly people to office. With that said allow me to say to you that
"Tea Party Candidates are not firefighter friendly". My job is not to
tell you who to vote for rather it is to educate the membership as to
which candidates support us and our issues. I recently learned that a
small group of our members are out supporting Representative Montoucet's
opponent. When I first heard this I thought that the person saying it
was pulling my leg. After I realized that they were not joking I sat
there thinking of how a firefighter in this state could support someone
over a person who has not only supported us 100%, but has been a floor
leader on firefighter issues. It is beyond me to understand the logic,
or lack there of.
I am asking each and every one of you to look into all of
the candidates backgrounds, their campaign finance reports, their voting
record if they are incumbents, and how they stand on our issues before
you make your decision as to whom you are going to support. Understand
that our futures are at stake. All that we have worked and sacrificed
for over the years is in jeopardy. I truly do not care if the person
is a republican or a democrat just as long as they support the issues
that pertain to firefighters. If you are not certain call the
candidate and ask them what their position is on our issues. Make them
answer the question. You have a right to know and should know before you
pull the lever for a person.
In closing let me say
one more thing. Too often today we get caught up in what we see on the
news or read in the paper. We are unable to see the forest because the
trees stand in our way. Well allow me to clear the way for you and tell
you like it is.
If more moderate/progressives are not elected to the
Legislature in this fall's election cycle, some if not all
of the things that I mentioned above may come true.
This bill has been
signed into law and took effect on July 1, 2011. The tables contained within
have been applied to wages paid on or after July 1, 2011 after the start
of the state's fiscal year even if the wages were earned in June. This is
consistent with the way the IRS recognizes annual earnings based on wages paid
during a calendar year and not when it was earned.
association and all of the firefighter lobbyist have done an excellent job
during a very tough fiscal environment!
SB 12 Tabled indefinitely! Great job!