Across Florida
What's happening on other political blogs?


FEA leads union lawsuit to overturn 3 percent employee payments to retirement

by John Kennedy | June 20th, 2011

The state’s largest teachers’ union joined with other labor groups Monday in suing to overturn a new 3 percent payroll contribution for the 655,000 workers who belong to the Florida Retirement System, claiming the change violates a 37-year-old contractual agreement with public employees.

The lawsuit was filed in Leon County Circuit Court. But Ron Meyer, a lawyer for the Florida Education Association which filed the suit on behalf of 11 government workers who are members of the FRS, said it will likely wind up being settled in coming months by the Florida Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the 3 percent contributions, which kick-in July 1, should be segregated in a state account, awaiting the  legal outcome, Meyer said. Documents requesting an injunction to set aside the money has been filed by the FEA with Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford, who has been assigned the case

“We believe a promise is a promise and the state of Florida should live by the promises it makes,” Meyer said Monday.

The Republican-ruled Florida Legislature agreed to stop the full-employer paid provision of the FRS, instead making employees pay 3 percent of their paychecks into the plan. The roughly $1 billion drawn into state coffers with the employee contributions helped lawmakers cover an almost $3.8 billion budget shortfall.

Teachers and other school personnel represent the majority of the 655,000 members of the FRS affected by the new law. But the 11 workers suing the state include members of the AFL-CIO, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Fraternal Order of Police, and Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

“It’s a contractual right,” Meyer said of what the union contends lawmakers have violated. “IF you had a 30-year mortgage to buy a house, would your lender 20 years in tell you the house is going to cost 3 percent more?”

Tags: , , , ,

15 Responses to “FEA leads union lawsuit to overturn 3 percent employee payments to retirement”

  1. LARRY Says:

    ANYTHING TO BURY THE SYSTEM AND THE GOVERNMENT UNIONS HAVE ALREADY TAKEN DOWN GM AND CHRYSLER, WE LIVE IN A NEW WORLD THERE ISN’T EXTRA FLUFF TO PAY FOR EVERYTHING AND FURTHERMORE WHY SHOULD TEACHERS BE ABLE TO RETIRE AT 55 WHILE EVERYONE ELSE HAS TO RETIRE AT 65 OR SO? ALSO THEY MAKE DECENT MONEY FOR ONLY WORKING 9 MONTHS, GET RID OF THEM AND I’M SURE THERE WOULD BE PLENTY OF PEOPLE WHO WOULD TAKE THEIR JOBS. GREED!!!

  2. Truth Says:

    Jeez what scumbags.

  3. Eric Holshouser Says:

    FYI

  4. Bob Says:

    Yes, but Rick Scott doesn’t believe that honoring promisses and your word are part of “running things like a business.” I think his full name must be “Phineas Richard Scott” or, “P.Rick Scott” for short.

  5. Spence Says:

    Not a “pension contribution’ but a PAY CUT. Scott spill’s working people’s blood in an attempt to make himself look good. He can never appear to be anything but a stooge for his wealthy friends. Cuts are made to those who are the most vulnerable, and are struggling to make ends meet.

  6. nemo Says:

    Efff You Larry

  7. Bill Neubauer Says:

    Another dispute will be settled in court, as so often, a supreme court. But if you are Florida taxpayer, you might well be offended that the public employees don’t pay anything into their retirement fund while others must contribute. Think about the thousands of Florida senile citizens on Social Security. They paid regular sums into the system for years before retirement. They are being asked to pay twice, once for themselves and once as taxpayers for public employees. It’s time for that “level playing field, about which so much is heard these days.

  8. meow Says:

    Don’t take away our contractual rights and benefits because you’re envious. Go fight for your own! Why shouldn’t teachers be able to retire after 30 years of service?? SICK of teachers being called greedy, when they haven’t received a raise in 3 years and are now expected to pay for a budget shortfall due to Rick Scott’s budget cuts? Most of us have our own 403b, and are not depending solely on FRS when we retire. Maybe you should get a forced 3% pay cut and face the possibility of furlough days? See how you’d like to go into your own pocket to pay for the budget shortfall?

  9. james Says:

    Larry, we should eliminate your homestead exemptions as well being this is a different world and all. We can’t afford that “fluff” either. I rent so it won’t affect me. And instead of just taxing the State employees, we should raise the sales tax to pay for schools so we don’t have to cut 20 to 30 million dollars from the budget every year. We don’t have the luxary of letting you people who still have money to buy things not pay more in taxes. Maybe just a 3% state tax accross the board would make you happy. Stop comparing State employees to private sector workers until our pay scale meets that of the private sector. I chose benefits over higher pay at higher risk and should not be punished for that now. Just like people who bought housed they could afford should not be penalized for the mistakes of irresponsible buyers and banks. We didn’t get us here and we shouldn’t have to bail you out!

  10. judy mccracken Says:

    Everyone needs a living decent wage. If you dont have one ask your employer why not. Private employers used to provide “good” wage and benefits but now feel the greed & profit is the end game. As unions decline so will what little kind of “benefits” you still may have. The government is filled with “lobbyist” to protect and defend their interests. We have UNIONS to protect & defend the workingman. Unfortunately we are pitted against each other, and misdirected to fight against our own best interests…..

  11. chelle Says:

    @ Larry: First of all teachers now work 10 months of the year and any time off is UNPAID time. I would be happy to work year round if I was paid the same as I would be in any other corporation with 30+ years experience, a master’s degree and national board certification. That would put me where, Larry? Around $150,000? Cool I’ll take the raise for working two extra months because believe me that is way more than twice the salary I get now! While you’re at it I’ll take the 8 weeks paid vacation like my dad got when he worked in the factory. The only thing the Republicans are trying to do is get rid of the middle class so unless you are part of that 2% of the people of this country who are in the upper class, Larry you will be in a sorry state with the rest of us.

  12. Ms Vicky Says:

    The way people feel about teachers and unions is amusing but totally irrelevant to the discussion. Perhaps if people were well informed and understood the issue, they would stop their misplaced envy, sniveling and whining. For 37 years teachers have been in a contractual agreement with the State of Florida that deems that they will accept a state funded pension as deferred salary. This means they agree to accept lower salaries than the private sector for the benefits provided. If legislators want to change this benefit package, they will have to do so for new employees. It is obvious that parties to a legal contractual agreement must, on both sides, understand the precise terms of such contract before signing up. Scott’s illegal, punitive tax on FRS members will not stand. And FYI, the states that are unionized in EVERY case have superior school systems; and the teachers in Finland, the #1 education system in the WORLD, is over 95% unionized. Teachers in Florida are paid 47-49th in the USA. Until and unless we make education a priority, and pay teachers like the professionals they are, we should only make the demands of those who are willing to pay next to the least for ANYTHING else. This, my friends, is called “logical reasoning,” difficult but not impossible with some practice. CHEW ON THAT! LOL!

  13. Bill Says:

    Interesting, you want a level playing field? So do I. Give me an $55,000 pay raise so I’m making the same as my counterpart in private industry and I’ll gladly help pay for may pension. Also all other states make their employees pay into retirement, but they also ALL pay higher salaries than Florida. Give us competitive pay and we can pay into our retirement.

  14. Diane Says:

    And, by the way, Florida teachers do also pay into social security already.
    No one has mentioned the cost of the new testing requirements (expensive and a boost to publishing companies that create tests and materials) that is being implemented in the state and the merit pay system that is also legislated, but unfunded. I think a great way to fund the financial woes in Florida would be an increased sales tax that would be fair to everyone living in Florida. How can we ever expect to attract business to Florida when our education system is not supported. Teachers are also now not being paid for higher degrees or national board certification. Do you want experienced, motivated teachers or just cheaper teachers to fill the space?

  15. Florida Short Sales Says:

    I would love to sell short. In Florida too.

Florida political tweeters
Video: Politics stories
Categories
Archives