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President Foster's Message

October 1, 2013

MEA-Retired Publications

2014 Summer Michigan Retirement Report (PDF)

2014 Spring Michigan Retirement Report (PDF)

2014 Winter Michigan Retirement Report (PDF)

2013 Fall Michigan Retirement Report (PDF)

MEA-Retired Tribune Newsletter

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

MEA - Retired

New school year brings 18 more charter schools

Despite claims that charter schools lack financial and academic oversight, 18 new charter schools are opening this fall. With 11 charter schools closing at the end of the last school year, there are now a total of 303 charter schools in the state.

Of the 18 new schools, 14 will include high school grades and two are tied to higher education and will allow students to earn both a high school diploma and an associate's degree. Three new charter schools are online only and one new school features blended learning.

Thirteen of the new schools opening are chartered by authorizers that were notified they could have their chartering authority suspended if they didn't address school performance and contract issues.

Take part in Labor Day events across Michigan

Labor Day is right around the corner, and in this important election year,
it's critical to have MEA members making a strong showing at events across
the state. Where ever your Labor Day takes you, be sure to show your MEA
colors by either wearing red or donning your MEA shirts, buttons or other
Proud Union Member material.

The annual Detroit Labor Day Parade gives MEA members a chance to march
alongside our Detroit Public Schools brothers and sisters as they deal with
the most recent attack on their livelihoods (see story above). The parade
steps off at 9 a.m. along Michigan Ave. MEA will be staging, along with
AFT-Michigan, on Michigan Ave. between 10th and 11th Streets (to the east of
Rosa Parks Blvd.). MEA's Warren-Fitzgerald Executive Director Jennifer
Miller will be MEA's main contact at the parade. Contact her at
<mailto:jmiller@mea.org> jmiller@mea.org for more details.

Union members from across Michigan will also take part in the Mackinac
Bridge Walk again this year. MEA Northern Zone staff and volunteers will
hand out Knowledge Has Value day packs to the first 1,000 people lining up
to walk the Mighty Mac - to get yours, arrive early and be on one of the
first buses. Anyone wishing to help hand out bags can contact MEA UniServ
Directors Bob Kwiatkoski or Frank Mongene to make arrangements.

And in the Upper Peninsula, MEA President Steve Cook will take part in the
25th Annual Labor Day Parade and Rally in Ishpeming at Lake Bancroft Park.
Marquette teachers, who have been without a contract for more than a year,
have been named the honorary Parade Marshalls. For more information, contact
MEA UniServ Director Stuart Skauge at or visit www.mqtlabor.org

Lansing Rally


MEA-Retired members attended the rally in Lansing on August 20th. The rally was held to expose Governor Synder’s real record. Rick Snyder called for "shared sacrifice." But what Snyder took was billions from children, seniors, and education.

He imposed a brand new retirement tax on seniors and eliminated tax credits costing the middle class thousands.

The Michigan Legislators have passed over 600 laws since January of 2011, with many of them having a devastating effect on retirees and public education. Listed below is a summary of just one of these laws, passed by the legislators and SIGNED BY GOVERNOR SYNDER!

Lansing Rally

Public Act 300 did the following:

  • Retirement costs shifted to retirees and current employees
  • Retroactively allows taxation of Michigan Public Pensions—based upon age and Income
  • Negatively affects all retirees born after December 31, 1945
  • Creates Discriminatory Pension Tax based on age
  • Health Care costs shifted to Retirees
  • Non-Medicare retirees health care subsidy reduced to 80%
  • Retirees Health Care permanently set, based on age

The rally was sponsored by the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans and was held on the Capitol Lawn.

Due to a Weather Emergency the August 13th Lansing Event postponed until August 20th

COME TO LANSING AUG.20th!

LET'S TELL GOV. SNYDER HIS KIND OF "SHARED SACRIFICE" IS NOT SHARED BY ALL!

WHERE: Lansing State Capitol; East Side
WHEN: Wednesday, August 20th at 9:30AM
RSVP: Alan Fosnacht (248) 892-9131



Rick Snyder called for "shared sacrifice." But what Snyder took was billions from children, seniors, and education.

He imposed a brand new retirement tax on seniors and eliminated tax credits costing the middle class thousands.

But there's another secret Rick Snyder doesn't want you to know. When Snyder sacrificed the middle class, he was secretly working to double his cousin's furniture contract with the state, costing taxpayers $41 million per year

Now, it must be nice to be one of Rick Snyder's cousins, but that is not what we call "shared sacrifice." The truth is, Snyder raided the middle class and schools to pay for family giveaways and tax cuts for the rich.

That's not the Michigan way and it's time Rick Snyder is held accountable for his anti-middle-class agenda.

Join us on August 20th for a rally to expose Snyder's real record.
If you would like to speak at the rally, please send an email to staff@mea-retired.org and tell us your story. Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans and MEA-Retired.



MEA-Retired delegates in Denver, Colorado

The NEA-Retired Annual Meeting was held in Denver, Colorado, June 28 and 29. The NEA Convention concluded July 6.

At the NEA-Retired Annual Meeting, Cleorah Scruggs-DeBose was elected to a three year term as an alternate to the NEA Board of Directors. Sally McNamara will serve a one year term as a member of the Resolutions Committee and Kathleen Huey will be an alternate to the committee. Michigan is well represented since Dan Rudd serves on the NEA Board representing NEA-Retired. Al Beamish serves on the NEA-Retired Executive Council.

Dignitaries who addressed delegates were, NEA President Dennis VanRoekel, NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen Garcia, and Secretary/Treasurer Becky Pringle. Tom Curran was elected as NEA-Retired President for a second three year term.

MEA-Retired received the NEA-Retired Website (mea-retired.org) Award. This award reveals the dedication and time the officers have spent creating and keeping the site up-to-date. Kyle Shumaker serves as our webmaster and we appreciate his efforts.

Elected delegates from MEA-Retired attending the NEA-Retired Annual meeting and the NEA convention are: Al Beamish, Linda Brunson, Elias Chapa, Rose Cross, Judy Daley, Vivian Davis, Colleen Ford, Judy Foster, Roger Foster, Catherine Frederick, John Frederick, Anne Good, Jeanne Hansen, Silvia Henry-Walton, Kathleen Huey, Diana Irons, Pam, Keller, Penny Letts, Bob Letts, Sally McNamara, Liz Metcalf, Elaine Miller, Nan Palm, Bill Papo, Dan Rudd, Linda Russell, Jack Schneider, Dave Schopp, Barb Schram, Leon Scott, Cleorah, Scruggs-DeBose, Juliette Smith, Jim Sparapani, and Mary Yedinak.

Liability Coverage in the Classroom

Several retirees have questions in regards to libabily insurance if the sub or volunteer in a classroom. We finally have an answer from NEA which, is below.

If a Retired member is performing educational employment activities in an educational unit, they will not be precluded from coverage whether hired directly or by a third party.

The claim forms for Retired members are the same as for Active members. In Section II of the claim form is where the affiliate identifies the membership category. Dave Kilpatrick, NE Senior Program Specialist

Michigan Supreme Court Ruling / MPSERS

On May 22, 2014, the Michigan Supreme Court issued two orders regarding cases filed by the Michigan Education Association, the AFT Michigan, and others dealing with changes enacted by the Michigan legislature in 2010 and 2012 to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement Act (“MPSERA”).....Read More.

Retiree Earnings Limitations (retired on or after 7/1/2010)

With the exception of working in a Critical Shortage position for no more than three years or until July 1, 2014, whichever comes first, a member who retires on or after July 1, 2010, and returns to work as an employee of the reporting unit, can earn up to one-third of their final average compensation in the calendar year without penalty. However, if they exceed that amount, they will forfeit their pension and health insurance subsidy until his or her employment ceases....Read More

MEA SCREENING AND RECOMMENDATION PROCESS

Every election year some members complain to MEA-Retired that “MEA is telling me how to vote.” That is not true. A local committee of your fellow MEA members interviews all candidates who seek MEA endorsement. The committee is generally comprised of seven to nine members including, ESP, Higher Education, EA and retired members. MEA staff do not have voting rights on the committee. All coordinating councils who have school districts or colleges which are wholly or partially contained in the legislative district have an equal right to participate in the screening. After interviewing candidates, the committee makes a decision, sometimes choosing not to recommend at all. If the committee makes a recommendation, it is communicated to the entire MEA membership residing in the legislative district, both retired and active members....Read More.

Verification of coverage forms coming soon

Be on the lookout for the 2014 Verification of Coverage form. Forms will be mailed to all members in May. You must return your completed form by July 15th even if you don't have other coverage. Be sure to complete your VOC s soon as you receive it to ensure continuous coverage.

Delta Dental PPO Letter

Dear MPSERS member:
Effective January 1, 2014, your dental plan will change from Delta Dental PPOSM (Point-of-Service) to Delta Dental PPO (Standard). This change may affect how your claims are paid. In addition, your annual maximum has increased to $1,100 per calendar year....Read More.

A BLUE CROSS SEMINAR IS COMING TO A PLACE NEAR YOU.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is holding seminars for MEDICARE members who are Michigan Public School Employees. All seminars run from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. To make a reservation, call 1-800-229-2018 or www.bcbsmseminar.com. Have your BCBS ID available.

Dates and places:
May 22, Grand Rapids, Frederik Gardens; May 28, Frankenmuth, Bavarian Inn; June 3, Lansing Crowne Plaza – Lansing West; June 9 and 10, Sterling Heights, Sterling Inn; June 18 and 19, Novi, Sheraton Novi; June 23 and 24, Detroit, Double Tree Detroit – Dearborn; June 26, Sterling Heights, Sterling Inn.

Medicare Advantage Education Seminar
www.bcbsmseminar.com

Delta Dental PPO Letter

Dear MPSERS member:
Effective January 1, 2014, your dental plan will change from Delta Dental PPOSM (Point-of-Service) to Delta Dental PPO (Standard). This change may affect how your claims are paid. In addition, your annual maximum has increased to $1,100 per calendar year....Read More.

ORSMPSERS Survey

The Office of Retirement Service (ORS) / MPSERS (Michigan Public School
Employees Retirement System) made major changes in our health care
insurances starting on January 1, 2014.  Many of our members have expressed
concerns or issues in regards to these changes.  We have conducted an
on-line survey of our members who use email.  The survey began on March 2,
2014.  So far 773 of our members have taken the survey.  To read the
complete results of the survey by clicking here.

MEA-Retired members at NEA Organizing Conference Houston TX.

Governor and Legislature Damage Michigan's Working Families

The Michigan Legislature and Governor have adopted more than 600 laws since January of 2011.  Many of these laws have had devastating effect on public education, working families, public school employees and retirees.  In addition, our Legislators delayed the implementation of Medicaid for the poor which resulted in a cost to Michigan of $630,000,000.  This action also denied coverage to 500,000 of Michigan’s poorest citizens.

Listed below are brief summations statements that highlight and categorize some of the most significant laws that were enacted since January 2011....Read More

RETIREE HEALTH CARE

Rates Increase Substantially

Retiree Health Care Rates Increase Substantially - The new 2014 health/dental/vision retiree rates that were recently released by the Office of Retirement Services indicated that full family rates for non-Medicare retirees increased by $1.18. However, one needs to compare the most recent rate increase to the relatively huge rate increase in 2013. Legislators are often ignorant on the extent of the costs that are absorbed by retirees for their health care insurance program. The following indicates the dollar amount and percentage of health care rate increases for non-Medicare retirees only. As you can see, the costs absorbed by retirees are significant. As an example, in 2010, full family medical/dental/vision combined rates increased by 15.97 percent for a $27.72 increase. In 2011, the full family rates increased by 2 percent or $4.16. Health/dental/vision insurance rates in 2012 decreased by 1.4 percent, for a reduction of $2.94. However in 2013 retirees saw rates jump by 58.4 percent for an increase of $118.23.....Read More

Retiree Earnings Limitations (retired on or after 7/1/2010)

With the exception of working in a Critical Shortage position for no more than three years or until July 1, 2014, whichever comes first, a member who retires on or after July 1, 2010, and returns to work as an employee of the reporting unit, can earn up to one-third of their final average compensation in the calendar year without penalty. However, if they exceed that amount, they will forfeit their pension and health insurance subsidy until his or her employment ceases.....Read More

Charter School Advocates Attack MPSERS Funding

From the AFT (Coalition partner of MEA and MEA-Retired)

Governor Snyder recommended that $100 million from the School Aid Fund be used in next year's School Aid budget to go toward the Michigan Public School Retirement System. This would reduce the MPSERS rate for participating schools by an additional 1.2 percent, allowing...Read More

Another Attack on Pensions and Health Care

Gretchen Dziadosz, MEA Exec. Dir.

At the end of the 2013 legislative session, seven bills were introduced in the Michigan Senate  that further undercut school employee pensions...Read More