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The Unionist March 2012

The Unionist March 2012

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Published by: novvotik on Mar 19, 2012
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PerhaPs the biggestchallenge facing
all New York public sector workers, including SSEULocal 371 members, is Governor AndrewCuomo’s push or a Tier 6 pension ornew workers. What this means is thatnew workers will have to work longerbeore they can retire, have a lower rateo contribution, and will not be able touse overtime and sick leave in their nalpension payout calculation. According to the Fiscal Policy Insti-tute, this comes out to nearly a 40 percentdecrease in retirement benets, especially as the Governor is also suggesting giv-ing new workers the option o not eventaking a pension and accepting a riskier401(k)-like plan. “Their retirement ben-ets would be very insucient,” said thegroup’s executive director, Frank Mauro.
An Attac on All
But one thing needs to be made clear: This is not just an attack on new work-ers. This is an attack on all public sector workers.Not only will the new tier create alower class o workers, pitted against older workers, but reduced pension contribu-tions will hurt the general pool o money,adversely aecting the retirement undso existing workers. Reducing retirementbenets will also ensure that ewer skilledand educated people will choose careers inpublic service.“It is not just about the uture. It isabout right now,” said Union President Anthony Wells.
He added that the Governor hadplaced the language o the newpension tier in the budget bill, thereby circumventing debate with the unionsand placing the onus on the StateLegislature rather than himsel. Wellsnoted that in the past even i unionsresisted new pension plans, new tiers wereenacted ater negotiations between theState and labor.
“We have a Governor who’s decidedthat working people don’t matter,” Wellssaid, adding that Cuomo had joined in therecent right-wing attacks on public sectorunions nationwide. “I he gets away withthis, there’s no stopping him.”So unions have been ghting back by lobbying lawmakers and embarking on amedia campaign that explains the harm-ulness o the Tier 6 pension plan. Someprogress is already being made, as theGovernor has indicated that he may be willing to take the 401(k)-like plan o thetable, a move that has angered some o theGovernor’s right-wing supporters.SSEU Local 371 is devoting much o itspolitical power to winning this ght.“It is about the uture o public unionsin this state,” Wells said.
 Volume 42 • Number 3March 2012
Ofcial Publication o Social Service Employees Union Local 371-DC 37 AFSCME, AFL-CIO
Assault Bill Strategy Delegate Training, Part 2 Delegate Election Rules
Page 3
Page 4-5
Page 6-7
No Tier 6!
t govo’ Porom P hu evyo
Members rallied in Albany against the Governor’s plan to reduce pension benefts.
   A   F    S    C   M   E
2 Te Unionist | Marc 2012
Alumni Committee:
2:00 p.m.Union Ofce, 12th Floor21
Delegate Assembly:
6:30 p.m. Advance Realty Building 235 West 23rd St.,Manhattan28
Civilians in Law Enforcement:
6:30p.m. Union Ofce, 12th Floor29
Jewish Heritage Committee:
6:30 p.m.Union Ofce, 12th Floor
HHC Chapter:
6:30 p.m.Union Ofce, 12th Floor4
Executive Committee:
6:30 p.m.Union Ofce, 12th Floor11
Women’s Committee:
6:30 p.m.Union Ofce, 12th Floor12
Committee of Concerned SocialWorkers:
6:30 p.m.Union Ofce, 12th Floor17
Alumni Association:
2:00 p.m.Union Ofce, 12th Floor 
Shelter Chapter:
6:30 p.m.Union Ofce, 12th Floor18
Delegate Assembly:
6:30 p.m. Advance Realty Building 235 West 23rd St.,Manhattan25
Political Action Committee:
6:30 p.m.Union Ofce, 12th Floor
Civilians in Law Enforcement:
 6:30 p.m. Union Ofce, 12th Floor
Published monthly except or a combined issue in July/  August and a Supplement in January by the SocialService Employees Union Local 371, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO. Subscription Price $2.00 annually.Periodical postage paid at New York, N.Y.POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to: TheUnionist, SSEU Local 371, 817 Broadway, N.Y., N.Y. 10003.USPS# 348990 (212) 677-3900ISSN# 0041-7092
 Anthony Wells
Executive Vice President
 Yolanda Pumarejo
Joe Nazario
V.P. Negotiations & Researc
Rose Lovaglio-Miller
V.P. Organization & Education
Ingrid Beaumont
V.P. Grievances & Legal Services
Lloyd Permaul
V.P. Publicity & Community Relations
Patricia Chardavoyne
V.P. Legislation & Political Action
Michelle Akyempong
 Vincent Ciccarello Yolanda DeJesusMelva Scarborough
 Ari Paul
Visit us on the web at www.sseu371.org
overnor Andrew Cuomo has decided it is notsucient to balance the budget on the backs o  working men and women. It is not sucient todiminish the saety net or seniors and disabled children who receive home care services. He has decided that workers hired in the uture should have less security inretirement. The Governor has proposed creating a less generouspension plan called Tier 6, which would require utureemployees to work until they reach the age o 65, increasetheir contributions to 6 percent and possibly higher, andcontribute or their entire careers. The rate o calculatingone’s pension would decrease rom 2 percent per year or the rst 30 years to 1.67percent. The calculation or the nal average salary would be based on the nalve years o service rather the nal three years o service. Additionally, workers in Tier6 would not have overtime calculated intotheir pension.Governor Cuomo has oered a 401(k)-style plan uture workers can opt or insteado a pension. These things are separate andunequal. A dened benets program—a pension—pools our money collectively to ensure that we have security in retirement. A dened contribution plan—a401(k)—is much more susceptible to the uncertainty o the stock market.I more workers opt or the 401(k)-type option, it would also draw unds away rom the pension system, reducing the pension assets o current workers.
Ignoring Labor’s Voice
It is not only the Governor’s plan itsel that is a threat to all unions, butthe manner in which he is implementing it. He did not have discussions andnegotiations with the unions. In previous changes to pensions, the employer andthe unions have negotiated those changes. In this instance, Governor Cuomo puthis proposal in the budget rather than seek a separate bill, orcing lawmakers topass the budget with his plan in it or get blamed or preventing the governmentrom operating. This is insidious at best.Labor is united and clear: Tier 6 cannot pass. The Municipal Labor Committeeis launching a media campaign, and unions are educating and mobilizing theirmembership. We are lobbying the lawmakers and our position is clear. However,once again, i this or any campaign is to be successul, the membership mustbe inormed and energized. It is important that the uture workers’ pensions beprotected as we protect ours.
– Anthony Wells 
We are lobbying thelawmakers and ourposition is clear.
tier 6
no Wy, no how
Marc 2012 | Te Unionist 3
 a spring Offenive
his month,SSEU Local 371, working with DC37, took another giantstep in pushing orwardthe Assault Bill, which would make assaultinga social service worker aelony. Members wentto Albany March 6 to lobby State Assembly Members, as the bill hasalready passed in the State Senate. As the Union has recently said tomedia outlets, there has been an in-crease in violence against our mem-bership since the economic downturnstarted in 2008. Nearly a year ago, aFraud Investigator was hit in the aceand suered eye damage. Members who do home visits have been attackedby pit bulls and residents. An angry cli-ent attacked one o our members whileon lunch break at a restaurant.
 We know what’s happening. Since2008, the population in need o socialservices has dramatically increased, while our sta numbers have shrunk,leading to job and benet center over-crowding. Our members do work thathas a substantial outcome on people’slives, whether it is a parent who may lose a child or a person who may losepublic benets.Skeptics o our bill ear it willcriminalize the clients. That is alse.It would simply create a deterrent orthese types o attacks, which wouldprotect the workers. Similar protec-tions already exist or transit workersand trac enorcement agents. The stall is in the Codes Com-mittee o the State Assembly. So weare asking members to get in touch with the committee chair, Brooklyn Assemblymen Joseph Lentol, as wellas Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Tell them that you are a social service worker and deserve the same protec-tions other dedicated civil servantshave.I we can get these two power-ul lawmakers to support the bill, it would be a critical step orward inbringing it to the Governor’s desk. The membership IS the Union. Together we can—and will—win thisbattle.
-Michelle Akyempong, VP of  Legislation and Political Action
Contact Info
 Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver250 Broadway, Suite 2307New York, NY 10007Phone: (212) 312-1420, (518) 455-3791 Assembly Member Joseph Lentol619 Lorimer StreetBrooklyn, NY 11211Phone: (718) 383-7474, (518) 455-4477
Honorable  A ssembl y   Member:I am a member o  Social Ser v ice Emplo y ees nion Local 371. he purpose o  his correspondence is o as  or  y our suppor on Bill #  A 4672. e are he  ron line orers ho pro v ide social ser v ices o he mos  v ulnerable children and  amilies in e or Ci y ;  rom child proeci v e ser v ices o public assisance. In recen monhs, he number o  insances o  orplace  v iolence has increased. orers ha v e been aaced in he o fce and he feld on a eel y  basis. e are requesin similar proecions in he orplace ha ha v e been a  orded o our colleaues in he ransi  A uhori y , ra fc En orcemen and urses.e are respec ull y  requesin ha  y ou suppor his bill.han  y ou,ame: A ddress:SSE Local 371 member

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