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Legislation Cuts Teacher Benefits

Newly hired Michigan public school employees would pay more for their pensions and lose state-funded health care in retirement under a bill headed to Gov. Rick Snyder for approval.

Newly hired public school employees in Michigan would pay more for their pensions and lose state-funded health care in retirement under a bill headed to Gov. Rick Snyder for approval.

Sponsors of the bill, which was approved Wednesday in the Republican-controlled House and Senate, said it will save school districts an estimated $300 million annually and trim $15 billion in legacy debt, according to The Detroit News.

"We are saving the (Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System) for current and future retirees," Rep. Jeff Farrington, R-Utica, told the Detroit Free Press .

Employees hired after Aug. 1 would pay $2,000 into a health care account, plus a matching contribution of up to 2 percent of their pay toward a 401(k)-type account, according to the Free Press.

"This is a big step for financial accountability," Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville said in an Associated Press report on mlive.com.

But, Democrats saw the bill differently.

"Attacking teachers this way is just another assault on our students who are already suffering mightily from the budget cuts imposed by the governor and the Republicans in the last two budgets," state Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton, D-Huntington Woods, responded Thursday in a press release.

"Michigan will not be a leader in anything if we don't treat women, families and students well," she said. "This latest attack on teachers and schools will come back to haunt us in the future when we fail to graduate students who are ready for higher education and the workforce, and when we fail to provide a good quality of life for retirees."



Pamela Adcox August 17, 2012 at 01:08 PM
What is the incentive for new hired employees to stay in the state or the districts they work? I smell high turn over and less experienced teachers with this new legislation. As a Republican, I think our legistature is overstreaching their "less government" principals. Why are we interferring with collective bargaining rights of individuals....union or non-union employees. What is next? Legislation that outlaws a private sector employee, like myself, from going into my supervisors office and requesting a raise if I feel I am deserving? As teachers gain experience they have no incentive to stay in their district. They will bounce around from employer to employer chasing an extra percent other districts may offer to gain a highly experienced teacher. This is not good legislation. I am growing very tired of the anti-union Republican led efforts......get on with creating jobs.
Gabby August 17, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Snyder sucks
Thomas Delise August 18, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Pam you are 100% correct !
Judy Bronke August 18, 2012 at 01:25 PM
what can you say to that, except Snyder is doing all he can do destroy the education in our state...wake up people...
Anthony August 18, 2012 at 02:48 PM
I have to admit I helped put the republicans in power. Some reform was definately needed. However, I can see already many unexpected consequences. The tenure revision last summer is already being perverted by districts. Where is the oversite? I didn't like the non-action of granholm either as she catered to her base. We need a third party!
kidcat24 August 18, 2012 at 08:57 PM
We are living with the result of Wall Street sucking money (bonds) out of our towns and cities and our republican governor and other republican governors sucking more money out of our towns and cities. This is the republican plan to make cities so desperate and need help the privatizing of America will leave the middle class and poor holding the bag. Of course the bag will be empty.

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