Today, a corporate lobbying group filed two ballot initiatives that would cut public employee retirement. One plan would create a fourth PERS tier with significantly reduced benefits, while another would require all current and future employees to lose up to 6% of their pay, with that money being taken to pay down the pension debt.
These proposals were put forward by PERS Solutions, a corporate-backed lobby group. It’s no surprise that their “solutions” place 100% of the burden on public employees. Oregon public workers’ total compensation, including retirement plans, is below market rate with our existing pension system, while Oregon corporations have one of the lowest tax rates in the nation.
Oregon voters do not believe the state’s obligation to retirees should be paid for by slashing the promised benefits to today’s working teachers, firefighters and other public employees.
These latest proposals would do more harm than good. They are unlikely to pass legal muster, they fail to reduce the unfunded liability, and include nothing about investing in better schools, healthcare and other public services.
Our union will continue to push for investments in public services and the people who provide them. The path forward is investments, not cuts.