Earlier today, the Oregon Legislature passed a bill that will cut public employee retirement benefits by 1.5% to 3%. The changes will take place beginning on July 1, 2020, and will depend on when you started working for the state. Click here for more information. We will hold a webinar next Wednesday evening, June 5th, to explain the changes and discuss next steps.
While we are disappointed with today’s vote, the cuts are significantly less than a ballot proposal by business groups that would eliminate PERS entirely and the Governor’s plan that would require employees to contribute 1.5% to 3% of their salary over $20,000 into a special account to pay down the PERS unfunded liability. This is the result of our Union and coalition partners sending more than 75,000 emails and making thousands of phone calls to legislators to protect our retirement.
Past PERS cuts have been struck down by courts and our Union will utilize the justice system to ensure that all of the changes to PERS in this legislation are legal. We fought at the Legislature, and are prepared to fight this in court, and at the bargaining table.
Nine out of ten SEIU Local 503 members are at the bargaining table this summer. We will make it clear that new contracts will not only offset the loss from today’s bill, but increase overall compensation to cover the increased cost of living and reflect the value of the work you do for the people of Oregon. This fight is far from over. We are united, and we will win!