pensions

Local 372 Calls Upon Governor Cuomo to Sign Pension Bill

December 23, 2018 // 0 Comments

Leaders of Local 372 are calling for Gov. Cuomo’s signature on a bill that would automatically enroll about 17,000 part-time, temporary employees in the Board of Education Retirement System (BERS) after they pass 90 days of employment. “This legislation would solve a widespread problem that hurts our most vulnerable workers – the loss of years’ worth of valuable retirement benefits that they were legally entitled to,” said Local 372 President Shaun Francois I. The way the system now operates, workers known as “optional employees” can opt-in to BERS, but unless they explicitly express their desire to do so, they are out of the system by default and accrue no benefits. And that’s been a source of financial pain for many of these employees, whose annual salaries average $25,500. “Many members mistakenly believe they are automatically enrolled in the pension system, and [More...]

Pension System to Adopt New Investment Strategy as Fossil Fuel Divestment Moves Ahead

December 21, 2018 // 1 Comment

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Comptroller Scott M. Stringer on Thursday, Dec. 20, announced the next big step in the New York City pension funds’ action to address the risk posed by climate change by divesting from fossil fuel reserve owners – an unprecedented process and the first-of-its-kind in the United States. A request for proposal (RFP) released today seeks advisers to analyze, evaluate, and recommend prudent fossil fuel divestment strategies for the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), and the Board of Education Retirement System (BERS). Together, the three pension systems representing 70 percent of the total assets of the city’s $200 billion pension funds. The RFP will result in a comprehensive analysis of the city pension funds’ holdings and the risks the fossil fuel industry poses to pension assets. This [More...]

City Pensions Plan to Dump Fossil Fuel Investments

January 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

BY MIKE LEE New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and trustees of the city’s pension funds struck a sharp chord for the environment on Jan. 10 by announcing a plan to free the funds from the clutches of fossil fuel investments over the next five years.  This move by a major U.S. municipality to divest from fossil fuel companies is first in the nation. It is also a slap back at recent Trump administration moves to hand over drilling rights to oil companies — which are responsible for most of all greenhouse gas emissions in the last century. “Safeguarding the retirement of our city’s police officers, teachers, firefighters and city workers is our top priority, and we believe that their financial future is linked to the sustainability of the planet,” Comptroller Stringer said at a press conference at the Manhattan Youth Center, in in lower [More...]

Union Backs Legislation Requiring Automatic Sign Up for School Pension

May 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ALFREDO ALVARADO City employees are usually enrolled automatically in the retirement system when they are hired. But that’s not true for many members of Board of Education Employees Local 372. New Local 372 members are required to sign up. But many members who work for the Dept. of Education neglect to enroll and therefore don’t receive pension benefits when they retire. District Council 37 and Local 372 announced their support of legislation, sponsored by New York state Sen. Diane Savino and Assembly member Nick Perry, that would automatically enroll members in the Board of Education Retirement System. “Under the current enrollment process, too many of our members at the Dept. of Education have missed out on the full pension benefits they are entitled to,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois I applauded the Albany [More...]

No To a Constitutional Convention

February 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

On the November 2017 ballot, New York voters will be asked to decide whether to call a convention to rewrite the New York State Constitution. The constitution mandates that this question be put to a vote every 20 years.  If the measure passes, the state must then schedule another vote in 2018 to choose delegates for the convention. This convention would open in Albany on April 2, 2019, and proposed changes to the state Constitution would likely be put before the voters in November 2019. If this sounds like a long and cumbersome process, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is also a wasteful process that would give big business interests and anti-worker interests the opportunity to attack public services and the retirement security of the men and women who provide them. A convention would cost taxpayers more than $300 million. That is a ridiculous price to pay to give special [More...]

Agreement Protects Pensions of Workers at Cultural Institutions

August 29, 2016 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The union reached a tentative agreement that protects the pensions of DC 37 members working at cultural institutions and other workers who are employed at day-care centers. On Aug. 11, DC 37 concluded talks on the five-year agreement with the employers’ representatives, the Cultural Institutions Group and the Day Care Council of New York, after months of tough negotiations to find a way to preserve the Cultural Institutions Retirement System (CIRS). “The members of our bargaining committee made the hard choices and took the responsible actions needed to protect our hard-won benefits for current employees and to preserve our pension benefits into the future,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. The agreement will maintain the benefits of the 9,000 current employees, including 1,200 DC 37 members enrolled in the pension system. They will still be able [More...]

Union Pensions Are Key to the Security of Working People

July 14, 2016 // 0 Comments

By RAYMOND SANTANDER There is perhaps no greater benefit provided to union members than retirement security, which comes in the form of a defined benefit pension. Members receive the defined benefit, a traditional pension based on their years of service that provides a guaranteed monthy payment, when they retire after many years of dedicated public service — often a hazardous and physically (and emotionally) taxing service. The pension ensures our members a dignified retirement, where the pensioner need not be a burden to the public or a family member. Our retirees pension benefits are modest: about $21,000 to $22,000 per year on average (higher for more recent retirees). With Social Security, many of our retirees have retirement income of about $33,000 per year. This is hardly lavish, given that many of our retirees live in New York City. Our members both contribute their hard-earned [More...]

The Retirement Divide

December 28, 2015 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES As traditional pensions disappear and millions of Americans worry about being unable to enjoy a comfortable retirement, the typical CEO has a nest egg of nearly $49.3 million. The largest 100 CEO retirement packages were worth a total of $4.9 billion in 2014. That means the combined nest eggs of 100 individuals equal the retirement savings of 50 million families, or 41 percent of American families. The country’s growing retirement divide is the subject of a recent report by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government. “The retirement divide is not the result of natural law, but rather the rules established that disproportionately reward company executives far more than ordinary workers,” according to the report, “A Tale of Two Retirements.” In other words, corporations have changed the rules to take care of their CEOs at the [More...]