Subject: TSEU News Alert: Senator Duncan finds money for state employees' health care and pension systems
TEXAS STATE EMPLOYEES UNION / CWA LOCAL 6186
News Alert: Senator Duncan finds money for state employees' health care and pension systems
On Wednesday, April 13th, Senator Duncan laid out his recommendations to the full Senate Finance committee regarding state employees' healthcare and pension plans. Senator Duncan has worked diligently with all the employee groups to ensure state employees were not harmed by the current budget situation.
While explaining his rationale to the Finance committee, Senator Duncan acknowledged that state employees had taken a significant hit increases ($141 million) on the healthcare side in September, and his intentions were to maintain the current benefit plan intact. His plan included a combination of increases in revenue, reductions in cost trends for healthcare, and other cost savings initiatives to maintain the current plan structure.
Breakdown of assumption made to fund GBP:
- $128 million in baseline adjustment to more accurately reflect plan participation and restoration of roughly $50 million for the "Tiered coinsurance" rider that after further review showed no real savings.
- $100 million addition to help the health care cost trend
- An anticipated reduction in ERS health care cost trend from 9.1% to 8.17%
- Application of the proceeds of the Tobacco user surcharge
- Savings anticipated from ERS dependent coverage audit and provider efficacies
- Ongoing savings from $148 million cost shift (health care increases) that began on September 1st
- Potential cost savings resulting from ERS developing and offering a Medicare Advantage Plan for eligible ERS retirees. (Note: Although TSEU accepts the framework of this plan, this provision specifically is of concern and we will be working with ERS, legislators, and getting member feedback to ensure retirees aren't harmed though implementation of such a program. )
Through some legislative changes and increase in revenue, the state would contribute 6% in FY2012 and 6.5% in FY2013. For the 20-year retirement fund, the state would increase its contribution in 2013 from 0 to .5%.
This development is a major step in the right direction. All the state employee advocates and groups worked on this issue to ensure a better outcome on the healthcare and pension plan for state employees.
We encourage TSEU members to call Senator Duncan's office and thank him for his hard work and finding more funding state employees' health care and pension plans.
District Office (806) 762-1122
Capitol Office (512) 463-0128
Update on HB 3168 – Eliminating Longevity Pay for state employees and judges (Pay Cut Bill)
Pressure is working, Author slows the bill down.
It was anticipated that Callegari, the author, of the HB 3168 (Pay Cut Bill) wanted to pass his bill out of committee this week. Close friends of TSEU in the legislature said Rep. Callegari didn't expect such a large backlash and is considering postponing the vote on the bill. We must continue to put pressure on members of the calendar's committee and Callegari's office to pull down the bill.
We need more calls into legislators and calendars committee members. Please refer to the 4/13/11 update for the names and numbers of members.
Legislative Budget Board gives bill negative score report:
Highlights of the impact statement
- Plan would reduce average salaries by $2,500
- ERS would have to make additional payments to anyone who retired earlier
- Plan would encourage employees who are eligible to retire to do so in lieu of taking a pay cut. Resulting in ERS experiencing a $150 million loss, which would increase their unfunded liability by $ 150 million.
For more details contact:
TSEU AUSTIN Office
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