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Instead of Destroying Teacher Pensions, Lansing GOP Should Fix the Roads

New legislation hurts students, costs taxpayers billions, doesn’t fix roads

LANSING – The Michigan AFL-CIO issued the following statement today commenting on new legislation introduced by a handful of Lansing Republicans that will destroy pensions for Michigan’s teachers and school employees.

“This is one of the dumbest ideas to come out of Lansing in a long time,” said Ron Bieber, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “The key to a good job is a good education. We should be doing everything we can to attract the best and the brightest people to careers in public education, to help our kids get the skills they need to compete for good-paying jobs.

“But this bill does the exact opposite. It will cost taxpayers billions of dollars, and it will completely destroy pensions for new teachers, bus drivers, and librarians, leaving them without access to the most efficient and secure method of saving for retirement. That’s great news for the CEOs on Wall Street, but it’s bad for students, bad for parents, and bad for taxpayers.

“Republicans in Lansing are deeply divided on this issue, and for good reason. As former Sen. Roger Kahn explained, ‘There is no way to close the pension plan and provide a similar benefit without also costing the state a heck of a lot more money.’ He’s right, and his fellow Republicans should listen.

“But let’s be clear about what’s really going on here. Republicans in the legislature are getting enormous pressure from wealthy corporate donors like the DeVos family, who would rather take pensions away from teachers than pay their fair share to improve our schools or fix our roads and bridges. Republicans would be wise to listen to Sen. Kahn and reject this legislation. Instead, they should just focus on fixing the damn roads.”

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Call your legislators & tell them to protect teacher pensions

Republicans in Lansing are getting ready to launch a new round of attacks on working families next week, and we need to start fighting back right now.

These new bills are being pushed by the billionaire DeVos family to destroy pensions for newly-hired teachers, librarians, and bus drivers.

Call your legislator right now at 866-834-6910.

Tell them not to support any legislation that would take away pensions from teachers and school employees.

Destroying pensions would make it even harder to attract and retain the best and the brightest people to careers in public education. That’s bad for educators, bad for students, and bad for families.

Thanks to you, we were able to defeat these bills last December – and if we take action by calling our legislators right now, we can do it again.

Call 866-834-6910.

Tell your legislator to do the right thing.

Tell them to vote NO on any bill that destroys teacher pensions.

28th Annual Michigan HRDI Golf Outing

Please SAVE THE DATE so you can join us this summer for the Michigan HRDI 28th Golf Outing which will be held at Eldorado Golf Course, 3750 West Howell Road in Mason, Michigan on Friday, June 16, 2017. Golf will begin with a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m., with lunch at the turn and dinner following the conclusion of golf.

The $150.00 per person donation includes green fees, a golf cart, lunch, dinner, refreshments, great raffle prizes and much more. Starting hole assignments will be issued upon full payment. Individuals wishing to play will be grouped with others to make foursomes.

If you’re not able to spend the day golfing, here’s another opportunity: “Golf Tee Sponsorships” are available at $500 for a large sign and $150 for a small sign. That is an excellent way to get your name out there!

The popularity of this event and the number of players possible under the shotgun format limits participation, so to ensure a spot for yourself or your team, please send in the attached registration form and check as soon as possible to the address below.

Michigan HRDI, Golf Outing, 419 S. Washington Ave., Ste. 300, Lansing, MI 48933-2138. Make checks payable to “Michigan HRDI.”

For more information, call Patty Farhat at (517) 487-5966 or email her at pfarhat@miaflcio.org. We hope to see you on the golf course on June 16th! The staff of HRDI sincerely appreciates your participation.

HRDI Golf Outing Registration Form:

New Report: Michigan CEOs Paid 391 Times More Than Rank-and-File Workers

Searchable Executive PayWatch Report: www.PayWatch.org

LANSING – A new report from the AFL-CIO reveals that S&P 500 CEOs in Michigan were paid 391 times more than rank-and-file workers in 2016. The annual Executive PayWatch report shows that average compensation for S&P 500 CEOs in Michigan was $14,712,548 in 2016, while production and nonsupervisory workers earned an average salary of $37,600.

“Right now the economy is out of balance,” said Ron Bieber, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “That’s no accident. It’s because Republicans in Lansing and Washington have manipulated the rules of the economy to favor their corporate donors, while regular working families struggle to get by. We need to build an economy that works for everyone, including the middle class. That means giving workers the right to speak up together for stronger paychecks, the right to earn paid time off, and more time to be with family.”

The Executive PayWatch website is the most comprehensive searchable online database tracking CEO pay. This year’s Executive PayWatch report also found:

– The highest paid executive in Michigan was Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, who earned $22,963,059 in 2016, which amounts to 610 times more than the average rank-and-file worker’s pay.

– The average S&P 500 CEO in Michigan earns approximately $7,073 per hour. At that rate, these CEOs only have to work about 5 hours and 20 minutes to make as much as an average rank-and-file worker earns in an entire year.

– S&P 500 CEOs in Michigan were paid 795 times more than full-time minimum wage workers, who earn just $8.90 per hour in Michigan.

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