Social Security Reform

This is the year that Social Security Reform will likely come to a vote on the floor of the US House of Representatives. It almost did last year.

Fortunately, we have CT Representative John Larson chairing the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security. On Jan. 30, he will introduce a Social Security Reform Bill.

House Bill 141, Social Security Fairness Act of 2019 – 2020, is to repeal the GPO/WEP.

What is the GPO? Government Pension Offset

What is the WEP? Windfall Elimination Provision

Why should you be interested? Because your retirement pension will be impacted in certain circumstances!!!

Particularly if you are a second-career teacher and have more than 40 credits of Social Security.

To the best of my knowledge, Representatives John Larson, Jim Himes, and Jahana Hayes have not signed on to co-sponsor this bill. I suggest you reach out to contact them to co-sponsor this important bill.

John Larson: 860-278-8888

Jim Himes: 860-453-0028

Jahana Hayes: 860-223-8412

It is important that they be contacted in order to include the repeal of the GPO/WEP in any Social Security Reform Bill.

Representatives Joe Courtney and Rosa Delauro have already co-sponsored the repeal bill. You could thank them and ask them to urge their colleagues to co-sponsor H.R.141 as well.

Posted in Education & Politics

WHEA World Newsletter December 2018

WHEA World Newsletter Volume 10 Issue 2

whea12.18

 

Posted in WHEA News

Press Release: Health Insurance a Sticking Point

For Immediate Release
November 19, 2018

Health Insurance a Sticking Point in West Hartford Teacher Contract Negotiations
Board of Education says no to moving to the state plan, which would save local taxpayers millions.

Teacher contract negotiations in West Hartford are at a standstill over the issue of health insurance. The West Hartford Education Association, representing more than 900 teachers, has asked the town to move teachers to the State Partnership Health Insurance plan. The move would save the town nearly a million dollars a year, but the Board of Education is refusing the proposal, opting for a plan that would be more costly to teachers.

“Moving to the state healthcare plan is a win-win for teachers and West Hartford taxpayers, providing a means to combat increasing health insurance costs,” said West Hartford Education Association President Theresa McKeown. “The plan would save the district over $800,000 in the current year, and over a million dollars a year for the life of the contract.” Continue reading

Posted in Education & Politics, West Hartford

David Simon WH BOE Meeting Nov. 20th

Posted in Uncategorized

West Hartford Teachers Wear Red for Ed!

Read the full article here

West Hartford Teachers Wear #RedforEd to Support Contract Negotiations

“If you were wondering why there are so many people wearing red in the audience tonight, it’s to show support for the contract negotiations with the Board of Education— to improve teachers’ working conditions, salaries, and health benefits,” said West Hartford Education Association Negotiations Chair David Simon.

More than 100 West Hartford teachers wearing #redfored crowded into Town Council chambers to show their support for Simon’s remarks during public comment at a Board of Education meeting last night.

Teacher contract negotiations in West Hartford are at a standstill over the issue of health insurance. The West Hartford Education Association, representing more than 800 teachers, has asked the town to move teachers to the State Partnership Health Insurance plan.

“Moving to the state healthcare plan is a win-win for teachers and West Hartford taxpayers, providing a means to combat increasing health insurance costs,” said West Hartford Education Association President Theresa McKeown. “The plan would save the district over $800,000 in the current year, and over a million dollars a year for the life of the contract.”

At least 33 districts have moved teachers to the State Partnership Health Insurance plan since May 2015, when the State Legislature passed the bill allowing local associations the choice to join the state employee healthcare plan. The state plan shares the risk with a much larger pool of state and municipal employees, which helps hold down premium costs, saving cities and towns millions of dollars annually.

Instead of implementing the state healthcare plan for teachers, West Hartford wants a plan that would significantly increase premium share costs to teachers as well as shift the plan design, increasing prescription costs and out-of-pocket maximum expenses.

“The Connecticut Partnership Plan is better than what we have at the moment, and certainly much better than the plan being proposed by the board of education in our negotiations,” Simon said. “The plan the board is supporting would result in a loss of earnings for over half the teachers in our district.”

The proposed Board of Education health plan would require teachers to pay more for less coverage. These increased costs would negate any salary increases for the most veteran, skilled teachers. For many teachers, the increase in premium costs would result in a pay cut, with teachers taking home less pay this year than they did last year.

“With the loss of earnings, many teachers would leave for more lucrative jobs in the area,” Simon said. “Over the last 10 years of contracts, our salaries have not kept up with inflation, even as we still provide a superior education for our community.”

During her public comments, West Hartford parent and former UConn basketball player and assistant coach Meghan Culmo remarked that her red attire was coincidental as she was at the meeting to speak to another issue, but added, “Rock on teachers!”

Simon concluded, to cheers and a standing ovation, “People come to West Hartford for the education. If the people of our town value the superior education West Hartford is famous for and has traditionally offered your children and community, it is time to support your teachers.”

Posted in Education & Politics, West Hartford