Summertime is winding down, and for those of you recently retired who will soon be savoring your first September not returning to work, welcome!
Retirement is usually a welcome respite from many years of hard work and the anticipation of having carefree days to indulge your hobbies, spend more time with the grandchildren, or take one of those “bucket list” trips.
We can all agree that having a living wage pension allows many of us the opportunity to not just meet our everyday expenses, but maybe have a little more money for our personal interests. Imagine the anguish and turmoil in your everyday life if that pension is gone? Or dramatically reduced? Or phased out?
I question how many of us would be able to survive without our pensions. We are already living without COLA’s since 2011, and it’s estimated they will not return for another 25 years or more, if ever. I recently read that the stoppage of our COLA’s (cost of living adjustments) will result in a loss of $300,000 to each of us over 25 years!! Incredulous to fathom the impact and financial burden this will place on all of us.
We need a constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot in November to be voted into law to ensure that our pensions will remain fully funded! It all comes down to fairness.
FAIRNESS-– you and I have made every single payment to the pension system, never missing one during our public school employment;
FAIRNESS-– is the fundamental right that we were promised and guaranteed a pension from the first day on the job, and were given no other option besides joining the pension system;
FAIRNESS--despite what Governor Christie says, we are not greedy, and these are not entitlements;
FAIRNESS-– is the moral standard and ethical way to treat people.
So, what can you do to save your pension??? Glad you asked.
Here are just a few ways:
VISIT the website votenjpension.org, and get all the latest updates on the constitutional amendment, to get a voter registration form, volunteer to phone bank, etc. Click on the “Take Action” button, and get ready to make a phone call, fill out a post card, or sign up for other activities.
TALK to your family and friends about how critical your pension is to you personally. Tell them your own story about what your life would be like if you lost your pension. Spread the word.
PLAN to attend our MCREA luncheon on October 26th to receive the latest updates on the amendment from our NJEA staff.
VOTE in November to pass the constitutional amendment. You will be receiving a letter from NJEA/NJREA in September explaining how you can vote by mail.
LOOK for a special MCREA newsletter specific to the constitutional amendment within the next few weeks.
This is personal, folks. Preserve what is rightfully yours. The passage of this amendment is vital to our futures.
On to other matters…. Look in the September issue of our newsletter for information on a trip to the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse to see a “Christmas Musical Revue” show in November. Seats fill up quickly, so get your registration in now.
Our MCREA luncheon will once again be held at Mercer Oaks Golf Course on October 26th, and we encourage you to use the coupon in this newsletter to sign up by the deadline. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to socialize with former colleagues and get updates on our pension and health benefits. Also, immediately following the luncheon that day, we will have a special presentation from Collette Tours regarding a trip to Alaska from July 18-30th, 2017, that we are sponsoring from MCREA. Please check off the box on the luncheon coupon if you plan to attend this presentation.
I look forward to seeing you at many of these events in the upcoming months. Be well, be involved, and enjoy!
Yours in solidarity,
Please visit the specific NJEA link for up to the minute news on the pension battle at www.FundNJpension.org.