Archives for Hot Topics

Take Action Now-Save our Pensions!

Over the past several weeks we have been sending out informational pieces regarding the attacks on public employee benefits, and public employees in general. Now we are again calling on you to take action! This week’s message is regarding the Governor’s attempt to eviscerate our pensions.   Unlike the weak arguments made in favor of privatizing Social Security, neither PERS nor STRS is in financial trouble, nor are either of them anticipated to encounter any financial difficulty in the future. The Governor’s attempt at privatizing these pension plans is nothing more than a way to funnel more money into the hands

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PRIVATIZATION WOULD EAT UP MOST SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS

In his State of the Union address last month, President Bush outlined some details of the private accounts he is proposing for the Social Security program, but failed to mention a critical fact about those accounts–individuals who chose to have a private account also would get a large, automatic reduction in their Social Security benefit at retirement. A senior White House official said in a background briefing on Feb. 2 that individuals would give up guaranteed benefits from the traditional system in exchange for private accounts. He said that a retiree would come out ahead if the personal account exceeded

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HELP PROTECT FEDERAL STUDENT AID FROM FRAUD

The House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a public hearing March 1 on a proposal to lift existing rules and allow for-profit trade schools increased access to federal higher education funding. AFT leaders and activists are invited to contact their congressional representatives now to ask for their help in keeping these standards. To protect students from fraud and abuse and to maintain the integrity of the student aid system, Congress must preserve protective measures that guard against misuse. A Jan. 31 report on the CBS “60 Minutes” program highlighted incidents of alleged fraud against students by the for-profit industry. To

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Take Action Now-Equalization Funding!

Over the past several weeks we have been sending out informational pieces regarding the attacks on public employee benefits, and public employees in general. Now that you have a good background of information on these issues, we are now calling on you to take action! Between now and the Governor’s May revision to the State budget, we want to flood his office with phone calls, faxes, and letters to call his attention to the fact that attacking public employees won’t solve the State’s budget crisis. Each week we will send out a new message for you to send out.  Please

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THE RIGHT’S ATTACK ON PUBLIC PENSIONS

By Phil Angelides Monday, February 07, 2005 Phil Angelides is Treasurer of the State of California. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says getting rid of public pension plans for California’s state and local government workers is about helping to balance the budget. Peel back the budget wrapping on his plan, though, and you will find the governor’s real agenda: the California prong of a national attack on the pension funds that have stood up for corporate reform and the interests of ordinary families and investors hurt by the recent wave of corporate scandal. The governor has proposed privatizing government pension plans and

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AFT ASKS CONGRESS TO REJECT BUSH BUDGET PROPOSALS

The AFT is calling on members of Congress to reject the Bush administration’s proposals for the fiscal year 2006 budget, which would reduce funding significantly for education, Medicaid, job training and numerous other domestic programs “critical to helping millions of Americans become productive members of society.” In a March 3 letter to Congress, AFT president Edward J. McElroy notes that at the same time the administration is calling for sharp cuts, it also is advocating additional unpaid-for tax cuts “at the expense of disadvantaged Americans least able to endure these program reductions.” The president’s budget claims to reduce the rapidly

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MEMBER BENEFIT: CREDIT COUNSELING AND DEBT MANAGEMENT

Through the AFT Plus Member Benefit program, a credit counseling program is available to help AFT members become debt-free, learn new money management skills and save for the future. This program, offered by the nation’s largest and most trusted nonprofit consumer credit counseling agency, includes free financial counseling, budget analysis and advice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and free financial planning tools and information. For more information, call 877/833-1745 or go online to http://www.unionplus.org/credit-counseling.cfm.

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SIGN THE PETITION TO STOP PRIVATIZATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY

AFT members are invited to sign an online petition opposing any efforts to privatize Social Security. The petition, sponsored by the AFL-CIO, will be submitted to your representative and senators in Congress, with a copy to President Bush. The AFT believes that the president’s Social Security privatization plan would devastate working families—while handing billions of dollars to rich Wall Street investment companies. Privatization plans to replace guaranteed benefits with risky private accounts would fatally undermine Social Security, cut benefits drastically, most likely raise workers’ retirement age—and saddle our children with $2 trillion in debt. To sign the petition, go to http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/ProtectSocialSecurity.

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Unionists Challenge Schwarzenegger During Fundraising Tour

Before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger could fall into the warm embrace of his pharmaceutical industry friends at the upscale St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, he had to pass through a lunchtime picket line of angry union members. Two hundred labor activists, called up by the AFL-CIO, turned out for the protest—despite a freezing snow shower and 30-mph wind gusts—to chant “Hey hey, ho ho, Schwarzenegger has got to go.” The California governor was in D.C. this week on the third leg of a national fundraising tour. He is attempting to raise $50 million, mostly from corporate donors, to

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Update to “Attacks on our profession”

Many thanks to the strong AFT sisters Tina Fletcher, Yadira Rosas, Carmen Espinoza, Lou Carver, and Lou Ann Gibson for running the all male signature gatherers off the Mesa College Campus!  They said they were going to Wal-Mart instead! You too can do this, wherever you see these petitions, hand out our flier and dissuade people from signing.  The signature gatherers don’t get paid if they don’t get any signatures. Dont sign those petitions!

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