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Defending OT in Pension Calculations

STATE CAPITOL, MARCH 15, 2018--UHP President Bill Garrity was back at the Legislative Office Building today to testify before the Labor and Public Employees Committee over SB 461, "An Act Omitting Certain Pay From a State Employee's Final Average Salary Calculation on or After July 1, 2021."

Following is his testimony:

Good Afternoon Senator Miner, Senator Gomes, Representative Porter and members of the Labor and Public Committee. I would like to take this opportunity to speak today against SB 461 An Act Omitting Certain Pay from a State Employees’ Final Average Salary Calculation on or After July 1, 2027

My name is Bill Garrity and I am a Registered Nurse of 28 years, with 22 years invested in state service. I am the President of University Health Professionals AFT Local 3837, representing 2650 members, many of whom are considered Essential Employees every time the Governor shuts down the state for public safety. We are there for the public safety!

I spoke against a similar bill last year, and my beliefs have only grown stronger. The health care personnel I represent and cannot be here want you to know: Much of the overtime we do is forced on us. We do not want to stay, but we are there to take care of and protect the public. During two of the last thee snow storms, we’ve had management talk about refusing to let us leave the hospital for fear of the next shift not being able to make it in. People were FORCED to stay. It was FORCED OVERTIME. If you want to stop overtime, give us enough staff.

With the SEBAC 2017 agreement, any SERS Tier 2A state employee –  that would be anyone hired after 1998 –  will be paying 4% to their pension. Using round numbers, if this employee would be making $100,000 they would be paying $4000 directly into their pension. Now let’s assume they make $25,000 in overtime, that is another $1000 that would automatically be contributed to their pension. So, we would be paying into it but would not be able to see the benefit of those contributions?

SB 461 is just another attack on State employees. These attacks need to stop. We have worked very hard to serve the citizens of Connecticut. We gave up a lot last year -- $1.7 billion. You will not be able to fix our fiscal issues solely on our backs.

I would like to again thank you for your time.

Bill Garrity RN
UHP President
AFT Local 3837

(Photo courtesy Neal Thomassen, AFT Connecticut)

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