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URGENT teleconference about our future

Issues that could change our future will be discussed on a Tele-townhall conferenceMonday, April 28 at 5:30 P.M.

LFT President Steve Monaghan and Legislative Director Mary-Patricia Wray will be there to discuss some bills that could silence the voices of teachers and school employees, and other bills that will have a dramatic effect on retiree income.

Please call (855)-756-7520 Ext.24667# at 5:30 P.M. Monday to learn more and to take action!

Tele-townhall topics:

Your payroll choice will be on the line next Wednesday!

Three bills are expected to be heard by the House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee on April 30. In an effort to silence the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and other public sector unions, these bills will strike at our source of funding.

HB 172 by Rep. Kirk Talbot (R-River Ridge), HB 451 by Rep. Alan Seabaugh (R-Shreveport) and HB 1059, also by Rep. Talbot would prohibit public sector unions from collecting member dues through payroll deduction. They are an effort to silence any voice of opposition.

The right of union members to pay their dues through payroll deduction is neither a special privilege nor a burden on taxpayers. It is a service that is available to credit unions, insurance companies and other recognized vendors, as well as unions.

Freedom of speech and freedom of association are crucial to a representative form of government. Prohibiting the payroll deduction of union dues would stifle those freedoms and ultimately weaken our democracy.

Bills would help, hurt retiree income

Bills are under consideration that would provide much-needed Cost of Living Adjustments for retired public servants, including teachers and school employees.

Another would make it very difficult to grant COLAs in the future.

One package of bills is aimed at funding COLAs from the experience accounts of retirement systems for teachers, school employees, state employees and state police. The increases amount to a bit less than $30 per month for each retiree.

The bills, SB 16, SB 18, SB 19 and SB 21, are all authored by the chair of the Senate Retirement Committee, Sen. Elbert Guillory (R-Opelousas). Because of the way Sen. Guillory linked the fates of the four bills, all of them must pass in order for any of the retirees to get a COLA.

The other bill, HB 1225 by Rep. Joel Robideaux (R-Lafayette) would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the four major state retirement systems to provide beneficiaries with cost-of-living increases in the future.

Learn more about these important issues, and what YOU can do, at the LFT Tele-townhall on Monday afternoon at 5:30 P.M. Just call (855)-756-7520 Ext.24667# at 5:30 P.M. Monday to participate.