Union coalition to launch pension-related YouTube campaign Friday
The Rhode Island Retirement Security Coalition, an offshoot of the labor-backed Working Rhode Island, plans to lauch a YouTube campaign tomorrow to make its case as the General Assembly moves closer to considering pension reform.
Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association RhodeI Island, says the first video will be “just an explanation of how we got here, basic background on the differences between defined benefit and defined contribution plans, and a call to action at the end — encouraging people to call the governor and the treasurer, and make their point of view known.”
Because the way this process is going to work, the governor and the treasurer are going to promlugate legislation sometime at the end of September, early October, and then the legislature is going to, you know, dispose of that legislation for good or bad, amendments or not, we’re not sure.
Walsh has been a leading voice for using reamortization as part of the answer to Rhode Island’s $7 billion unfunded pension liability. Representative Jon Brien told the ProJo that’s a bad idea, and Treasurer Gina Raimondo has been less than enthusiastic about the concept.
Walsh, who taped Rhode Island Public Radio’s Political Roundtable today, told me afterward, “We have an oligation to defend the benefits of our members and our retired members, so I think we’re going to be very aggressive in looking at things.” He added, “If everything’s on the table, that means . . . . we have to revisit the tax cuts that have been given to the wealthiest among us in the last five years,” while also considering reamortization.