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NEA’s Walsh gives thumb’s down to leaked pension overhaul plan

October 14, 2011

Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association Rhode Island, says his union will fiercely oppose the pension overhaul plan due to be unveiled Tuesday if it closely resembles the leaked version whose details were published today by the Providence Journal.

In particular, Walsh says plans to freeze cost of living adjustments, COLAs, for retirees would sap their buying power of retirees:

For folks at the lower end of the pension scale, that’s the difference between getting medications and not getting medications, or eating or not eating, or paying your mortgage or not. This is going to have a devastating effect on the Rhode Island economy.

Treasurer Gina Raimondo says she’s sympathetic to the concerns expressed by Walsh, but that sacrifices are necessary to solve the state’s pension problem.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Craig O'Connor permalink
    October 15, 2011 8:41 pm

    how about asking the wealthiest, who have gotten massive tax breaks over the past 20 years and pay way less than they used to, to chip in in stead of taking money from retired people who were promised a pension? Despite media portrayals, political propaganda and politicians pandering to the the public, many public workers retirees are not receiving crazy pensions. what if our social security was taken? what if Medicare was taken away? We’d be up in arms, in the streets. If it’s not ok to cut the public pensions of most of us, why is it ok to take pensions from these folks?

  2. Craig O'Connor permalink
    October 15, 2011 8:43 pm

    Ms. Raimondo – Why are you only asking workers to make a sacrifice and not those who can actually afford it? YOU and Gov. Chafee and RISC and the others are the ones declaring class war on working people.

  3. Mister Guy permalink
    October 18, 2011 1:33 am

    Having a defined benefit retirement plan that doesn’t have a yearly COLA is just slow financial suicide. Any 401(k) system that’s worth its soul has the option of purchasing a retirement annuity that will yield payments that gradually increase over time in order to combat inflation.

    Taking away a COLA for just a few years has a *much* different impact on retirees than eliminating COLA’s altogether.

    I have a distinct feeling that Raimondo is offering this part of her pension reform plan in hopes that she can deal it away for something else that she wants more than eliminating COLAs. If she thinks that she’s going to get away within eliminating COLAs that were promised to current retirees, she’s living in a political & judicial fantasy world, period.

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