Chair Talk

June 2017

On Monday, May 15 I attended the Lapeer Chapter of MARSP (Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel) and gave them an update on the Okrie lawsuit. After explaining the status and answering questions, the 20 retirees in attendance donated $113 to go towards funding the lawsuit.

On Friday, May 19 I attended a CSR (Coalition for A Secure Retirement) and gave them an update on the Okrie case. CSR is a Coalition of various unions/organizations (MEA, MEA-R, AFSCME, SEIU, AFT, Detroit AFT and others) that meet with legislators and keep track of any legislation that may affect retirees. After discussion on the Okrie Suit the President indicated that he and the Executive Board would review their budget and discuss the litigation and get back with me. I joined that organization (CSR) as an individual member.

On May 31, I was invited to the Tawas Bay Resort to address the delegates from NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees) and give them an update on the status of the Okrie litigation. Federal retirees were also affected by the Pension Tax. I was notified on June 3rd that Michigan NARFE was contributing $2000 toward the Okrie lawsuit.

There are currently 8 House Bills and 2 Senate Bills that have been introduced by various legislators that would modify (in some fashion) the current pension tax. We will be watching these Bills closely. We will be meeting with various legislators and testifying before committees in support of those bills that are favorable to us.

On Thursday June 5, THE FLINT SERA CHAPTER (CURRENT MEMBERSHIP 0F 84) HAS ISSUED A CHALLENGE TO OTHER SERA CHAPTERS TO MATCH THEIR CONTRIBUTION OF $1000.00 TO THE Okrie et al LAWSUIT. THAT $1000 CONTRIBUTION IS 1/3 OF THE AMOUNT THEY HAVE IN THEIR CHAPTERíS ACCOUNTS. THE FLINT CHAPTER VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO SHOW THEIR FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF THE LOSS OF THEIR PENSION EXEMPTIONS. LETíS SEE HOW OTHER SERA CHAPTERS RESPOND TO THE FLINT CHAPTERíS CHALLENGE.

Editor’s note: Bob Kopasz is Chair of the Michigan SERA Council. He may be reached at P.O. Box 692, Mt. Morris, MI 48458; phone 810/240-8380.