Where are our unions and our public employers? We need them if we are going to get rid of the GPO and WEP. That’s where the power is. What can you do to wake them up? Choose a public agency or union to work on. If each of us has a target agency or union, we will get more of a response. (School district central office personnel are usually working at least part of the time, the school is out for holidays)
We have 4850 members from across the country. Our members are mostly retired public workers who have been hit by the WEP and the GPO. As of Oct. 2016, it was estimated 1.7 million retirees were affected by the WEP and about 650,000 affected by the GPO. In addition, there are millions of active public workers who won’t even know how badly the offsets will hit them until they retire. Their employers and unions for some reason have not emphasized this situation. Why not?
Supporters of public employees often complain about threats to pensions, but they rarely mention that many public workers lose their earned Social Security benefits. This has to change!
Here’s what you can do:
1. Chose a public agency (school district, fire department, etc.) It doesn’t have to be your former employer.
2. If you aren’t sure, talk to the financial administrator and verify that neither the agency or school district nor the employees pay into FICA.
3. Find out what the agency does to inform employees that not only will they not be earning SS benefits, they will not have what they earned in other careers. Their benefits will be cut or completely lost, as in the case of spousal or survivor benefits. (There is a law that they must inform new hires. Have they told long-time employees? )
4. Connect with the union or other employee association and offer to talk to a meeting. Direct them to ssfairness.org and suggest that they might want to use our PowerPoint slide show.
5. Contact us and let us know how it went. Be sure to tell us the name and location of the agency/union that you are working on. We need to know the contact person.
Cheated employees deserve to know!