Retired Teachers Urged to Speak Out, Contact Legislators
“How our pensions are funded is extremely important,” CEA-Retired President Gloria Brown told her colleagues this morning. “Get on the phone, send a letter or an email to your legislators. We have to do something—we can’t let the state shift the cost of teacher pensions onto cities and towns.”
Brown and other leaders of CEA-Retired told the hundreds of retired teachers gathered this morning for the CEA-Retired Spring Business Meeting that they must take action against legislative proposals for a teacher pension cost shift. Such proposals would force cities and towns to raise taxes and cut essential services.
“These are scary times,” CEA-Retired Legislative Committee Co-Chair Myles Cohen said. “I know that when you’re in a school system every year it’s doom and gloom, and after a while you get desensitized. This is serious. I’m very concerned—as are CEA officers and staff and our CEA-Retired officers.”
“Get to know your legislators by their first names so that when you call them they will know who you are and where you live,” former CEA-Retired President Greta Stanford urged her fellow retirees. “We have fantastic people at CEA who go to the legislature and lobby for us, but lawmakers absolutely must hear from their constituents.”
“If we sit back and don’t participate and contact our legislators we will be in serious trouble,” said Cohen. “This could be the beginning of a snowball that will impact teachers coming up, but will also impact us.”
“Even if you’ve already contacted them, contact your legislators again,” Brown urged. “This is a tax increase on everyone in the state of Connecticut. It’s creating chaos for all our local boards of education. They don’t know what to do—do we layoff teachers, do we cut programs? These are our neighbored children who are going to be impacted, these are our grandchildren, these are our former colleagues.”
Brown added, “If towns cut teaching positions, not only do our children lose out—it also exacerbates the pension problem as there will be fewer active teachers contributing to the fund.”