LEGISLATION : OUR NEXT BEST STEPS:
Barbara Diskowski, Area IV and Div. 52 Legislative Representative
First of all, a big “Thank You” to all the writers who gathered at the CCCOE on Sept.26 to write cards and letters thanking our U. S. Representatives and U.S. Senators for Co-sponsoring the Social Security Fairness Act of 2013. We also sent mail to others who still need to join the cause. Bills in Congress extend for two years so that’s why we add – 2013.
Joining us at the Write –In were Brenda Kerby, and Nellie Hinds, both lead committee members; Russ Rackow, Lorrie Osborn, Jeanne Walker, Marge and Ed Hennigar, Dick Bergamini, Pat Martin, and Carole Meylan. Contributing to the writing off- site were Barbara Russell-Cambra, Martha Riley, Vivian Boyd, and Tom Blanks.
Overall, we were able to send out over 300 cards and letters. What a big accomplishment! Thank these members when you see them, please. They did an amazing job for our division. Seriously consider joining this group at our next activity day. We had fun winning door prizes, enjoying spirited conversations, and healthy snacks.
Now other Divisions in Area IV are asking for help in conducting their activity days in the coming months. Activity Days can take many different shapes and sizes. Some Divisions could write cards out at a luncheon meeting. Others may want to gather in small groups within the larger membership. Many have a morning or afternoon set aside to write, email, or phone their legislators ‘ offices. Of course, it is always good to make appointments and meet with your local state senators and assembly members in groups of four or five CalRTA members to explain just what the GPO/WEP means to retired teachers. Our state legislators do not legislate this issue, but just good general information about this issue is important to share out at all levels.
Our next step will be gathering signatures to send to Washington, D.C. urging action on the issue of the GPO, the Government Pension Offset, and the WEP, the Windfall Elimination Provision. The GPO deals with confiscating any Social Security benefits from public school retired teachers that their spouses earned during the spouse’ retirement or after the spouses passes away. The WEP takes away 2 of every 3 dollars that the retired public school teacher actually earned herself or himself. Go to http://ssfairness.com and http://grc.calrtamembers.org/ for more information