Last night, the FCPS School Board voted on changes to the local retirement system (ERFC). When the cuts were first announced eight months ago, many on the school board saw no problem in changing the rules of the game for newly hired teachers. Some were more than willing to let the non-vested, those with less than five years, carry the burden of cuts made to their retirement.
The FEA swung into action. We engaged the school board. We held multiple meetings with school board members to tell them that it was morally wrong to make promises to the non-vested teachers and then renege on them. The school board listened. Last night, they removed the non-vested from consideration.
Unfortunately, they threw next year’s teachers under the bus. Originally, the recommended language was to have the age of retirement set at 55. The school board made a motion to make the retirement requirement be the “Rule of 90”. This motion passed after much debate on the dais. It was disappointing to see what was already going to be a more restrictive practice made worse. Read the full details of the vote, including which school board members supported which proposals here.
The total savings for the school board will be about 2.5 million dollars this year. They say it will be used for salaries but we will have to see over the next couple of weeks if the burden of balancing this budget is not just placed on the shoulders of employees yet again.
I want to thank everyone who made it out to Luther Jackson last night, wrote emails and made phone calls. I would like to thank our coalition partners especially our brothers and sisters at the FCFT. The Fairfax Employees’ Pension Coalition came out in full force as well. I would like to thank our brothers and sisters with the firefighters, police officers, first responders and other public servants. We have your back now and in the future.