The Purple Buzz – May 18, 2012

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Quick Quiz:

As part of his overall reform package, Governor Brown has asked the Legislature to enact his 12-point pension reform plan. Most recommendations in the plan, such as banning pension spiking, make sense and we support them.

Which three changes below are likely to be included in the state pension reform legislation expected this summer?

A. Increasing retirement age

B. Sharing normal cost of pension between employer-employee

C. Eliminating pensions for new hires

D. Hybrid pension

Scroll down to see answer.

Take Back Our CaliforniaTake Back Our California: Gov. Brown’s revenue plan

After years of deep cuts, public services that Californians depend on–like education and public safety–no longer live up to the promise of the Golden State. To put it simply, the all-cuts approach hasn’t worked, and working families and their children are paying the price..

It’s time to ask those who continue to profit in this tough economy to invest in California’s comeback. That’s why SEIU 521 is backing Governor Brown’s plan for new revenues–the plan that gives children and communities the best hope for the future.

Read more:

Workers to WellPoint: Stop using our money against working families

Rachel Grocha-Welch and Bob Sigala at CalPERS meeting May 15, 2012SEIU 521 has joined a national movement to stop the corporation WellPoint from using our healthcare dollars to advance a political agenda against working families.

On May 15, members testified against this practice at the CalPERS board meeting in Sacramento.

Read more:

Vote June 5, 2012

June 5 is the primary elections.

Click here to see 521’s endorsement list for union members:

County Supervisor honors public workers

Monterey County Supervisor Fernando Armenta cooking with Glenn SisonFrom flipping omelets in the cafeteria to walking the halls with nurses, Monterey County Supervisor Fernando Armenta spent a day working alongside Natividad Medical Center workers May 10.

The event was in observance of Hospital Week, which is a time to recognize all contributions of hospital employees. It also coincides with National Nurses Week and Public Service Recognition Week.

Read more:

Calling our union veterans and service members!

May 28 is Memorial Day and SEIU Local 521 honors our union sisters and brothers who are veterans or who currently serve. Are you a 521 union member who is also a veteran and/or do you continue to serve?

We want you! Send us an email at Include your name and phone number. Members will be featured on our website.

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Quick Quiz:

Answer: The correct answers are A, B and D.

The State Legislative Committee on Pension Reform has been holding a series of public hearings to gather public input on pension reform.

Among areas likely to see reform are:

A. Retirement age: Instead of raising the retirement age, SEIU is advocating for a modification to the formula for new hires that encourages them to work to 65 but does not severely penalize employees who retire before that age. Applies only to new hires.

B. Sharing normal cost: The Governor is proposing that all employees contribute half the normal cost of their pension. Normal cost is the base cost of providing the agency’s pension plan. Currently the “normal cost” is between 13-16%. Most SEIU Local 521 members already pay “half the normal cost,” or from 6.5-8%. Applies to all current and future employees.

D. Hybrid: The Governor is proposing a Social Security/pension/401K hybrid plan for all new employees. One proposal is for miscellaneous (non safety) employees who earn more than $110,000 in wages, retirement benefits earned after $110,000 would come from a 401K type plan.

For more information on retirement security, visit

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