Play ball! As we round third base and head for home (home being the summer break), we have one more activity for this academic year. Our final meeting for the 2017-2018 year is one week away! We will meet at 9:30 for brunch on Monday, May 7th at the Murray Woman’s Clubhouse on Vine Street. Please note the change from the usual time.
As retired teachers, we’ve had a pretty good batting average for the year with some singles, doubles, and home runs. The gigantic home run of course was fighting off the draconian and disastrous changes that were proposed for the state’s pension plan. The COLA was protected and there were no changes to current retired teachers’ benefits. (Even the under-65 retired group will have their health insurance premiums covered for the next two years.)
We fouled off a lot of pitches along the way, particularly with regard to soon-to-be-hired teachers, but even there, I would have to count that as a double. The proposed 401(a) plan would have been a total strikeout for new teachers, but the hybrid cash-balance plan (while not as good as a defined-benefit plan) is workable as long as it doesn’t deter young people from entering the profession. So the result of getting that changed is a double credited to KRTA members.
On a net-tax basis, the tax bill should probably classified as a strikeout since it gives $20 million to cash-rich Humana and Yum Brands (and $80 million to all corporations), as well as large tax breaks to high-income individuals. It also reduces the retired teachers’ exemption from $41,110 to $31,110, so there’s the potential of $10,000 of additional taxable income for some of us (at a 5% tax rate = $500 of additional taxes).
But the accompanying budget bill did come up with greatly needed money for the school systems, so let’s count the budget bill as a triple.
The game is just beginning, with many more innings to play in future years. It will be a battle each year, but the teachers are energized and have begun to realize the tremendous power we possess when we play as a unified team. The upcoming elections will determine how strong our opposition will be, but fortunately we get to influence that.
So the first inning is complete and we have a break before we hit the field again. Let’s enjoy the respite and come together for some nourishment, reflection, and celebrating.
Our speakers for the upcoming program are the outgoing and incoming Presidents of the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association. (Not to be confused with the outgoing and incoming Executive Directors of KRTA, who were our speakers at the December meeting. The President serves as a volunteer, the Director is paid.) I’m sure they will have much to say about the recently completed legislative session.
No reservations are required for this meal since it will not be catered. The brunch will be provided courtesy of our retired colleagues from the Murray Independent School system.
As with other meetings, Todd Hill will provide one of his talented music students to entertain us with beautiful background music as we dine.
Please note that the minutes for the March 26th CCRTA meeting are viewable here.
I hope you can join us! Here are the details:
When: Monday, May 7th, 2018, at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Murray Woman’s Clubhouse at 704 Vine Street
What: A presentation by the state-wide KRTA president
How: Just be here for the 1st pitch at 9:30 a.m.!
A final note:
The governor has stated that the teachers didn’t give up enough during this session – that they were selfish and didn’t do enough to solve the problem. Our response: Governor, during the upcoming elections, we’re going to bring a bigger bat to the plate!