Gov. Brown Vetoes Death Benefit Bill Aiding School Support WorkersAiding School Support Workers

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Statement from the California Federation of Teachers:

On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 1878 (Jones-Sawyer), which would have increased a death benefit from the California Public Employees Retirement System intended to offset funeral costs.

CFT President Joshua Pechthalt:
“We are disappointed with Gov. Brown’s decision to veto Assembly Bill 1878. Currently, the death benefit paid out by CalPERS to the families of its deceased members is $2,000, and has not increased since 2000. This is far from adequate. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average cost for a funeral is over $7,000. AB 1878, which received strong support in both the Assembly and the State Senate, would have given the CalPERS board the authority to raise the death benefit based on the Consumer Price Index. Not doing so hurts working men and women and their families during a very difficult time. We thank Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) for his work on this legislation.”

CFT Council of Classified Employees President Paula Phillips:
“This piece of legislation would have directly benefited classified workers in public education and their families. These are the people who fill crucial roles in our education system, from maintenance staff and cafeteria workers to bus drivers and office workers. AB 1878 would have lent some dignity to a grieving family faced with a funeral bill for a loved one who might have made a modest living.”


The California Federation of Teachers is the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, and represents more than 100,000 faculty and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. More info: