Topic: Retirement Security

Article retiree chapters coronavirus

Tips for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic
How one retiree chapter is supporting seniors during stay at home

By Susan Morgan, President, AFT Local 1931 Retiree Chapter

As a retiree chapter, one of our current challenges is to find new ways to stay connected, be supportive, and sustain our esprit de corps. The current pandemic has increased challenges for retirees, many of whom were already dealing with the social challenges of isolation and loneliness. These newly heightened mental health concerns are real, and our task is to find meaningful ways to connect with our members to support our common union values and goals.

Article coronavirus retiree chapters

Being retired in the time of Covid-19

By Dennis Cox, Southern Vice President, Council of Retired Members

AFT retirees have contributed so much to American education, and are in line for well-deserved gratitude from their students, colleagues and communities. You warrant a heartfelt thanks for what you have done, and for staying home and keeping yourselves safe during this outbreak. You are extremely valuable citizens. So, thank you to all who have served, and are now staying safely sheltered in your homes! Please continue to do all you can to stay safe.

Article CalPERS

CalPERS bails out of private prisons
Drops $12 million investment in GEO Group and CoreCivic

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, CalPERS, recently rattled the cages of the for-profit prison industry by divesting nearly $10 million of stock in the country’s two biggest private jailers.

The August sell-off came on the heels of the California State Teachers Retirement System, CalSTRS, dropping its $12 million investment in GEO Group and CoreCivic (formerly known as the Corrections Corporation of America).

Article CalPERS

Michael Bilbrey for CalPERS Board Member
This election will be very close. Every vote counts. Here’s how to cast your vote

The CFT has endorsed and strongly encourages your support for Michael Bilbrey in the runoff election for the CalPERS Board of Administration.

  • As a long-time labor leader, Bilbrey has demonstrated his commitment over many years to protecting defined benefit pension plans and ensuring affordable healthcare.
California Teacher CalSTRS CalPERS

Pension battles shift from ballots to courts
Tracking the latest strategies that attack public employee pensions

For years, people have been trying to attack pensions with ballot propositions, said Doug Orr, an economics professor at City College of San Francisco and the chair of the of the CFT Retirement Policy Committee. Those propositions always go down in defeat, Orr said, and now those attacks on pensions are coming to the courts. 

California Teacher Medicare Social Security

Retirees prepare to stand firm in a hostile new world
Social Security and Medicare targeted by majority party

Candidate Donald Trump told the American people he didn’t want to cut Social Security, but Republicans have opposed the system since its creation during the Depression.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has talked about “means testing” Social Security. In other words, wealthy seniors wouldn’t get benefits because they don’t need them. But they wouldn’t pay into the system, either, and losing the top 10 percent of contributors could lead to financial havoc. 

California Teacher CalSTRS gun control divestment

CFT urges CalSTRS to divest from gun manufacturers now
New documentary film Gun-Free Retirement features CFT members

In April 2013, a few months after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that killed 20 children and six adult staff members, the board of California State Teachers’ Retirement System voted to divest from firms making weapons that are illegal to own in California. More than two years later, that hasn’t happened, and Joshua Pechthalt, president of the CFT, wants to make sure it does. Soon.

Article part-time faculty CalSTRS

CalSTRS offers more assistance with service credit reporting

​By Sharon Hendricks, Los Angeles College Faculty Guild and CalSTRS Board Member

To help part-time faculty understand how districts report service credit and to ensure they receive all service credit they have earned throughout their teaching careers when they retire, CalSTRS has opened new centers in Irvine, Glendale, and Santa Clara, staffed by benefits counselors trained to navigate part-time-faculty issues.

Article CalSTRS

Legislature passes significant changes in CalSTRS contributions

In June 2014, the California Legislature made significant changes in contributions to the California State Teachers Retirement System. The CFT formed a task force to study the issue of the system’s “unfunded liability” and to submit the union’s recommendations to the governor and the Legislature. Learn about the changes passed by the Legislature and the union’s positions below.