As the state looks for ways to close its projected $1.5 billion budget hole, the governor has proposed a new system whereby towns would beginning contributing to the teacher pension fund, shifting that burden away from the State. As reported by Patch,
Currently teachers contribute 6 percent of their salary to the fund while the state’s share equals 30 percent of salary. Under the new proposed system towns would contribute about 10 percent of teacher salary. Teachers would continue to pay six percent. Read the full article here.
As CEA President Sheila Cohen noted, this plan must be viewed with extreme caution, not to mention a healthy dose of skepticism. While the plan recognizes the state’s financial obligations to teachers, forcing municipalities to contribute to the pension fund could have serious, unintended consequences, possibly resulting in cuts to classes and other educational programs, teacher layoffs, reduced salaries in subsequent contract negotiations, and larger class sizes for our students.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this proposal and CEA’s response to it as budget talks progress.