Home Minnesota Educator Who is the Education Minnesota Pension Advocacy Group?

Who is the Education Minnesota Pension Advocacy Group?

Share on
More than 100 educators attended the LCPR listening session in Duluth, along with Education Minnesota staff.

Education Minnesota’s 2023-24 Pension Advocacy Group is made up of 26 members. There are two TRA Tier 2 teachers from each of Education Minnesota’s election districts, as well as three Education Minnesota Governing Board members, two Education Minnesota Retired members, Education Minnesota Vice President Monica Byron and Secretary-Treasurer Rodney Rowe.

As of press time, the PAG has met for a combined 26 hours. Their meetings have focused on learning the ins and outs of the pensions and potential improvement options. They are planning local and statewide organizing actions, setting priorities and taking action on the needed legislative change. They continue to meet with members in their election districts and are meeting with TRA and legislators.

What’s the plan for the next session?

After costing options from TRA come back, the PAG will work with Education Minnesota staff to build a bill that will bring forward equitable improvements for members.

The PAG’s priority is to reduce penalties and lower the Normal Retirement Age. The PAG knows that they need a proposal that will benefit all of our members, reward long-career teachers, be in coordination with TRA, advocate for the largest amount of money possible and not raise educators’ contributions.

What has happened so far this fall?

More than 100 educators attended the LCPR listening session in Duluth, along with Education Minnesota staff.

The PAG has helped coordinate meetings with the LCPR in Duluth and for members to attend the TRA Board meetings.

The PAG also had a table at the MEA conference talking about pensions and answering members’ questions. Many PAG members held events in their areas, especially during workshops weeks and had tables at Intermediate Organization Fall Drive-In events.

On Oct. 30, the LCPR held a listening session in Duluth that was attended by more than 100 educators. It was a listening session on all pension plans, but more than 85% of testifiers were educators on TRA improvements. Those that spoke sent a message to legislators that we need to invest in pensions to lower penalties and have our retirement fund act as the recruitment and retention tool it was created to be. The livestream of the hearing is available on the Education Minnesota Pension Advocacy Network Facebook group.

In early November, the PAG also sent a letter to TRA, asking them to cost out different options for pension improvements. The letter included possible solutions and asked that the costing be done before the legislative session begins in February. On Nov. 8, Education Minnesota Pension Advocacy Group members Joe Wollersheim, Todd Richter, Marty Fridgen, Dan Foss and Jeanne Brown-Kruesel spoke at the TRA meeting during the public comment period, sharing the need for pension reform with the board. After their testimony and the submission of the letter, the TRA Board decided to call a special meeting on Dec. 13 to decide costing direction, a month earlier than they had originally planned.

Similar Posts