SEANC releases list of Top Policy Platform Objectives for 2016 session
Jan 21, 2016
Jim Pressley, Policy Platform Committee Chairman
Brothers and sisters,
We all know 2015 was not a terribly good year for SEANC and its members. Aside from all the other distractions, we faced intense opposition in the General Assembly almost from the moment they were first called to order. We did not receive a real pay raise or COLA, but our staff and grassroots lobbyists did successfully hold off bills meant to weaken us or to roll back some of our rights and benefits.
Now, the holidays are over and 2016 has begun. As elections loom, there is hope that campaigns will recognize the importance of state employees and recognize the debt owed to retirees. Continued pressure from both staff and members could bring about some long overdue concessions on pay and benefits in the General Assembly’s upcoming short session. But we must remain unified on the issues our members determined to be the most important for the coming year.
SEANC members annually rank those issues and a Top Ten List of most popular policy platform objectives is published. You will find the entire list here.
As in previous years, pay, retirement and health care are among the most identified issues. Opposition to privatization is highly ranked. Protecting dues deductions and SEANC access to workplaces made the list as well.
We must rally on these objectives and press our Senators and Representatives to do what is right. In this year’s so-called “short session”, bills can move quickly in the Legislature, and last minute amendments can turn a harmless bill into an attack on state workers and/or retirees without warning. So we must stay at the ready. I trust you are all ready and willing to make some phone calls to your Legislators to defend and improve your rights, pay, and benefits.
State Policy Platform Chairman
2015-2016 Top Ten Policy Platform Objectives
- Seek to reestablish a fully paid individual health care benefit equivalent to the current PPO 80/20 in place as of June 30, 2013, for all active qualified and retired state employees
- SEANC will oppose privatization and downsizing of state government services
- Request that GA fully fund employee salary compensation prior to considering other appropriations
- Seek to have SEANC continue to protect dues deduction options from being deleted from the North Carolina state payroll
- SEANC supports continuation of a defined benefit retirement plan for current and future state retirees
- Seek cost of living adjustment (COLA) for retired state employees in the amount equal to active state employee pay increases
- Oppose legislation that would remove state employees from the protections of the State Human Resources Act
- Seek to provide the state income tax exemption provided through the Bailey Act to all retired state employees
- Seek restoration of the employer's contribution to the Retirement System that will at least match the employee’s contribution
- Seek legislation allowing SEANC full access to public workplaces for the purposes of member recruitment without employee intimidation or enforced limits to SEANC information, personnel and volunteers