Tuesday, September 7, 2010

On Your Next Pay Check......

As Walled Lake Educators you will be receiving your first paycheck on September 10th, 2010. When you do you will notice the new/additional 3% retirement tax being taken from your pay. It will be listed after the title, “Health Care Fund” at the bottom right corner of your pay stub.

Below is a summary of the MEA’s lawsuit against MPSERS drafted by the MEA general counsel. This was sent today by Lu Battaglieri, the Executive Director of the MEA.

MEA is pursuing a lawsuit challenging the legality of the additional 3% contribution that school employees must make to the Michigan Public Schools Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) on wages earned beginning July 1, 2010. This additional contribution, which is going to be used to pay for the retiree health insurance of current retirees, was included in legislation passed earlier this year. The lawsuit, brought by five MEA members in the Michigan Court of Claims, alleges that the legislation breaches contractual rights of school employees and violates various provisions of the Michigan and United States constitutions.

At the beginning of the lawsuit, Court of Claims Judge James Giddings issued a preliminary injunction requiring that MPSERS place the 3% contribution in a separate interest-bearing escrow account and stopping MPSERS from using that money until further order of the court. By issuing the preliminary injunction, the court is ensuring that school employees will be able to receive a refund of the additional 3% contribution, if the lawsuit is ultimately successful.

Both sides agree that the lawsuit does not present factual disputes that would require a trial. On August 26, Judge Giddings heard oral arguments on the case. He will be issuing a written decision on the legal issues raised in the lawsuit. While a decision is pending, MEA is proceeding with the court procedure for having this case certified as a class action lawsuit.

Although a decision from Judge Giddings is expected in the near future, it is also anticipated that the case will be appealed by the losing party, so the case will most likely continue for a considerable period of time.