On Tuesday, September 10, SEIU Local 888 President Mark DelloRusso testified at a State House hearing in support of new incentives for state employees to retire early.
The proposed bill, "An Act Relative to an Early Retirement Incentive for Early Retirement," (Senate Bill 1256) would allow state employees in both Group 1 and 2 to add five years to their age, years of service, or a combination of both (adding up to no more than five years total) to enhance the calculation of their retirement benefit.
"Legislators may believe that passage of this bill will be costly," said DelloRusso. "However, there is potentially a huge savings for taxpayers if older state workers are allowed to retire earlier and new jobs for younger workers are opened up.
"When those younger workers move up to fill vacancies, morale improves and productivity increases," DelloRusso continued. "Younger workers filling those vacancies are not at the top of the pay scale, yet their skills are comparable with the older workers they replace. Services improve and taxpayers save money."
Local 888 unites thousands of state employees who work for the Lottery, UMass Lowell, Mass. Department of Transportation, the State Police, the Department of Public Safety and the Soldiers' Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke.
The hearing was before the Commonwealth's Joint Committee on Public Service. The lead sponsor of the bill is Senator Michael O. Moore (D Millbury).