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Governor's early retirement proposal should not only achieve savings, but fairness

March 30, 2015

SEIU Local 888 President Mark DelloRusso testified before the Commonwealth's Joint Committee on Public Service on March 30 regarding, "An Act providing for an employee retirement incentive program" (House Bill 61).

[caption id="attachment_5878" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Local 888 President Mark DelloRusso testified at the hearing on early retirement. Local 888 President Mark DelloRusso testified at the hearing on early retirement.[/caption]

DelloRusso told the committee that Local 888 supports the Governor's proposal to offer an early retirement incentive to state employees, but emphasized that for the current early retirement proposal to be successful, it should be broadened to achieve its goal of 4,500 early retirees.

"It is unrealistic to assume that one third of the eligible Executive Branch employees will take the package," said DelloRusso.  "In 2002, a much broader proposal for early retirement incentives sought 6,700 retirees. Yet only 4,584 employees took the package. That proposal included the State Lottery, Higher Education and granted employees."

"If the genuine intent of the retirement incentive is to avoid layoffs and help bridge the budget gap, then all Group One employees, regardless of funding stream or agency should be included in the Early Retirement Incentive Program, including the State Lottery, Higher Education, the Housing Authorities and granted employees.

"It is unfair to divide state workers by including some Group One employees and not others. Including all Group One employees is the fairest and most reliable way to achieve the program's goals."

DelloRusso was quoted in the State House News. "I know the treasurer is concerned about a run on the retirement board, but I don't think that's going to happen," he said.

For a copy of the State House News article or DelloRusso's testimony, email