D-Day For COLAs On Local Front

MAY 2000 -
D-Day for both retroactive and new 3% COLAs for local government
retirees is fast approaching, causing us to rush our May edition of the
Voice to press on April 7.

Although
a 1.3% consumer price index COLA was paid to most eligible local
government retirees beginning July 1999, legislation, which we were
successful in enacting last November, allows city, town, county and
authority retirees toreceive an additional retroactive 1.7%, bringing the July 1999 COLA to 3%, the same as state and teachers.

However,
in order to pay this amount local retirement boards must obtain
acceptance of the statute (Sec. 51 Ch. 127, Acts of ‘99) by their local
governing bodies. This would be a city council or board of aldermen in
a city, county advisory council in a county, town meeting in a town
having its own retirement system, and the directors of authority or
district systems.

Once
accepted locally, the Boards, acting as an independent body, can then
vote to pay both the retroactive 1.7% addition, plus a new 3% beginning
this July.

Most
cities, all counties and a few towns have already initiated this
procedure. But D-Day, or perhaps it should be C-Day (COLA), is truly
the operative phrase for the one opportunity that most town retirement
systems will have - Spring Town Meeting.

We
urge retired state employees and teachers to support town retirees at
their local town meetings. Many town meetings have elected
representatives, others are open to all voters. Either way, town
meetings can be raucous and intimidating at times. But local retirement
boards and their retirees do need your help on the Town Meeting floor.

We
will update individual retirement system COLA activity on our toll-free
hotline (1-800-368-8778) and our Association’s website
(www.massretirees.com). Also, you may contact your local retirement
board for information.

Town Meeting Dates

At
press-time on April 7, the following is a listing of town meeting dates
for those towns that will need town meeting acceptance of Sec. 51 Ch.
127 in order for their retirement boards to be eligible to pay the 1.7%
retroactive COLA increase on last July’s COLA, plus a new 3% COLA
effective this July. Towns, followed by an R, have representative town
meeting. Towns, followed by an O, have an open town meeting. Earlier,
Braintree, Falmouth, Lexington and Plymouth town meetings accepted the
new COLA statute. All other towns are members of their county
retirement systems and do not need town meeting COLA approval.
Wakefield Town Meeting is currently underway.

 

 

Dedham (R): April 10
Natick (R): April 11
Andover (O) : April 24
Arlington (R): April 24
Belmont (R): April 24
Concord (O): April 24
Hingham (O): April 24
N. Attleboro (R): April 24
Reading (R): April 24
Winchester (R): April 24
Clinton (O): April 25
Framingham (R): April 25
W. Springfield (R): April 29
Adams (R): May 1
Athol (R): May 1
Hull (O): May 1
Marblehead (O): May 1
Milton (R): May 1
Needham (R): May 1
Saugus (R): May 1
Stoneham (O): May 1
Swampscott (O): May 1
Fairhaven (R): May 6
Montague (R): May 6
Norwood (R): May 8
Webster (O): May 8
Northbridge (O): May 9
Danvers (R): May 15
Maynard (O): May 15
Milford (R): May 15
Shrewsbury (R): May 15
Brookline (R): May 23
Winthrop (R): May 25

 

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