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The Voice of the Retired Public Employee
giC board
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to “labor seats”.
While the law currently calls for one
of the GIC’s 17-seats to be held by a state retiree, the statute grants the gov- ernor complete control over whom that representative will be. As it now stands, former State Representative Anne Paulsen (D-Belmont) is the retiree rep- resentative. She was appointed and twice reappointed by former Governor Deval Patrick. Paulsen’s term expired this fall, but continues to serve pending either a reappointment or replacement by Governor Charlie Baker.
Mass Retirees has called on Governor Baker to reappoint Paulsen, citing her ongoing contributions to the Commis- sion and her experience.
“Anne is a very good Commissioner and an excellent representative of retirees. Not only does she ask smart questions, but also contributes a wealth of knowledge to the GIC’s delibera- tions,” said Association Legislative Director Shawn Duhamel, who attends most GIC meetings. “We’ve asked Governor Baker to reappoint Anne. We feel strongly that she should continue to represent retirees on the GIC.”
“This proposal brings balance to the GIC by granting a stronger voice to those who depend on these benefits. The current makeup of the Commis- sion is anything but balanced, with the combined retiree / labor representation totaling just six of seventeen commis- sioners,” says Association President Frank Valeri. “First and foremost, retirees should have a right to choose a representative who shares our point of view. Greater representation should also lead to a more diverse and robust discussion within the Commission. And this should then bring about better overall policy decisions by the GIC.”
The debate will now move to the House of Representatives, where leg- islation is expected to appear early in 2018.
Members are reminded to include both their
phone number and email address on your 2018 Dues Renewal form, so that the Association can contact you directly.
MASS
GPO laws, Medicare Part B, health insurance copay- ments and on other retire- ment issues.
RETIREES
HOlDs 1st
Between the bi-monthly newsletter, area meetings, toll-free hotline and website the Association uses a wide- variety of tools to reach as many members as possible. Roughly 10% of Mass Retirees members attend one of our 16 area meetings in a given year.
TELEPHONE
“Since taking the reins as President in late 2013, I have expanded our area meetings to include more locations. But while meeting attendance is at an all-time high, I frequently hear from members who cannot make it to a meeting in person,” explains President Frank Valeri. “Telephone Town Halls allow us to reach all members. You get to join the conversation from the privacy and convenience of your own home, as well as stay up-to-date on the most recent news.
“I anticipate that we’ll hold our next Town Hall some- time this winter, likely once the Group Insurance Com- mission makes its decision on the 2018 insurance plans. We’ll notify everyone in advance of the meeting by phone, as well as email.”
TOWN HALL
nearly 3,000 Members Participated
In an effort to enhance communi- cation and outreach with Associa- tion members, Mass Retirees con- ducted its first Telephone Town Hall in November. Nearly 3,000 members participated in the hour- long call, with some 500 retirees remaining on the line for the entire duration.
Held on November 16th, the “Tele Town Hall” allowed members to receive an update on the latest news regarding their health insurance, Social Security and pensions. The format also allows for members to ask questions of Association offi- cials and be heard by their fellow retirees.
As a rule, such events run from 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Of the nearly 3,000 members who took part, more than fifty submitted questions relat- ing to the Social Security WEP and
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