Repeal of ASRS Contribution Rate Increase
Last month, Senator Steve Pierce, the new Senate President, announced the intent of the Arizona Senate to work towards returning the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) contribution rate back to a 50/50 split. Read press release.
This announcement followed a meeting AEA President Andrew F. Morrill, AEA Lobbyist Jennifer Loredo, and other education stakeholders held with Senate President Pierce. In that meeting the topic of the ASRS contributions was discussed. "It is refreshing to leave a meeting with Senate Leadership feeling that our concerns and issues were both heard and later addressed," says Morrill.
The ASRS contribution rate was increased to a 53 percent employee share and 47 percent employer share as part of the FY 2012 budget last legislative session. This contribution shift amounted to a direct pay cut for state employees, which would have an immediate negative effect on the state’s economy.
Last year, AEA led a coalition of public union members in a lawsuit challenging this increase. AEA applauds this change in policy from the new senate leadership. "I believe this signals the start of better conversations about public education and the state economy and that legislative leadership is moving in the right direction," says Morrill.
Please take a moment to express your appreciation to Senate President Pierce and keep in mind that this could not have happened without you, the AEA member, standing together with other members for your rights. Our continued unity and action will be needed to support Senate President Pierce and the senate leadership as they work to gain the votes needed in both chambers of the legislature and convince the Governor to sign the legislation.
AEA urges you to share this victory with your colleagues and encourage them to join the AEA and add their voice to the fight for quality public education for Arizona’s children. We are stronger together.