Judge Rejects Changes to State Retirement System - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Judge Rejects Changes to State Retirement System

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There are a total of 48,000 state workers in Michigan and they may no longer see a hole in their paychecks. State labor unions sued the state for making unconstitutional changes to how their retirement plan is funded.

Ingham Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk ruled in favor of state employee labor unions Friday, calling the law Governor Rick Snyder signed last year regarding retirement benefits unconstitutional.

"The civil service commission has authority over our wages and benefits and it's unconstitutional for the legislature to cut our pay," said Ray Holman, the spokesperson for the UAW Local 6000.

The court's decision has state employee labor unions, including Local UAW 6000, pleased.

"It's a great day for public employees and state employees in Lansing. There's over 14,000 in this area and what that means is state employees can look forward to a full paycheck," said Holman.

Since April of this year, the union says employees from several departments, including the Department of Human Services to the Department of Corrections, have been taking a hit.

"State employees had 4 percent of their pay deducted and that would be for individuals who wanted keep their pension or were hired before 1997, so that pay adds up," Holman says. "It's not as if we can tell everybody they're going to get a full paycheck tomorrow, because we do anticipate that there will be an appeal made by the governor's office, but ultimately we believe we're going to win."

A spokesperson from the Michigan Budget Office released this statement:

"Public Act 264 is important legislation, saving the state $5.6 billion in long-term liabilities and ensuring that the post-retirement promises made to our employees can be kept.  The law gave clear choices to existing employees, which is why the state strongly disagrees with this ruling.  The state will be reviewing the ruling more closely to determine next steps."

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