Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Condemns the Passage of Senate Bill 1 as an Insult to Fairness and Accountability

Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder condemned the passage of Senate Bill 1, which attacks the pensions of hundreds of thousands of current and new employees of the Commonwealth and School Districts across Pennsylvania and does nothing to pay down the state’s pension debt.

“Our school teachers, nurses, caregivers, and public service workers who teach our children and take care of our parents should not be forced into paying for the mistakes of our Legislature – mistakes lawmakers made when they ran away from their responsibility to fund the state pension systems.
Instead of blaming workers our elected officials should pay back the debt owed for their failure to make the required employer contributions. Instead of trying to sidestep these mistakes, they should continue paying back the debt in a responsible and fair way and stop trying to attack decent pensions and the retirement security of workers as this bill does, ” Bloomingdale said.

“Senate Bill 1 punishes public service and school employees, who unlike our legislature, never missed a single payment to their pension plans and have already made sacrifices in the form of reduced benefits, additional service time, and higher contribution levels to preserve their decent pensions. This legislation is a mockery to the contributions and sacrifices that workers were willing to make to protect hard-earned pensions. It breaks the promises made to these workers and is an insult to fairness and government accountability, which was used by these same hypocritical leaders last week to pass legislation to undermine the collective bargaining process.  State lawmakers should focus on doing things to help middle class Pennsylvanians – things like creating good jobs and fully funding our public schools instead of undermining good jobs and attacking decent pensions,” Secretary-Treasurer Snyder said.