Join us at Our Labor Day Celebration and in the Fight to Restore Our FRS Pension Rights!
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Join us at Our Labor Day Celebration and in the Fight to Restore Our FRS Pension Rights!

Labor Day Celebration & Picnic

Join our union brothers and sisters for a Labor Day Celebration to be held Monday, September 4th,11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, at Lupton’s Boggy Bottom Ranch (8407 Lupton Place, Plant City, 33567) located one mile east of the Hwy 39 and Keysville Road intersection in Plant City: http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Plant+City&state=FL&address=8407+Lupton+Pl&zipcode=33567-3456&country=US&latitude=27.891157&longitude=-82.118127&geocode=ADDRESS

This year’s event is a family picnic-style event with live entertainment, kids’ activities, and will showcase our endorsed candidates.  Bring your lawn chairs, shade canopies, sunscreen and bug spray, BBQ will be provided by Lupton’s Famous BBQ Catering.

USEP will be offering FREE meal tickets to members and family members and discounted tickets to non-members who order in advance.  For those who do not order in advance, BBQ tickets will be available for sale at the event for $10.00.  Parking is Free.

Come join us for a family- oriented picnic-style day celebrating the holiday that Labor made!

Tickets are available by completing this form and returning it to USEP.

FRS Lawsuit Update and Dues

The Florida Education Association will make oral arguments before the Florida Supreme Court on September 7, 2012, at 9:00 a.m.  Most legal analysts believe that FEA will prevail and that FRS participants will be repaid with interest the 3% contribution they have been making since July 1, 2011. However, few expect an actual ruling before spring.

This lawsuit as well as the challenges to SB-736, vouchers to religious schools and the “Adequate Education Funding” lawsuit take time, expertise and money at the local, state and national levels.  And while everyone benefits when we win these battles, only members pay the tab.  The increased legal challenges will cost those USEP members who pay full dues an additional 25 cents per pay period effective August 31st.  The rest of the legal costs are being absorbed by reserves at the State level.   Twenty-five cents is a small investment to get back the 3% tax Rick Scott and the legislature forced upon us.  If you are a member, thank you for helping fund the fight.  If you’re not, now is a good time to join and show your appreciation.

Background: Senate Bill 2100 made many changes to the Florida Retirement System (FRS), including two significant changes that were applicable to all current FRS participants:

  • Mandatory 3% pay deduction for contribution to retirement
  • Reduction in earned cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for service performed after July 1, 2011, but which affects calculation for prior service

These changes are challenged by the FEA lawsuit (Williams, et. al v. Scott, et. al, Case No. 2011CA1584)

On March 6, 2012:  Circuit Court Judge Jackie L. Fulford,  found that the statute violated three separate provisions of the Florida State Constitution in that it constituted an impairment of contract, effected a taking of property without just compensation and violated the rights of public employees to bargaining collectively as guaranteed by the Florida Constitution.

The Florida Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction of the case.  Briefs by appellants were submitted.  Answer brief by FEA filed June 28, 2012.  The State filed a Reply brief in response to the FEA arguments on July 18, 2012.

Oral Arguments are September 7, 2012 at 9:00 a.m.

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Benefits

If you are an employee of Pasco County Schools and not already a member of USEP, consider joining today! Members are eligible for a wide range of benefits through our affiliates and benefit partners. USEP also provides members with professional development opportunities and representation for member issues.