AEEHomeBanner

June 5, 2017

AEE Members,

Your immediate help is needed to help pass a comprehensive transportation package that will provide jobs for our membership for years to come.

The Oregon State Legislature is currently considering and amending a 10 year, $8.2 billion bill, and hearings on the bill will be held on June 5, 6, and 7. The bill relies on a number of tax and fee increases and other funding mechanisms spread out over several years to provide funding
for the bill.

AEEPAC has already been visiting the legislators working on the bill to let them know that staffing levels at ODOT must be addressed for this transportation package to be successful. Our message has been met with various responses from legislators, ranging from “Of course, you wouldn’t expect a bill of this magnitude to succeed without staffing it,” to “Talk of increasing staffing at ODOT will kill the bill.” We have also been told that there is a contingent of legislators from the Portland area who are against modifications to the Clean Fuels language being incorporated into the bill, and if so will not support it.

Oregon needs this bill to pass. Our state has far too many pieces of critical infrastructure in need of repair, preservation, and expansion. Our state economy will not grow without an effective transportation system.

AEE needs this bill to pass. Our nearly 1100 members rely on transportation packages like this to fund our work. Without the necessary funding, further reductions in transportation related jobs are sure to follow in the future.

You need this bill to pass. Careers at ODOT depend upon stable funding for our future. Having work available and predictable for the next ten years, at minimum, will ensure the stability of funding for your job, and provide interesting work, and a career path for those of you newer to
the agency.

AEEPAC strongly encourages you to contact your Oregon House and Senate representatives, encourage them to vote for the bill, and tell them your story of why this bill is personally important to you and your community. We have provided a sample template below for you to use in speaking with or emailing your representative, in case that helps, along with a link to find out how to reach your representatives: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Sincerely,


Jody Frasier, AEEPAC Chair

Click Here for a Sample Letter to send your Legislator

Open our PERS Facts document to read more on the following questions:

  • What is 6% pickup and how did it come to be?
  • What is the current proposal
  • Potential benefits for employees
  • Will this affect my take-home page?
  • Would the PERS buy back impact my ability to qualify for public assistance or increase garnishments or other payments I am required to make?
  • Why now?
  • How would this impact my dues and other payroll deductions?
  • Would I be able to pay that money into a 401k of my choice or use it otherwise?
  • How will this impact my income taxes?

2017 PERS Proposed Legislation - Senate Bill 309

Senate Bill 309:  Eliminates option of members of individual account program of Public Employees Retirement System to receive distributions as installment payments upon retirement.  Requires members retiring on or after January 1, 2019, to receive distributions as lump sum.  [PERS Tier 1, Tier 2 and OPSRP]

2017 PERS Proposed Legislation - Senate Bill 559

Senate Bill 559:  Changes calculation of final average salary for purposes of Public Employees Retirement System to use five years of salary instead of three years, for salary paid on and after January 1, 2018.  Directs Public Employees Retirement Board to recalculate employer contribution rates to reflect savings attributable to Act. Provides for expedited review of Act by Supreme Court upon petition by adversely affected party. Declares emergency, effective on passage. [PERS Tier 1, Tier 2 and OPSRP][Full Formula or Full Formula+Annuity]

  • The full text of bill
  • Public Hearing held 2/13/2017
  • Work session scheduled for 4/17/2017 at 3pm
  • Moved to Joint Ways & Means on 4.17.2017, removed emergency clause

2017 PERS Proposed Legislation - Senate Bill 560

Senate Bill 560:  Redirects employee contributions made by member of system from individual account program to account to be used to pay for member's pension or other retirement benefits accrued on or after January 1, 2018.  For years beginning in 2018, caps at $100,000 annual salary used to calculate final average salary for purposes of Public Employees Retirement System. Directs Public Employees Retirement Board to recalculate employer contribution rates to reflect savings attributable to Act. Provides for expedited review of Act by Supreme Court upon petition by adversely affected party. Declares emergency, effective on passage. Excludes Judges from the $100,000 limit. [PERS Tier 1, Tier 2 and OPSRP] [Average Ending Salary: Full Formula or Full Formula+Annuity][IAP: all plans]

NEW Senate Bill Amendments added 3.15.2017 (total of 7 amendments each replacing the original proposed bill and any other amendment) - proposals include:  reduces Tier 1/2 pension multiplier from 1.67% to 1.00% for service after January 1, 2018; Tier 1 - reduces "assumed rate" from 7.5% to 3.5% in converting account balances to lifetime annuities - effective on passage; Tier 1/2 - eliminates unused sick leave and/or vacation lump-sum payout from the calculation of average ending salary; Tier 1/2 unused sick leave accrued after 1/1/2018 could not be used in Average Ending Salary calculation; OPSRP tier (hired after 8/28/2003) - new members hired after the effective date of Act (declared emergency, effective on passage) minimum retirement age increased to age 67 from age 65 regardless of years of service; New employees - increases "wait time" from 6 months to 12 months to become members; Current and new employees - changes definition of qualifying positions from 600 hours in calendar year to 1,000 hours in calendar year.  Refer to the Legislative Staff Review and PERS Analysis of Legislative concepts found in the 2017 PERS and Legislative Analysis of Bills and/or Amendments section.

NEW 4.12.2017:  Senate Bill Amendment #10 would replace the original proposed bill and previous amendments:  reduces Tier 1/2 pension multiplier to a "rate to be determined" from 1.67% for years of service on/after January 1, 2018; reduces OPSRP pension multiplier to a "rate to be determined" for service on/after January 1, 2018; All Tiers - Average Ending Salary - average to be used is 3 years for service before January 1, 2018 and to five years in the 5 years for service after January 1, 2018; Tier 1, Average Ending Salary will exclude lump-sum payment for unused vacation that is accrued after January 1, 2018; Tier 1/2, Average Ending Salary will not include unused Sick Leave accrued on/after January 1, 2018;  Tier 1 - Money Match Formula, annuity rate used will be the lesser of the rate determined by the board or the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (this is effective for retirements on or after the effective date of this act - The act has an emergency clause stating it is effective upon passage);Employer cannot make the employee contributions after January 1, 2018 or expiration of bargaining agreement; creates a "member pension contribution account" (this is a additional account) that will be used to help fund the lifelong pension benefit; ; Board will set employee contribution rate for the "member pension contribution account" every 2 years - no rate is currently identified;  employee can redirect contributions that were to be made to the IAP into the "member pension contribution account"; see the full text of the amendment for additional changes.  Refer to the Legislative Staff Review and PERS Analysis of Legislative concepts found in the 2017 PERS and Legislative Analysis of Bills and/or Amendments section for additional information and analysis of the impact.

2017 PERS Proposed Legislation - Senate Bill 791

Senate Bill 791:  Eliminates limitations on hours that may be worked by a retired member of Public Employees Retirement System without suspension of retirement benefits.  A person who retires under the provisions of ORS 238.280 (1), (2) or (3) may be employed under this section only if the person's date of retirement is more than six months before the date the person is employed under this section.   [PERS Tier 1, Tier 2 and PERS OPSRP]

  • The full text of bill
  • Public Hearing held 3.6.2016 @3pm
  • No further action has been scheduled as of 3.29.2017

2017 PERS Proposed Legislation - Senate Bill 913

Senate Bill 913:  Changes various provisions to Public Employee Retirement System.  Assumed Rate - lesser of rate rate set by the PERS Board or the current rate for valuing annuity benefits by the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [impacts Tier 1 Money Match formula] - Actuarial equivalency factor tables adopted under this section become effective on January 1 of the calendar year following adoption of the tables by the board or on another date sepcified by the board.  Reitrement Age for members establishing membership after the effective date of bill (effective on passage):  OPSRP Regular Retirement Age increased to age 67 from age 65,  OSRP Early Retirment age increased from age 55 to age 57.  Redirects Employee Contributions (6% IAP account contributions) to a member pension contribution account and will be applied to the cost of the pension or other retirement benefits payable.  Employer may not make (pick-up) the employee contribution on or after the later of January 1, 2018 or the expiration of any collective bargaining agreement in effect on Janaury 1, 2018.  Calculation of Final Average Salary - changes to 5 years or final 60 months [Pers Tier 1, Tier 2, PERS OPSRP].  Declared an Emergency, bill effective upon passage.

2017 PERS Proposed Legislation - House Bill 3013

House Bill 3013:  Changes various provisions to Public Employee Retirement System.  Assumed Rate - lesser of rate rate set by the PERS Board or the current rate for valuing annuity benefits by the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [impacts Tier 1 Money Match formula] - Actuarial equivalency factor tables adopted under this section become effective on January 1 of the calendar year following adoption of the tables by the board or on another date sepcified by the board.  Declared an Emergency, bill effective upon passage.

AEE Members,

The PERS reform discussion at the Oregon State Legislature is generating much concern and worry among AEE members and public employees statewide. The AEE Office and your local AEE representatives are fielding questions daily from members seeing certainty about what will take place, when any changes could take effect, and how all of this will impact them.

The Legislature are considering several changes to PERS. The changes being proposed would lower public employee's retirement benefits, here is what is being proposed:

  • The final average salary, which is used to estimate your retirement benefit, would be calculated by the last 5 years instead of the current 3 years. 
  • Final average salary cap limit of $100,000.
  • Reductions in pension multipliers.
  • Redirecting member contributions.
  • Tier 3 (OPSRP) retirement age increased from 65 to 67. Early retirement increased from 55 to 57.
  • Halving or eliminating sick leave and vacation payouts for the calculation of final average salary, which affect tier 1 and tier 2 retirees.
  • New employees increased "wait time" to become PERS members from 6 months to 12 months.

Some of those changes are more likely to withstand a court challenge than others, but that’s never stopped the Legislature before from enacting reforms that would come back to haunt them. AEE is part of the coalition of PERS impacted labor unions that continually fights back to preserve your PERS benefits, and we will continue to do so through the very effective work conducted by the coalition.

One way to better understand the proposed changes and to calculate the potential impacts for your personal situation is to visit http://keeporegonspromise.org , which has explainers for the bills, stories from PERS members, and information about how to impact the discussion as a public employee by sharing your story.

Another way to understand PERS better is to view the testimony given by the Director of PERS to the Oregon Senate Workforce committee considering the changes. His presentation is very informative, and you can find it here:

http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=22986

And find the exhibits from presented at that legislative committee meeting here:

https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Committees/SWF/2017-03-22-15-00/MeetingMaterials

What can you do to impact this discussion?. Two very simple things:

  1. Start following the progress of the bills.
    1. SB 559: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Measures/Overview/SB559
    2. SB 560: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Measures/Overview/SB560
    3. SB 913: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Measures/Overview/SB913
  2. Contact your legislative representatives
    1. Find out who your representative is here: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/findyourlegislator/leg-districts.html
    2. Tell your story! Tell your story about how the PERS reforms being considered could harm you, your community, and your state.
      1. Watch for Town Hall meetings in your area- face to face conversations about how the reforms impact you are most effective.
      2. Phone, email, or snail mail your representatives and the members of the committees hearing these bills about your concerns.
      3. Attend committee meetings at the Capitol and testify in person with your story.

You can try to make an impact on how PERS reform turns out if you take the time to make your views known to the legislators making the decisions. AEE continues to advocate on your behalf through AEEPAC and the PERS Coalition to limit the negative impacts of any potential reform. That said, there is nothing more effective and relevant to an elected official than having one of their constituents standing before them telling them why the bill they’re about to vote on will cost them a vote for re-election in the future.

Now is the time to make your voice heard- reach out to your elected officials at the Legislature and let them know your views! If you want to volunteer to visit the Legislature while it is in session to meet with representatives, please contact a member of the AEEPAC Board to make arrangements to join us.

In Unity,

Jody Frasier, AEE PAC Board President
Cesar Lopez, AEE PAC Board Vice President
Marie Kennedy, AEE PAC Board Secretary/Treasurer
Melissa Sutkowski, AEE PAC Board Member
Ray Hubbell, AEE PAC Board Member

Welcome to the AEE Oregon Public Site

The Association of Engineering Employees of Oregon (AEE) represents over 1,000 engineering and technical employees working for the Oregon Department of Transportaion, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, and the Oregon State Department of Forestry.  If you would like to see a brief overview of our history, be sure to look at the About page.

Access To Our Site

This site is oriented for and given access to our membership and supporting staff.  For those of you who are members, please log in (or register to log in) so you can get access to information pertinent to your AEE membership.  You'll be able to get access to a number of resources available to you as a member once you're logged in.

NOTE: If you're having difficulty logging in, (a) make sure you've signed up for this new site (old accounts from the old AEE site have not been transferred), or (b) if you've signed up for this new site and lost your username and/or password, visit our help page to see how to recover your username and/or reset your password.

Privacy

Our privacy policy is simple: As a member-driven organization, we use member information in a way that benefits the membership.  Information gathered from online member profiles are kept private between AEE non-administrative web site users.  This information is used to help keep the AEE membership database up to date which is then used for the purposes of related AEE business which includes Member Support, Election Ballot mailings, News Letter mailings, and other similar AEE member related business.  Home mailings (such as the SI Journal) are processed through a trusted / locally (Oregon) contracted third party as part of our printing contract service or through our contracted office staff.  Beyond such related AEE business which benefits our members, no personal information is otherwise distributed.