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Joint | June 15, 2016 | Chamber | Waddell Press Conference

Full MP3 Audio File

[BLANK_AUDIO] Thank you so much for being here. this afternoon. >> Still morning. >> This morning, as retirees share with you the experiences that they're having, we're concerned about about this house budget, we're concerned about the Senate Budget. retirees need a cost of living increase. The house budget includes a 1.6 cost of living adjustment for state government retirees. The senate budget includes nothing and that's why we're here. We must have That have money. And a retirement system that we can afford to give at least a 2% to retirees. We have Retirees present here today who have traveled through the bus, they've come [INAUDIBLE] and some of them even walked. They want their messages to be heard. The unfunded liability would all occur if the legislators planning on the retirement system for the next 12 years. State employees put 6% of their hard earned money. And their retirement each month, into this fund. And they always contribute, and they were told when they started off many years ago. That you would take care of them. That the funds would be here for them. They have met increase in medical bills Increase in bills for insurance, and that cost of living, is very much needed. Since 2009, retirees have only had a 2% cover/g. Since 2009 the consumer price index has increased to 12% , meaning that buying power for retirees has decreased. And I'm told by many because money is not there, you've met your [INAUDIBLE].Think about 2009 no increase. Food has gone up, clothing has gone up and many are telling me that they have to eat cat food for their meals. We cannot afford for that to happen. [BLANK_AUDIO] If you compare the right , this right with the net law of 10%, you can see how, adjustment compared to the Consumer Price Index. Increasing is costing retirees hundreds of dollars. This is not right. We cannot afford retirees not to have money in their pockets, to take care of the necessities of life. They spent their lives in service to this state. And the state should return what they've committed to do. About 95% of retirement benefit recipients. They live in this state, the state of North Carolina. And their money helps to stimulate this economy. Our economy so during the 2015 legislative session in North Carolina, the house made a proposal of 1.6% and the senate has said zero. We must do better We must do better. And we're calling on those who are responsible, who can make a difference, to do so. We must pay increasing medical bills. As we are beginning to age, we have arthritis, we have heart conditions and many of us are in wheelchairs. We took care of educating those who are doctors, those who are lawyers, those who are engineers, college professors. And now, we want our promise. And that promise is [INAUDIBLE]. Cost of living increase. And now, our next speaker. >> [BLANK_AUDIO] As a future retiree, I look forward to restring within a year or two. But yet, I also want to retire comfortably. And as you said, our Senate is not supporting the 1.6 cost of living increase. Inflation continues to increase.

And even as a school administrator, I have many of my teachers returning who have retired. Who have said to me on several occasions, they have to work a part time job. After giving 25 to 35 years of service to our state. The pension plan should be cultivable enough for retirees to live and continue to have a good life. But when they have to work part time jobs in order to keep the cost of living going for them, the senate, it is your job to support your retirees who have given significantly to our state. >> What's your name? >> Mark Anderson. >> Okay. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> I am [UNKNOWN] from Charlotte. I am a veteran status council or school councilor in Charlotte and Mecklenburg. I came to this state possibly 16 years ago with the hope at that time, North Carolina was a leader in public education. We've taken a backseat to that. I'm asking not only for the retirees, but that all employees who have retired and have provided service 10, 20, 40, 30, 50 years to this state, get their just due. When you came to North Carolina, when I came to North Carolina, it was expected that you work until retirement and this age of stress and education, here period because of the challenges than the light of retirees are getting sick before they're able to live out that promise, so whether or not they're on disability or retired, they lead that cost living increase. As Senator Weddell has spoken so eloquently about how They've only had a 2% since 2009. That is not the North Carolina I came here for. >> Good Afternoon. State Representative Charles Graham Lumberton and Robeson County. Let me just say on support of the retirees of this state to have The House did pass a 1.6% modest increase for retirees. Obviously the Senate decided not to take that up. Two points I want to emphasize here. Our retirees have devoted their lives, their careers to make North Carolina a progressive state. We're recognized as a progressive state across this country. And it's because of the good work our retirees who are retired obviously, made a commitment years ago to make this state a good place to live. And they work within their departments to do their jobs with hope they would have a good future after retirement. Retirement. This sends the wrong message to our retirees. Our retirees, we owe them a debt of gratitude for your service, for your work and this is not the way we demonstrate that. And I'm just concerned that this is happening to our retirees, we can do better. The money is there to do this, and I support it. And I just want to show my support to the retirees and thank you for being here, I understand some folks have walked many miles to be here. You've given up your day to be here, to show your support and to send a message to us here in Riley. Thank you for being here and we will do everything to, to support you. Thank you for being here.>> [APPLAUSE] >> I'm Linda Garner I'm a retiree from White County. I'm the president of the White County Union of the North Carolina retired school personnel. Many people have , you know, said so many facts that we are so far behind with our 2% increase since 2009. And the consumer, Price index is at 12.8 during that same time period. So I sent out email and ask our members state wide to send in their personal stories. I wanna share a couple with you, and I have a sheet if you'd like to have this later, but I do not have their names on it, cuz they probably wouldn't have contributed in some cases if I had asked for that. One person said, I had to cancel my life insurance because I couldn't afford it. That is so sad, so sad. They talk about their part time jobs in order to make their expenses because property tax, service taxes, utility costs are going up and they can't keep afloat. One has an adult son, often times you think that when teachers retire that the kids are gone and they don't have to worry. But this lady says, her son has multiple health problems. He's a highly functioning autistic with co-morbid conditions including anxiety dietary challenges, social anxiety, and bipolar disorder. So he doesn't qualify for social security disability. And so she has to take care of everything for him And so it's trapping her during the time that she could barely support herself, but she also has to take care of her son as well. I have another member who just went on kidney dialysis.

She had kidney failure, heart failure, fluid in her lungs and a blood clot in her left leg. She had three specialists treating her and so she expects the bill to be huge. She She doesn't know exactly how much cuz that has not raised. She's undergoing dialysis three times a week and she really needs the cola/g to try and stay afloat. And you don't think about getting that sick but everybody does. Like somebody mentioned, Senator Wydell about arthritis. Teachers have more foot problems than anybody else because we stood on concrete and wood floors for years and I know when I had foot problems and I went to the Orthopedic surgeon, they said that they always treat teachers more than anybody else because of the working conditions. I have teachers that talk about knee replacing and it's just the same thing because it's as a result of standing like that. People with shoulder pumps and carrying those book bags And carrying the papers home to grade your papers and hawing them back. We've to start using those rolling carts and you wonder why we do it. And so we get our oscoe at the lotus and since we had no more friends at 65. So, all that cost, as White Matty said, I go every three months and it costs me 35 Dollars and 50 Dollars for each a probably quarter or an injection in her knee. You add that up that's $340 which is a good sum for her budget. >> I myself. My medicare of 66 my medicare part B is $1449.60. My medicare advantage and health premium is $792 a year. That comes to $2,241 which is almost equal to one month's pension that I get from the state and then my pension is probably much higher than others cuz though I mentioned this in our meeting a few months ago a lot of them shook their heads cuz they were making much less, we have people making $1,000 or maybe less as a pension and they are really They are really struggling so I would hope that you would understand the problems that everybody is having and I really appreciate the house it was a 1.6 so I hope you'll stand firm with the Senate and try to convince the Senate to come up to 1.6% or higher if possible cuz the money is there and we should be a priority not a liability. Thank you. >> [APPLAUSE] >> State Representative Gall M. Peters, I represent Scotland County, Hope County, Robinson County, Richmond County and my colleague is Charles has already spoken and all the other members that probably have said something. We have gone to the media with our retirees, they've shared their concern, we hear that voice and we as house members we are committed to doing all that we can. Many of us voted for the budget because we thought that it was sending a good signal to the house to the senate and we wanted to stay firm on that and so we hope and we do know many of us that this train is moving probably already left the station. But we hope that you're coming here today to be advocates that we can all We could all work hard to ensure that our retirees receive all that they are due, they work hard for it and you do that with my support state representative Carlon Piers thank you, allow me to say a word. >> [APPLAUSE] >> Good morning, I'm representative Becky Karnie from Charlotte and [COUGH] excuse me I guess the take away today for us and listening to these stories is that when it comes to budgeting within our state our prime responsibility are to the people of this state and one of our biggest pieces of the budget that we find is education and part of that education budget is paying our teachers but it's also paying our retirees that have been within the system for years, their stories are real, just because there's not a name behind them today that we've heard about, they are real, I hear from them in my district as I'm sure all of my colleagues in here today hear from them. We can't keep going without recognizing within our budget framework that the people that serve this state in the capacity of education they need our attention, they need for us to step up and do what is right for them, I am in the minority party, we voted, I was the one that voted for the house budget and we had quite a few democrats that join with the republicans, because in the house we did recognize our retirees and I'm asking this senate to To please step up, put this back in as a contrary to the budget we're meeting in a few minutes, the democrats and this is one of our issues that we will hold out for. So, stay with us, don't give up it's not over but thank you for coming today. I tell people all the time That van here in real time face to face, puts a face behind that issue and makes it real,

so thank you for being here. [APPLAUSE] >> Good afternoon, my name is Loise Johnson and I am retired administrative from New York State. New York State has taken Very good care of me and all of my retired administrators as well as teachers and all in the public school district. Now they have relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, on behalf of all of my friends that I have met this past three or four years that I have been here. I want to say to the Senate to consider Consider funding up to at least 2%. I'm very fortunate, I want my colleges here in Charlotte to have the same opportunity that I've been having each and every year in New York state that has funded college for me and my colleagues. Thank you. >> [APPLAUSE] >> Good morning. Thank you So much for allowing me to speak. I am Leverne Reed from Charlotte, Mecklenburg Retired Teacher's Group. We were late because we rode the train and then the free bus didn't pick us up. >> [LAUGH] >> I'm a new retiree, and I have been incredibly surprised at the The treatment that retired people receive. We appreciate everything that was allowed us when I was an active teacher, but seems that some doors close once you become retired, we gave our all for the children of North Carolina. We would give it again Again, we so much desperately need that collar readjustment, we haven't had one in several years. One of any means, I know we had one three years ago, I wasn't retired then. Insurance calls are just swearing And when you are my age, you don't get a chance to just go to the regular doctor, you have to go to all this specialists and then you have lab work. All of that is increasing yet we are not being given a collar. We appreciate those of you in the house who. Who want yo give us one we appreciate it, thank you so much. Now I'll stop so that someone else can speak, we appreciate your listening to me. [APPLAUSE] >> My name is Gloria Lawrence, I'm from Missouri county, retired school personnel I'm secretary of the region two district which covers an eight unit area. I am here to tell you that I think there's a misconception about retired school personnel. They think all retired school personnel are teachers Principals, assistant principals. They forget that we also include cafeteria workers, bus drivers, those garage mechanics, janitors, custodial staff, cafeteria workers, did I mention them. Teacher assistants, and I have my best friend as a teacher assistant and she is a very frugal person because she has to be, but she gave as much of her time and energy during the class time and hours at school as I did, and we are still many to this day. My neighbor across the street is a cafeteria worker. Her husband worked 40 years at a job that had one benefit for him. So now they've had 3 oblations, a pacemaker a patient I can recall, a patient that could have no affection and all in all uterics, so we have a lot of people who have either layoffs to add to their retirement income if you give a percentage Increase then to teach us the [BLANK-AUDIO] principles, and other administrators in County and into the offices. We all deserve the respect of a living wage while food costs are going up The sales tax has been increased on everything we buy, gas has fluctuated according to supply but it still greater than it was when we retired. I'm of the generation that had my salary frozen three years And now I feel like I'm getting messed with all over again, because basically with a 12% increase in cost of living and only 2% over

this many years since 2009. I feel like I've been frozen again. Thank you. >> [APPLAUSE] >> Okay, many of us have other committee meetings and the people who had to walk I know that you have to go in some of those committee meetings. And those who bought the cat food I know we gonna have time to eat that too. >> [LAUGH] And also those who drove your cars and the tritium/g and the train was late you left [UNKNOWN] seven o clock in the morning you have a long day. Ad we have one more speaker and then we're gonna take some questions. [BLANK_AUDIO] My name is representative Mickey Mcshaw, I'm from Durham And the last raise you got was when I was senior chair of appropriations. >> [APPLAUSE] >> You got two. >> [APPLAUSE] >> We started last year. We put 2% in it last year when the budget there and they took it out and never put it back in. I was one of the ones that put the amendment in fourth. And I was one of the ones that voted against the budget this year. And the reason I voted against the budget is because I know that Ecola/g can take 2% rather than even 1.6%, and you need every percentage you can get- >>[APPLAUSE] [APPLAUSE] [INAUDIBLE] we sent it over to the senate. We knew it was going to come back anyway. And so we would had another shot at it. So that was why the budget just wasn't right. And at one point six percent. We were lucky to get that in there. Hopefully now that it's back, we can prevail [INAUDIBLE] and Was where some of us are headed to a meeting now. The council/g needs to put in at least 2% and maybe work it back down. You know you have to always ask for more than you really want to get something anywhere down the line. So with these, people who handle this budget, they think it's their money they're handling. >> That's right. >> But it's our money. >> [APPLAUSE] >> Thy got the funds to [INAUDIBLE] with 2% [INAUDIBLE] and that's what we ought to be insisting on. Thank you so much. >> [APPLAUSE] >> Just a quick question for you, can you explain where the money comes from for [INAUDIBLE]? >> The money some of it comes from the general fund but the majority of it comes from the earnings on the trust fund. That's why we can afford it, and really not make any anything in the general fund . But the investments made by the retirement but we have got the third best retirement anywhere in the country and those earnings in there can really afford to go to increase the [INAUDIBLE] anyway. >> [APPLAUSE] >> My name is Sarah Veily/g and I'm an ESV meber of North Carolina Association of Educators and I work with pre-K children. As a classified personnel, my salary is much less than a teacher's salary. I am looking at retiring in the next two years. As of now, I have a second job and when I retire, I have a second job. It will probably become my full time job. Because the state does not provide enough for us to live on. The money is there give it to us because we have earned it. What you're doing is looking as if it is coming out of your pockets. It's not. We have contributed to our retirement fund. We have earned it and you need to give it back with interest. Thank you very much. >> [APPLAUSE]. For the press for those of you who are here today. We wanna thank you for been here and for listening, and for those who come all of there way will have an opportunity to talk with you again. Well thank you for been here. [BLANK-AUDIO]. Before we leave we'd also like to thank senator Waddell a few months ago they shot at Mecklenberg retiree planned a trip to Raleigh just to visit the general, assembly for fun but she told us a few weeks ago. We need to come and take care of our business and check on our cola/g and some other things. And so we are so glad that she has supported us and that she and her office have arranged the press conference. Also, another meeting with the legislators from 12 to 2 in Room 414 in the conference room Room 414. And if you would join some of your legislators at that time, we would like to thank all of the other retiree leaders from across the state as well as our active NTAE members who have come from

across the state to be with us today. So, as one of our signs here [INAUDIBLE] later, we are still here. We're not dead yet. >> [LAUGH] >> [APPLAUSE] >> Thank you. [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO]

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