NEA Seeking To Make Changes in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Our Retirement Fund
(April 2, 2016)
NEA management has requested negotiations with the active staff unions—NEASO, AFSE, and NSO-- who signed the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU provides our most reliable guarantee that NEA will continue to work toward full funding of the NEA Retirement Plan by 2021. NEA now wants the unions to agree to a restructuring or even “suspending” this negotiated document-- and hopes to complete the negotiations this month, before the mid-May meeting of the NEA Retirement Board, the 15-member body that administers the Plan.
What is NEA’s rationale?
Derrick Johnson, NEA Human Resources Director, says this move is in response to anticipated dramatic increases in the cost of the Plan due to retirees living longer, stock market declines, and other factors. Currently NEA has provided no specifics of how it proposes to deal with this situation, no documentation for its dire predictions, and—most importantly—no proposal to make sure there will be funds to fully pay our earned pension benefits.
NEA is under financial pressures from a number of directions. We recognize that the loss of members creates financial challenges for the Association. While NEA remains by far the nation’s largest union, there’s no doubt it is feeling the pressure in its budgeting priorities.
NEARO works to stay connected and informed
Since NEA denied NEARO a seat on the Retirement Board in 2012, NEARO leadership must work closely with our partners, NEASO, AFSE, and NSO, to support their efforts to protect the Plan for current active employees and to make sure retirees’ interests are considered and respected. NEARO leaders work very hard to establish and maintain these ties with the staff unions. Last year, using money from our Defense Fund, NEARO hired an independent actuary to analyze what data NEA does provide as a means of determining the validity of NEA's position and to offer alternatives to those who are at the table.
Stay tuned as we monitor this rapidly evolving situation and do our best to advocate on your behalf.
Renew your membership and consider a Defense Fund donation
If you have not done so, right now would be a great time to (re)join NEARO and consider a donation to our Defense Fund. You can do both of these online by going to the left column menu and clicking on “Pay dues and/or defense fund.” Or send your check or money order to Steven Martinez, c/o Steven Martinez, 4904 Ertter Drive, Rockville, MD 20852. Indicate how much is for dues ($15/yr) and how much for the Defense Fund.
For reference, the wording of the MOU and background information about it can be found by clicking here.