As The Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford Follows Florida Public Employees on Twitter Public Servants Comment

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Will Weatherford, Florida Speaker of the House

March 13, 2013

By: Robert Asencio

Shared from the Florida Public Employees Facebook page.

We now have the Speaker of the Florida House – Will Weatherford – following us on twitter.
Welcome Mr. Speaker. It’s our hope you will gain a better understanding of the issues affecting Public Employees in Florida, via this page. As you’ll see on this page, we are very concerned and oppose your attempts to reform Florida’s pensions. Beyond our personal interests, closing DB to new hires and eliminating disability benefits for new hires will hurt all Floridians in the long run.

FPE following this page, here’s your opportunity to speak up and be heard by the Speaker. So, speak up. As they say the floor is yours.

3Like ·  · Share
  • Kozette Hubbard I have been a public employee for all of my career. First in EMS and now in teaching. I have always had to work two and three jobs to make ends meet. I have always loved what I have done. The main reason I have stayed is because I was promised by the state that if I did….and I lived to retirement I would be rewarded with a good retirement. I have had chances to go into private work. I have stayed true to my state and have endured lower pay, years of no pay raises, and the constant barrage of language by our legislature that was used to make all of us look like a bunch of deadbeats. The retirement system isn’t broken. You don’t need to fix it. Keep your promise to me and my family and leave my retirement alone!!!!!
    Unlike · Reply · 16 · Monday at 8:01am via mobile
  • Jonathan Kozla But it is broken, along with pay. If you have to work 2 or 3 jobs to get by that is also a problem. I for one will be departing as a state employee because I would rather take my chances with a 401k then deal with this garbage
    Like · Reply · 1 · Monday at 8:10am via mobile
  • Florida Public Employees Is it really “Broken” and do we have a better chance with a 401K? Garbage or not you may wan to reconsider.
    Like · Reply · 4 · Monday at 8:16am
  • L Beth Beekman The retirement system is NOT broken, and is one of the best funded in the nation. If the legislature put the money INTO the fund that they deducted from our pay we would probably be the best funded. Quit trying to use us as political pawns and scapegoats. I am tired of working 2 jobs and still struggling to get by. The Florida Chamber has your ear, but who is going to be buying their product if we have no money?
  • Jonathan Kozla Yes it is. The system is weak compared to to other states. I as FPE’s we are scum to lawmakers and the public. I am leaving and I am not going to be a state employee for much longer. Once they implement it for new hires, the system will collapse and I will be left with nothing. So I will switch before I leave and take my money with me.
    Like · Reply · 3 · Monday at 8:26am via mobile
    • Tom James Jonathon: you have no idea what you are talking about. Florida’s pension system is rated the fourth strongest in the nation and is almost back to 100% fully funded.
    • Jonathan Kozla Weak in the sense that when one retires medical has to be paid out of pocket for the most part, and after 20-30 years of being a correctional officer with the sad take home to see it basically whittled away to nothing. So yeah it is funded and it is strong where those numbers need to be.
  • Helene McCall Meyer Mr. Speaker, this action will also hurt all those who have worked many years for the system and have retired. Please leave FRS alone.
    • Tom James Helene: you didn’t really think Weatherford could care less about you and other public employees did you? he’s only concerned with how much campaign moola he’s gonna pocket from his buddies on Wall Street who are going to make a killing off this deal.
    • John Clinton He doesnt give a damn
  • Lee-Ann Edwards Kanoski I also think the system is not “broken”. I have a son who is an Assistant State Attorney. Who has been gearing up for public service all his life. He wants to put bad guys away. He is making 50k now 3 yrs into his service and working to get trail certified. And sadly he is looking at going private, to make better money. To help pay off his college loans. Since he now has to pay into his retirement and more for the health insurance. It will be a shame if we lose good people to the private sector or other states because we are offering so little. My daughter is also a records clerk with the clerk of the court and has been for almost 7 years and she is only 25yrs old. And still making almost what she started out making. Husband is LEO with only 6 months left in drop. So we are a family dedicated to public service. But we have so many belittle us for being lazy and overpaid. It is really sad.
  • Cliff Robert Shaw Mr. Speaker, I find it unfortunate that you wish to damage the FRS and hurt the public employees of Florida out of an idealogical standpoint since the FRS, by your own admission is in good financial health. Whom do you serve? The people or big corporations? How dare you steal the promise of a sound retirement from teachers, police and firefighters! If this bill makes it through the house and gets signed into law. You can rest assured
    any supporting this measure will be dealt with on the next election day!
    Unlike · Reply · 4 · Monday at 9:14am via mobile
  • Natasha Keller All I’m gonna say is it’s a sad world when I have better health insurance and retirement options then my husband does and I’m a server and he’s an Orange County Deputy! Yep, our family’s benefits are under me. That’s not how we should treat those that are willing to risk their lives everyday for strangers.
    Unlike · Reply · 7 · Monday at 9:19am via mobile
  • Janet Rossy Quinn From what I have read, this piece of legislature for pension reform is being moved along without actual knowledge of the figures involved. That does not seem wise to me on any issue, let alone one that effects hundreds
    Of thousands of people. If 625,000 people end up with not enough money to live on down the road, think what that will do to our state. The pension is still one of the best in the country, and with recent gains in the market, record highs, I would think the figures have changed significantly. Horrible how politicians care only about some of their constituents and are willing to throw a great many others under the bus. Corporations can’t vote, yet.
    Unlike · Reply · 4 · Monday at 9:36am via mobile
  • Gloria Garber A convesation with my representative revealed the numbers are not in yet and he couldn’t say if the state would provide any matching funds. What’s the rush? Whose brother-in-law will make a fortune off of us through this? Very suspicious.
  • Robin Thompson Feit If it is not broken don’t mess with it! If you do we will remember you in the next elections. The next election may include public employees.
  • Joe Bavlsik I am sure that FRS members, both active and retired, vote with their pocketbooks. Just sayin’ …
    Unlike · Reply · 3 · Monday at 10:12am via mobile
  • Bill Carpenter Mr. speaker, I could not of put it any better than Kozette Hubbard did on the first comment above. I would also echo that the reason most stay on as FPE is the promised retirement benifit. It certenly is not for the wages.
    Our Governor broke every negotiated contract by forcing us to contribute 3%. This is on top of not recieving any raise for several years.
    Compound that with the 2% tax hike the Feds just imposed on us you should realize your citizens are really hurting. If that isn’t bad enough, let’s factor it the rise in cost of living for those last several years. We are now making @ 20% less now.
    These are the people that teach our children. To prepare them for the future.
    The police officers who you call on 24/7 to protect you and your families.
    The first responders like fire and EMT that get called out to a fire or auto collision at 2AM.
    The correctional officer (thats me) that spends holidays like christmas, thanksgiven and our families birthdays with convicts at our prisons instead of with our famillies.
    Why do we do it? I think the correct question is, why should we do it?
    Like · Reply · 4 · Monday at 10:33am via mobile
  • Sharon Flannagin Heath My husband dedicated 33 1/2 years as a county employee public servant AND TAXPAYER as ya’ll keep referring to. He retired but keep in mind not many raises or COLA’s throughout those years and insurance very expensive @ retirement AND he retired with full benefits which is ONLY 48% SO now he’s drawing a 48% paycheck compared to 100% – HIS CHOICE of career because of the benefits promised; but during his tenure the county hierachy chose to change the annual and sick leave to 1 account with a separate sick leave BANK. He LOST or they STOLE ALMOST 1000 HOURS because he was an employee that didn’t abuse sick leave. They were told at the time of switching they would be compensated @ the time of departure if on good standing, he did so WITHOUT COMPENSATION. He was told they decided NOT to compensate because it wouldn’t be fair to other employees. haha! It was HIS sick time NOT theirs. So, in the end, he went on my insurance till I retired last August with 34 years of a different county government service. My check is almost 1/2 after insurance comes out. Again, our full pension is 48% at retirement. SO, please leave the FRS alone…………………Thank you.
  • Sharon Flannagin Heath Oh, and our son recently started with a county government in the FRS AND HE TOOK A $4.00 PAYCUT FROM PRIVATE SECTOR because of the benefits he saw his parents have. He was 28 when he started just before Legislature started making the harsh changes………….. Please, again, leave FRS alone……. Employees which are also TAXPAYERS have been hurt enough. Take the vested time back to 10 years but leave other benefits alone.
  • Linda Rogatz Mr. Speaker. Very concerned about plans to convert to a private retirement system, and that the money’s needed to maintain the FRS for current and near retirees will not be maintained. No new system should be considered until the numbers are ascertained regarding the effect on those retirees, and near retirees, that count on the old system and those employees who chose to stay in that system. If there is not a stream of funds dedicated to maintain the old system as was promised, the new system cannot be put in place.
  • Jim Mahan News Nugget: Compared to all 50 states, Florida’s State Employees serve the most people per capita than any other state. This is accomplished at the lowest cost per capita (half the national average). And accomplished by workers who rank at the bottom of the pay scale, who have not had a wage adjustment in 7 years, except for the 3% cut which goes into the general fund rather than the FRS. Additionally, the FRS fund is a national model. We are always told that the private sector rewards top excellence and efficiency with both pay increases and bonuses. If this is true, then why have Florida’s State workers (the nation”s best) been the victims of constant attacks and cuts? We know that Florida is flooded with money from corporations recording record breaking profits, such as Sea World, Carnival, Disney, the ports, and we are the #1 destination for conventions, travel, sports teams and events too many to mention. It is unfair that yearly corporate tax cuts have been funded by cutting State Employees. A pension is simply a deferred compensation for work, as a faithful servant. It is not an “entitlement or a hand-out”, or an “unfunded liability”. If these words are used now, imagine after this sabotage of our FRS gets passed what words will be used after it is defunded, “catastrophic?”, “bankrupt?”. State Workers have become well acquainted with budget hawks of only a few years ago who have led the attacks against us, such as J.D. Alexander (who’s pork university and toll road has put Floridians on the hook for millions, simply to make him richer), Mike Haridopolos (turned lobbyist, took many scandals/ethics violations to mention), Former House Speaker Sampson (led away in chains only 3 years ago after FBI investigation, guilty of corruption with private prison, taking $$$, served federal prison time). If this year’s legislature is different with new ethics standards, then why have you forged ahead with this “reform” agenda which is known to sabotage the FRS, even before the studies were in? It is already known that for-profit financial planners are lobbying to make this a reality. As a legislature and leader you fave a fiduciary duty to uphold the integrity of the FRS. We who serve expect our retirement fund to be safeguarded from raiders.
  • Gary Tinschert Yet another reason why everyone not a multi-millionaire should NEVER vote Republican again. Well, unless you want to work until your 90 with nothing to show for it or leave to your children (and I’m not a [D]). Of course the ones taking from you have 6 figure pensions and practically free health care for life for working as little as 4 years. At least they don’t even try to hide their agendas anymore (as if they could with today’s technology). Bottom line is that we all have the majority on election day and that majority will continue to grow no matter how much voter suppression and immigration reform they try to displace it with. Of course, since (it seems) a small number of people can just decide to steal and ruin the lives of hundreds of thousands of hard working Floridians because they want to the speaker doesn’t really have to listen to all of us. But, believe me, voting all of them out will get a lot of them to listen in the future.
    Like · Reply · 1 · Monday at 12:47pm
  • Florida Public Employees So, two questions: How do you do think the Speaker’s “pension reform plan” will impact Floridians beyond pension members? And if a Republican Public Employees, has the speaker and his fellow legislative majority weakened your support for the Republican party? For the benefit of all monitoring this page, please explain.
  • Joe Kyser My best advice is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Not all of us are rich and don’t need pensions like legislators.
    By the way, your pension destroying will destroy the state, according to the numbers.
    Real BS move, sneaking the bill through in the dead of night, that was your conscience you were ignoring if you didn’t know what that guilty sensation was…..
    Hopefully, the Senate is a little less half-cocked than the house……
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · Monday at 5:00pm via mobile
  • L Beth Beekman In macroeconomics we learn that paying a salary package that is higher than the going rate both increases productivity and reduces turnover, which long term saves money on training and increases profitability by creating more efficacy in the workplace. Perhaps a little nod to the history of Henry Ford might be in order for the majority. The PE salaries are shrinking when you factor in the lack of raises and the increase of cost of living and inflation. Our dollars are worth less, and there is no incentive to work harder. Many of us still do work hard though, we did not take these jobs to get rich, we took them because we care about others. We still deserve a livable wage, and we should not have to work 2 jobs in order to struggle by. How are we supposed to survive in our retirement if the market crashes again? We don’t have money like you to set aside. We work hard, we make you look good. 
    So Mr. Speaker, I challenge you to tell me why we are being punished for working hard? Why are we constantly under attack?
    Unlike · Reply · 5 · Monday at 5:09pm · Edited
  • Cliff Robert Shaw This is to answer the two part question; 1) One major way this will impact Floridians that do not belong to the FRS is;
    Without a disability or death in the line of duty benefit that is included in the defined benefit plan, what kind of people do you think will go to work as, police, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics and correctional officers? Is it possible that the ethical and professional standard that Floridians deserve and have now going to greatly diminish? You bet it will, pensions are a tool that administrations have used for decades to demand a superior standard from their licensed professionals. All I can see coming to work for Florida in absence of a sound retirement and promise that the families of workers will be financially taken care of in the event of a life ending or altering accident or incident in the line duty, are incompetent or corrupt individuals with no fear of losing their job/pension if they should violate their professional standards. You may have police officers reminiscent of early nineteen hundreds NYC/ Chicago cops that were taking bribes from mafia and drug lords to augment their already low wages.
    I’ll bet mexican drug cartels would love a return to those days.
    How about Firefighters that don’t care enough to remember their pharmacology when working a coded patient? Why should they? They can just move their 401k if they should be fired for malfeasance. Get the picture?
    Also, I ‘ve been a registered republican my entire voting life, I can assure of this, it’ll be a dark day before I vote for anyone that has R by their name again if this tea party ideology continues within the republican party.
    Unlike · Reply · 5 · Monday at 5:39pm via mobile
  • Victoria Avalon I hope that the Speaker considers that we’re experiencing a brain drain in prosecutors’ and public defenders’ offices. They’re debating raising the fees for private conflict counsel because the indigent deserve the best defense possible. Should not tho…See More
  • Bill Carpenter I have voted strait Republican ticket in both national, state and local elections sence I was old enouugh to vote. i am now 50 years old. My first time ever voting for a Democrat was our last governors race. The main reason i have voted the Republican…See More
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · Monday at 8:04pm via mobile

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