Rick Scott – Leave The FRS Alone!!!

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Those of us who have chosen public service as our occupation and have read the papers and Internet news sources today, without surprise we have found out that newly elected Governor Rick Scott and the legislature have began their promised attack on public employees. Today 01-26-2011, Republican Representative Costello from Deland, FL filed HB 303 which seriously threatens the financial security of all Florida public employees. This bill starts by calling for the elimination of the “Heart Bill”, a law that provides protection to Firefighters, Police, and Correctional Officers if they become sick with certain illnesses and are unable to continue working.

The bill extends the retirement age several years, it greatly reduces the benefits paid out to retirees and forces new employees to join into a 401-k type retirement instead of a defined pension as it is today, it eliminates the “DROP” program which allows eligible employees to shelter retirement money and continue working for 5 years.  It is very easy for professional politicians like our legislators or even a rookie governor like Rick Scott to claim that the economy is falling apart and that the problem is the Florida Retirement System, even after the State Board of Administration testified that the FRS is in good shape and improving. We have become so accustomed to accepting and never questioning our state government that they now can attempt to lie to us and laugh in our faces, then call us dummies and ask that we vote for them. Not to so fast Rick, not without a fight!!!

The reality is that the FRS is running at 87% capacity when just 80% is considered great, and there is currently 109 billion dollars available for retirees that no retirement system in the nation can claim. From the Georgia and Alabama borders to Key West, every single public employee, employed by the State, the Counties, School Boards, and many municipalities will be negatively affected if this bill becomes law. From the unskilled worker, to the University professor and everyone else in between we will all lose. This is without a doubt the biggest attack on public employees in my lifetime and probably in the lifetime of most public employees in Florida. One would ask why are they doing this to us and our families? And the answer can become very complicated, but it is truly a simple answer. You see the FRS is working and it is making money for its retirees and it has enough to pay its employees and keep the books far away from the red. On the other hand the super rich in this country who sit in their plush offices in Wall Street see this and wonder why can’t they have something like the FRS making money for them while their members get to have a 401-k that surely will not be even a fraction of what our pension would pay those of us in the FRS.

Think that the Wall Street boys could not get away with robbing us of our pension? Think again. Who would manage the FRS if it was all a 401-k? That’s right, Wall street would be running the 109 billion dollars that our fund currently has. Don’t let the crooks get away with it. We must get active and let our legislators, the governor, and the editors of all newspapers know how we feel.

Editorial written by: Rafael Gomez, Miami, Florida.

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12 thoughts on “Rick Scott – Leave The FRS Alone!!!

  1. I made the decision to join the department knowing that I would risk my life for 25 years and I would be done with it. Now that I am half way through you are going to increase the amount of time I have to stay in? Thanks Rick Scott! May God bless you and your family while you keep me from mine.

    • We feel your pain as those of us who work to make our voices heard through this venue, also lay our lives on the line each and everyday as police officers. I feel your pain brother, and together we will fight this injustice. For
      ourselves, our families, and those who we serve and protect each and everyday!!! Say “NO” to Rick Scott!

  2. As I am about to enter my 24th year of public service, counting on the retirement I have been promised by the state I have served faithfully, I am now being told by the new governor that it is my retirement, which I haven’t gotten a penny of yet that is causing the economic problems in Florida. I’m being told by this person who I did not vote for and doesn’t represent me, that changes must be made immediately and that my retirement, along with those who serve with me, must be gutted so the politicians can entice companies to bring their businesses to Florida. I am being told by Rick Scott that the FRS is bankrupting Florida and cannot be sustained.
    Really?
    Is that what you expect us to believe Mr. Scott? Well the facts say something completely different. The FRS is one of the best and most well funded retirement systems in the country. Lets look at some factual numbers for a change.

    2006 $116 billion overfunded

    2007 $134 billion overfunded

    2008 $124.8 billion overfunded

    2009 $96.5 billion 87.5% funded.

    2010 $123.9 billion Not reported yet, but $123.9 billion ranks up there in the overfunded years.

    So don’t tell me that you need to gut my retirement to save the state’s economy. The numbers just don’t add up. So how about the state that promised me a certain retirement for nearly 24 years live up their promise?

    • Well said brother, our sentiments are the same. Follow our Facebook page at Florida Public Employees @ facebook! No way Rick Scott!

  3. Many of us have taken this oath to protect and serve when we could have been doing something else to have financial security such as continuing the family business or seeking higher education in pursuit of high society’s status quo, i.e, law, medicine, finance, etc.

    Instead, I and many others have chosen to protect your buttocks and peoples’ buttocks just like you, from the dregs and ills of society. This is how you pay us? You ought to be ashamed of yourself!

    Sure, you are going to try to convince us and every other follower that this is the way to go if we are to save Florida’s economy and growth, and in the end your intentions are to say, “Sorry, but this is what we need to do.”

    What a sincere shame it would be if some thugs were to commit a home invasion robbery on you or a family member and have one of our police officers respond and thwart their attempts but get shot in the process. I wonder what your reaction would be, Rick!

    (Rick Scott in a press conference)… Gee, I’m really sorry the police officer was shot and killed, but thank goodness my family is OK. Officer Fernandez arrived just in time to kill the subject who had a rap sheet and criminal record as long as my arm. Thank God this police officer who risked his life on a daily basis will be able to provide his family 33.6% of his salary because he served us faithfully for 21 years!

    You should be ashamed, Rick Scott! What kind of qualified candidate do you think law enforcement is going to find if your scheme is put into action. I can tell you without a doubt, as a police officer, I will look at law enforcement in a totally different light with your plan. To make matters worse, what kind of law enforcement and Fire Rescue service will you expect from workers who face more stress than virtually anyone else and now they will have to find other means to support their families thanks to the pay cuts they have already faced and are now facing once again, thanks to your scheme?

  4. I live on my FRS and SS if i get my FRS cut the state will be supporting me… im barely making it now… what the hell, he lives in a mansion and has how many cars, and doesnt worry about anything… what the hell i wont have a house or a place to live he messes with our retirement…
    stop this madness..

  5. Wow at some point we need to look at all the money generated by this state and how its stolen by our politicians. We have to stop this nonsense. LEAVE THE HARD WORKING MEN AND WOMEN THAT PROVIDE FOR YOUR SAFETY AND EDUCATION ALONE. This state generates billions of dollars on a monthly bases,stop stealing and misusing the funds and we will be more then fine.

  6. Site has been added to my own RSS feed for later exploring, I believe that this is a great cause and the Florida Public Employees should fight to the end. Do not let them take what you have fought so hard for!!!

  7. Hello, this is my first time here on the Florida Public Employees site, and I just wanted to stop by and say hello everyone, keep fighting it is well worth it. 20 years in the FRS.

  8. This is a good start, but, you must write your Representatives and Senators and protest and if they don’t listen, we must challenge this in the courts.

  9. I’m now not certain the place you’re getting your information from, but these are great editorials. I must spend some time studying much more or working out on my own plan to help more. Thank you for the wonderful information on the Florida public employees facebook page, I was searching for this information for my mission and thanks to you I have found it.

  10. I’m for the FRS system here! No doubt, I came across this board and I find It really helpful, and I believe that all should be done to stop Rick Scott and his army from destroying one of the most solid state retirements in the US. I’m hoping to present one thing again and help others such as you helped me, lets keep the pressure coming.

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