CSEA President Danny Donohue: Activism is still important

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After working for many years, you have earned a secure retirement that includes your pensions, Social Security and health benefits.

Unfortunately, not everyone agrees.

Although you have all worked hard to earn your retirement security, there are politicians and corporate leaders who think that public retirees have too much and want to take it away from you and from future retirees.
This is absolutely unacceptable, and we will fight any attempt to take away what you have earned.

In recent years, several public employers have tried to gut retiree health benefits, often from people who have been retired for many years and were promised those benefits. The latest example of this is the New York State Thruway, which is raising contribution rates by 6 percent.

While that percentage may not sound terrible, it is in fact a sizable increase for some of the authority’s retirees. It is also simply morally wrong to put this type of squeeze on people who already live on fixed incomes.
This is not the first time we have fought back on this issue, which brings me to my next point: when we fight back, we win.

You may be retired, but it’s still crucial for all of us to stand together and fight, not only for your own retirement security, but for that of future retirees. We are facing serious threats to our future, thanks to sustained attacks on middle-class retirees and workers by those who oppose working people.

They may be better funded, but we have our voices. Let’s use those voices to talk with one another and come together as one union. We may not agree on everything, but we all want retirement security and dignity for ourselves and each other, and we have to work together if we want to secure our futures and that of our children and grandchildren.

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