Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu Updates!

Public school employees are on the front line when it comes to identifying the spread of illnesses among children. This is clearly the fact in the most recent outbreak of the swine flu situation. The closing of schools in New York and Texas are the most recent examples. To help prepare MEA members with strategies and updates on how to limit a serious outbreak MESSA is reporting developments on their Website at

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Important Retirement Information

Are you retiring this summer? If you are there is an important decision you will make about enrolling in the insurance plan. If you decide not to enroll you can enroll at a later date but there will be a waiting period. If you do decide to enroll later your coverage will begin on the first day of the sixth month after ORS receives all required forms and proofs of eligibility.

The waiting period can be waived if you or a dependent has an involuntary loss of other group coverage or a qualifying event such as a change in your family status.

So...plan carefully if you are thinking about delaying enrollment in the health insurance plan at retirement.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Return to the 180 Day School Year?

The legislative subcommittee of the State Board Of Education recommended a proposal to return to a 180 school day requirement. (The House passed a 170 days and 1098 hours requirement in the School Aid budget – HB 4447.) The board approved this recommendation stating that the current legislation allowing flexibility (requiring only hours of instruction) in school scheduling has been abused by many districts. They want this requirement to be included in any school reform legislation.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Modest MPSERS Rate Increase for 2009-10

The contribution rate that employers pay to the Michigan Public School Retirement System (MPSERS) will have a very modest increase for the 2009-10 school year. Effective October 1, 2009 employers will pay 16.94% on employees' wages into MPSERS. This is a .4% increase from the 2008-09 rate and is way below the projection of many Superintendents and school Business Officials.

Based on a 2004 study by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan that projected the 2008 contribution rate would surpass 20% of payroll Superintendents have been projecting that retirement costs will have a negative impact on future budgets. The modest increase for 2009-10 disproves that myth.

Mr. Scott Crosby, Superintendent of Wexford-Missaukeee ISD, stated in the Cadillac News he supports legislation that would require school employees share equally any increase in the retirement rate. In other words many employees could realize a pay decrease!

Please voice your view on Mr. Crosby's proposals by leaving a comment on this Blog.