I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Judge Fulford FRS Ruling + Milli Vanilli Chest Bump = FEA Celebration Tonight!

FEA will be Popping Champagne and doing Flying Chest Bumps over this One…….

So the infamous pop duo Milli Vanilli, before they were stripped of their Grammy Awards for lip-syncing all of their shows and taking credit for songs they never actually recorded, made the flying chest bump famous in the late ‘80s.

Now it is somewhat commonplace among athletes, celebrities, rappers, and now even grown, middle aged white men in Tallahassee.

The Florida Education Association (FEA) and their leader Andy Ford will be going full Milli Vanilli today, I can almost hear the champagne corks popping off the wall and the Milli Vanilli classics
“Girl you Know it’s True” and “Ba Ba Ba Baby, Don’t Forget My Number” and “Blame it on the Rain” droning in the background as these people are doing summersaults, high fives, and flying chest-bumps!!
Who knows, they might even go apoplectic freaky and try to do the “robot”

(What an odd but funny visual this conjures up!)
Why all the celebrating among the wonderful state teacher’s union?
Today a judge in Tallahassee struck down the FRS law as a violation of contract rights, ruling in favor of the FRS.  So the

 $Billion from last year and the $Billion from this year—that money is going to have to come back to the employees if the immediate appeal is not successful.
from the Judge's order:
"The portions of Senate Bill 2100 imposing a 3% mandatory employee contribution and eliminating the cost-of-living adjustment for future service are unconstitutional as applied to individuals who were members of the FRS prior to July 1, 2011, and defendents are permanently enjoined from implementing these provisions as to such individuals"
See the copy of Judge Fulford’s order here 
Wooo Hooo!!—red meat recruiting material for the unions!!  Wooo-hooooo!

(I’m one of the conservative taxpaying lunatics that believes having government employees contribute a very small, reasonable portion toward their own retirements like every other state already does is a sound and fair practice, and I am happy to contribute my 3% if it keeps DROP in place. [see, that {DROP} will be the next legislative target if this FEA victory is upheld, just sayin'] Also, I am happy to contribute my 3% if it keeps the State’s retirement fund [and the State of Florida itself ] solvent through this recession, but maybe I’m just out of sync?  Maybe FEA wins this battle then DROP disappears, would that constitute a pyrrhic victory---um, yes I think so?  Also, and potentially most importantly, I still like some Milli-Vanilli songs and I,too, occasionally attempt to do the "Robot")


Anonymous said...

Did you actually read the judges full pronouncement?

There was not/is not now an issue with the solvency or strength of the state employees' pension plan. The judge clearly states that this was an attempt by the state to balance the STATE budget on the back of one portion of the state's population.... its public employees.

Please research you position before you make such specious claims.

Jeff Bergosh said...

Anonymous—of course I read it, I was one of the first to read and post it, and I have a plenary understanding of the meaning of this document. I believe that before the law was conceived and passed, a thorough research of the implications under Florida’s constitution and laws should have been undertaken and I’m not sure it was. This said, what has happened has happened and we are where we are.
Now, the idea of employees paying something into their own pensions is not a radical one; let’s be clear on that. Therefore, I’m not celebrating this ruling as a victory nor am I lamenting it as a loss. I support public sector employees having some skin in the game and paying some small, reasonable portion of their income into their own pensions. But I do worry that if the left-leaning, social activist wing of the Statewide teacher’s unions go about issuing thunderous proclamations of victory over this initial ruling-- as they are doing currently, by the way-- that the legislators will go after DROP next—a very sound and revenue neutral program highly beneficial to state employees. (Could this be considered retaliatory? I think not, but really that depends upon one’s perspective.)
So, the big picture as I see it is that the unions should get the hell out of the way, pull this out of court voluntarily and stop parading around beating their chests as if they have singlehandedly saved the planet by having the FRS ruling go their way. These unions ought to sit down and collectively bargain a statewide MOU/MOA with Governor Scott to voluntarily contribute toward the pensions, while advocating the maintaining of DROP program for their members as a part of the deal. Collectively bargain statewide over two big, important issues—what a concept! Then, individual jurisdictions could hold local ratification votes, and everyone could then join hands and sing “kumbaya” like in the hippy Coca-Cola commercials from 1975.
Because state Employees like DROP; they don’t want to lose it. If the unions push the legislators by rubbing their noses in this initial court defeat over the 3% mandatory contribution, and subsequently DROP goes away—who will the winner be at that point? I can tell you who the losers will be-- the unions and hard-working, dedicated state employees who have in many cases staked their retirements on the idea that DROP will be there for them in their golden years.

Anonymous said...

Gee, you may know a lot about Milli Vanilli, but you obviously don't know much about law. The judge ruled based on LAW, not politics or the whim of the Idiot In Control. Sadly, you are typical a lot of school members all over Florida who know nothing about education. YOU and your kind of are root of screwed up budgets. YOu might want to get out your Kleenex, because the Fl Supreme Court will uphold the ruling, as it is based on the LAW.