TPAF members urge Trustees to sue for pension payments

23,097 letters demand legal action

Published on Wednesday, June 4, 2014

TPAF Letters
NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Sean Spiller, President Wendell Steinhauer, and Vice President Marie Blistan deliver over 23,000 letters to TPAF demanding legal action to protect the pension system.

In an overwhelming display of anger at Gov. Christie’s proposed illegal pension raid and their determination to prevent it, over 23,000 members of the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund have submitted letters to the TPAF Board of Trustees urging them to join the fray. 

The letters demand that the trustees take legal action to stop the governor from violating the very pension law he fought for and signed in 2011.

NJEA president Wendell Steinhauer explained the motivation behind the letters. 

“The law could not be more clear.  It imposes higher contributions and lower benefits on our members, but it also requires the state to pay its share.  Those payments aren’t optional, and they aren’t determined by what Gov. Christie feels like paying.  He knows that, because he signed the law.  We intend to hold him accountable to uphold the law,” Steinhauer said.

“NJEA has already announced that it will sue the Governor, in conjunction with other unions.  But the law also allows the Boards of Trustees of the various pension funds to sue in order to protect the integrity of the funds.  Our members demand that the Trustees take action to protect their contractual right to a well-funded, secure pension system. We will watch carefully to see if the trustees will represent the members of the funds, or just defer to Gov. Christie’s illegal plan.”

In addition to the 23,097 letters submitted to TPAF, over 12,700 letters have been submitted and will be delivered to the Trustees of the three other affected pension funds: PERS, PFRS and SPRS. 

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