NYS AFL-CIO Launches Statewide Ad Campaign Opposing Tier 6 Rollback of Retirement Security

It's time to rebuild the middle class, not attack what's left of it

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ALBANY, NY (02/07/2012)(readMedia)-- Tomorrow, the NYS AFL-CIO will launch a substantial statewide radio ad campaign opposing the rollback of middle class retirement security. The ad responds to the proposal to create Tier 6 – a new, woefully inadequate retirement plan for nurses, teachers, firefighters, and other employees of state and local government.

"Since the economic recession began, middle class New Yorkers have suffered," said Mario Cilento, President of the NYS AFL-CIO. "Wage freezes, layoffs, and givebacks have been all too common. Now, the retirement security of workers is threatened by an ill-conceived Tier 6 proposal."

The proposed Tier 6 plan would decimate the retirement security of middle class workers. It would force them to choose between a severely diminished defined-benefit pension and a completely insufficient defined-contribution, 401(k) style plan. Either way the ability of workers who dedicate their careers to public service to retire with dignity would be imperiled.

The ad, which will run in every media market across the state, calls on workers to take action and stop the attack on the middle class. As the ad points out, "It's time to rebuild the middle class, not attack what's left of it."

Cilento said, "Make no mistake, this is not just about public employees. This is about all workers and the security provided by defined-benefit pensions. Government should set an example for what we aspire to be, not what we fear we may become. Far too many have already learned the hard way that a 401(k) is not enough."

"There is much we can agree on, such as rebuilding our economy and generating much needed revenue. New Yorkers would be better served if we could focus on that shared agenda of creating and retaining good jobs. So called pension reform simply serves as a distraction that hurts middle class New Yorkers at a time they can afford it least, and slows any momentum we have to turn the economy around" added Cilento.

Ad Script:

What's happening to the middle class?

Income for average families is down. Jobs are scarce. Opportunities working people thought they could count on no longer exist. For many New Yorkers, times are tough. And they could get even tougher.

Because some politicians are putting the retirement security of hard-working New Yorkers on the chopping block.

But going after the pensions of firefighters, teachers, nurses, school bus drivers, police officers – the people we all depend on -- is the wrong way to go. It's time to rebuild the middle class, not attack what's left of it.

Working New Yorkers have been the backbone of our success for generations. When they suffer, we all pay the price. Call Albany at 1-877-255-9417. Tell them to fight for the middle class and STOP the attack on our pensions.

ANNCR: Paid for by New York State AFL-CIO, Mario Cilento, President.