State workers association reacts to Governor's VRS proposal

By Tara Morgan - bio | email
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Would you be able to manage financially, if you faced a 2% pay cut?That's what state employees have to think about.

It's part of the governor's proposal for all of them to start contributing to their pensions.

Ron Jordan heads up the state employees association.

He said he hasn't received any calls just yet from workers, but said the impact probably hasn't sunk in.

Jordan fights for state workers.

For Jordan, the governor's proposal for the Virginia Retirement System is a battle that's only just begun.

Jordan said the concept is troublesome.

 "State employees are not a rich lot by any stretch," said Jordan.

Under the plan, all state employees would start contributing 5% of their salary to the retirement system in July 2011.

To help lessen the blow, the governor is offering a 3% raise.

But Jordan points out they could still end up seeing 2% less in their take home pay.

For those on the lower end of the pay scale, Jordan said a 2% cut could mean the difference between shelling out cash for a prescription co-pay to buying books and clothing for their children.

 "Say you're a custodian in one of the mental health institutions, that can be a lot of money for you," said Jordan.

Jordan said the Virginia Governmental Employees Association appreciates the governor's efforts in trying to keep the VRS financially sound, but at the same state workers should be protected too.

He plans to work with General Assembly members on ideas to help improve the plan.

"Eliminates the financial impact on state employees at the same time comes up with a way to help financially the VRS," said Jordan.

The plan will be presented to state leaders during a budget hearing Friday morning.

Jordan said it's also important to note the governor isn't proposing changes in health insurance premiums or benefits.  

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