PSERS is a lifeline

Institutional Workers deserve inclusion in PSERS

House Bill 1558 expands the Public Service Employees Retirement System (PSERS). The measure would allow earlier retirement for direct care workers at DSHS and Veterans Affairs institutions. The earlier retirement would recognize these workers’ high rate of injury and assault. Those in high-risk institutions occupations would be allowed to retire at age 60.

“This is an opportunity for our state to remedy what really is an inequity for folks who have worked around folks who are dangerous and who have suffered greater exposure to injury,” the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Christine Kilduff of the 28th Dist., testified last year.

Like a lot of good humanitarian bills, our PSERS bill passed the House in 2017 but was ignored by the old majority controlling the state Senate.

With the new working-family-friendly majority in the state Senate and continued support from the House, our members in state Institutions are wasting no time to put both the PSERS bill and Capital Construction Budget on the fast track.

The PSERS bill hasn’t been scheduled for any action yet, so the timing of the Institutions members’ action is very timely.

Starting today, Federation Institutions members across the state are filling out “Pain Assessment Tools” detailing the harm they’ve experienced from on-the-job assaults and injuries – in line with the point made by Rep. Kilduff.

“Please respect my sacrifice by passing the Capital Budget and cover my work in the Public Safety Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS),” the members will say in their separate messages to their two House members and state senator.

Our Institutional workers are sharing their pain: