Teachers union slams PERA deal as Gov. Hickenlooper characterizes it as a fair compromise
Lawmakers reached last-minute deals on PERA, where people can drink beer and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission
Colorado’s largest teachers union on Thursday slammed an eleventh-hour deal reached Wednesday night by lawmakers to stabilize the state’s underfunded pension system, saying they were especially frustrated that the plan reached deep into educator’s pockets after thousands of educators recently protested at the Capitol recently demanding more money.
“We are very disappointed in our elected officials who did not support educators and retirees, and even chose to take money out of their pockets,” said Kerrie Dallman, president of the Colorado Education Association, in a statement. She added: “This is bad policy done in haste.”
But Gov. John Hickenlooper — who made a late-trip visit to a Democratic caucus meeting to lobby lawmakers to support the bill for Public Employees Retirement Association — characterized the deal as being fair.
“When you step back and look at who made more, who made less, I think they work out pretty evenly — especially when you adjust them for who is getting benefits, who’s not,” the term-limited Democrat told reporters Thursday. “It’s certainly in the self-interest in the state. We don’t want an obligation as large as PERA to even have a hint of vulnerability. And that’s what this does. This really will take us very rapidly back into compliance.”
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