State, Teacher 3% July COLA OK

JULY 2003
- Focus Now On Local Boards - With the House, Senate and Governor agreeing on a 3% July COLA for
state and teacher retirees, our attention is now focused on the 104
local retirement boards which vote individually on the COLA.

These
boards can vote for the same 3% figure as the state, but also have the
option of voting for a lower figure, or no COLA at all. As of June 1st,
85 local boards - cities, towns, counties, regions, authorities and
districts - had voted for 3% July COLAs for their members. Four boards
- North Attleboro, Framingham, Peabody and Easthampton - voted for 1.4%
consumer price index (CPI) COLAs. The remaining 15 Boards were
scheduled to vote during the month of June.

One
Board, Stoneham, originally voted 4-1 for a 1.4% COLA in March.
However, at their April meeting, a motion for reconsideration was made,
and the vote was turned around for a victory for Stoneham's retirees.
Members of the four boards that opted for 1.4% COLAs have been
contacted and asked to reconsider their vote, especially Peabody which
was a 3-2 vote.

Two other boards,
Gardner and Worcester, are problematic at this time. Danger signs are
up, and retirees of the Gardner and Worcester Retirement Systems are
being alerted. The Worcester Board will be voting on June 19, and
Gardner on June 22.

"Our
legislation put the COLA vote in the hands of the retirement boards,
rather than city councils or Town Meeting," said Association President
Ralph White. "With the $12,000 base still in effect, that means an
annual COLA of no greater than $360. We've always felt that the boards,
which each have two elected members, are more qualified to understand
the plight of retirees and survivors."

July 2003 3% COLAs Approved (As of June 1, 2003)

Adams
Amesbury
Andover
Arlington
Athol
Barnstable County
Belmont
Berkshire Regional
Blue Hills Reg. Voc.
Boston
Braintree
Bristol County
Brockton
Brookline
Cambridge
Chelsea
Chicopee
Clinton
Concord
Dedham
Duke’s County
Essex Regional
Everett
Fairhaven
Fall River
Fitchburg
Franklin County
Gloucester
Gr. Lawrence San. Dist.
Greenfield
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Haverhill
Hingham
Holyoke
Hull
Lawrence
Leominster
Lexington
Lowell
Lynn
Malden
Marlboro
Mass Housing Finance
Maynard
Medford
Melrose
Methuen
Middlesex Regional
Milford
Milton
Minuteman Reg.
Montague
MWRA
Natick
Needham
New Bedford
Newburyport
Newton
Norfolk County
North Adams
Northbridge
Northampton
Pittsfield
Plymouth
Plymouth County
Quincy
Reading
Salem
Saugus
Shrewsbury
Springfield
Stoneham
Swampscott
Taunton
Wakefield
Waltham
Watertown
Webster
Wellesley
W. Springfield
Westfield
Weymouth
Winchester
Woburn
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