3,600 Accept State's Early-Out

NOVEMBER 2003
- Local ERIs Also Being Adopted - The Commonwealth's second early retirement incentive offer in
two-years was accepted by 3,600 state employees prior to the cutoff
date of September 8.

The date of
retirement for these workers was October 1, with the exception of 1,300
employees of our state's universities and colleges who have a
retirement date of December 31. This is to avoid turmoil within the
fall semester.

Retirement Board
staffers said that over 100 employees had withdrawn their applications
prior to the October 1 retirement date and a number of college
personnel would undoubtedly withdraw prior to December 31. This is a
pattern consistent with last year's ERI.

Employees
signing to retire received an extra five-years credit in either age or
service time, or a combination of the two, whichever best serves their
individual circumstances.

Under law,
only Group 1 employees were eligible for the ERI. Group 4 public safety
personnel, such as correction officers, Group 3 (state police) and
Group 2 (direct care workers in state hospitals) were not included.
Since only 20% of the vacant jobs could be filled by non-hires, the
latter groups could not participate.

Among
our Association's many friends who retired was Pat Scanlan, Clerk of
the State Senate. Pat, who lives in Salem, started as a Senate page
after graduating from Saint Anselm College at age 23.

Now,
at age 51, Scanlan decided this was an "opportunity he couldn't
refuse," especially since his wife had already retired under last
year's ERI.

"Pat and his assistants
have always been very helpful to our Association in tracking
legislation or giving advice," said Legislative Liaison Shawn Duhamel.
"But now he'll be one of our members that we can continue to call on
for help."

Local ERI Underway

The
local early retirement incentive program, which was authorized by the
Legislature, continues underway. It is a five-year maximum ERI that
local governments have an option to accept. Acceptance must be by
November 1, with a retirement date no later than December 31. If
accepted, each city, town, county, district or authority can set its
own limit on numbers of retirements and which employee groups are
eligible.

At this point, the
following have accepted a local early-out plan: Athol, Attleboro,
Bridgewater Housing Auth., Bridgewater-Raynham Reg. Sch., Easthampton,
Edgartown, Essex Reg., Fitchburg, Fitchburg Redev. Auth., Lowell, MWRA,
N. Adams, N. Andover Housing Auth., Northampton, Salem and Worcester.

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