2014 EM Retired Fall Breakfast

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Education Minnesota Fall Breakfast 2014

By Bobbie Margo

 

The Education Minnesota Retired Fall Breakfast was held on Thursday, October 16th at 9:00 a.m. at the Minnesota Science Museum in St. Paul. For a very low price one can have a full breakfast, (very yummy-egg bake with spinach, French toast, hash browns, sausage, blueberry cobbler, fruit, and lots of coffee) excellent guest speeches, and the chance to network with other Education Minnesota colleagues.

State Auditor Rebecca Otto was the morning's first speaker. Otto was very specific in stating that MN is NOT the next Detroit; 1.6% of MN's state budget is used for public pensions. Otto stated that she has spoken a lot/at length with GASB (Government Accounting Standards Board). They say that their intent is to provide transparency, but it is rather difficult to compare pension plans in all 50 states-they are all different. GASB figures will be published for the general public starting in 2015. FACT: pensions provide retirement security in our communities-not poverty.

Education Minnesota Secretary/Treasurer Rodney Rowe was the next speaker. Rowe is a teacher on leave from Worthington and has been in the classroom for 20 years. Rowe stressed-elections, elections, elections! We need to maintain control of the House and as of this writing, 10 seats are up for grabs-could be as many as 17. We need to elect pro education candidates; under Gov. Dayton we have made great strides, making Minnesota a be place to live and to work. The Education Minnesota Representative Convention (in April of 2014) passed a resolution to create a task force to study continuous membership. How do we as Ed MN Retirees formulate a continuous membership plan to bring to this task force? Then how can this plan be brought to the RC floor and become a reality?

Dan Mikel, member of the State AFL-CIO Retiree Council was the next speaker. Mikel spoke about the restoration of the Capitol Building in St. Paul. This restoration bill was passed when the Republicans were in the majority. This new remodeling project puts both Republicans and Democrats in the same building and allows more than ever networking possibilities between both parties. Mikel closed by calling our attention to a video on UTube entitled, “Public Pensions At Risk.” This video features our own Walt Munsterman!

The final speaker of the morning was Rick Winters. Winters works with groups of retired teachers during even numbered years to help with elections. This program, started in 2004, is funded by the American Federation of Teachers. Retirees have helped to make this program a success-was to go retirees!

A special thank-you to the Program Committee (Joan Clark, Myrna Doran, Betty/Boy Toy, Lois Wendt) for planning this event. All-in-all, what a great way to spend the day! Hope to see you next year-in the fall-at the breakfast!