Letters to the Editor

Letter: Speak up about state retiree benefits

Something is seriously amiss within the Retired Public Employees of Alaska, or RPEA, an organization chartered to ensure constitutionally guaranteed retirement benefits are not diminished.

RPEA is limited to protecting retirees’ constitutionally guaranteed benefits. It is neither empowered nor chartered to negotiate/mediate benefits with the state on behalf of RPEA members or non-member retirees. However, RPEA’s executive board decided to indefinitely pause RPEA’s pending medical diminishment lawsuit against the state in favor of mediation. The case was scheduled to go to trial in February. The Executive Board member subject to two recall petitions for misconduct is a member of the committee that recommended mediation.

Last summer, three incumbent officers and the sole administrative support person were pressured to resign. Subsequently, two member-driven recall petitions were submitted enumerating misconduct charges against specific board officers. The executive board did not allow membership access to the petitions, denying the membership an opportunity to evaluate the petitions and determine whether either should be supported.RPEA’s next monthly executive board meeting is Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. (see rpea-ak.org/eboard.html). The recall petition and RPEA’s planned mediation will be discussed. Please plan to attend. The voices of RPEA members and all state retirees must be heard.

— Carrie D. Longoria

Anchorage

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