Schools' retirement fight going to Supreme Court

Posted at 7:50 AM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 07:50:16-04

About 50 public school employees and retirees picketed Governor Snyder's Lansing offices Tuesday afternoon.

"Stop the attack, give our wages back," chanted protesters.

They were representing 200,000 school employees who had money taken out of their paychecks, without choice from 2010 to 2012.

"We demand that Governor Snyder to stop wasting tax payer money appealing court ruling," said Grand Rapids teacher, Reed Bretz.

Retired Shiawassee school social worker Cheryl Farver believes time is up for the governor and says he needs to give them their money back

"We've won this in court twice now," Farver said. "We're saying that it's time for Governor Snyder to give us the money back"

The money was taken under a law signed in 2010 by then-governor Jennifer Granholm.

The state Court of Appeals found it unconstitutional because employees were being forced to pay for retiree healthcare benefits they were not guaranteed to receive.

"Michigan has had a lot of trouble with liabilities," said Governor Snyder's spokeswoman, Anna Heaton.

She says the state has to keep the state's public school employees retirement system, or MPSERS, completely funded.

"[We are] uncertain with how much it's going to cost us in the future and so this is just giving certainty that will be there for teachers when they retire" Heaton told us.

But Cheryl Farver who retired in June says she hasn't seen a dime from that retirement fund.

"It would help be a great deal because it would be quite a substantial amount of money," Farver said.

If the supreme court does take up the Governor's appeal Cheryl, teachers, and many public school employees say they'll continue hitting the pavement until they get their money back.