NEWS ARCHIVES


Temporary Healthcare Agreement - Healthcare Open Enrollment Extended
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association
January 31, 2014
 
Healthcare Open Enrollment extended until February 7, more details from the City will be released shortly.

Presidents Unity Article Jan 2014

With the New Year the level of confession and uncertainty continues. The city once again is pushing forward with the Healthcare open enrollment that severely reduces benefits for Medicare eligible retirees, and eliminates Healthcare coverage for pre-Medicare members. We realize that this new level of benefits is going to cause a severe economic hardship for our members. The Association is doing everything it can in an attempt to improve this situation, but it is going to take some time. We had made a request that the city include an additional option on its Healthcare proposal for the Medicare eligible retirees. That additional option will give the retiree the opportunity to receive a cash option equivalent to the value of the supplement being offered with the Medicare Advantage Plans. The City has now agreed to offer this option. Those that decide to opt out of the plans offered by the City, will now be able to receive a stipend in the amount of $115.00 for the Retiree and additional $115.00 for the spouse, if the spouse is also Medicare Eligible, and not covered by her/his own insurance. These funds may not be available until May 1, 2014.

The Association has also met with several Healthcare providers and found that the retiree would be able to purchase a plan much richer in benefits than those currently being offered by Blue Cross and HAP in this open enrollment. If you want to contact them, they include;

GlobeCare Medicare Supplement, George Molnar (888) 534-3257 
georgemolnar@hismi.com

Professional Benefits Services, Bud Gottlick 800-732-3412, 616-285-2480 bgottlick@professionalbenefits.net

Senior Choice, Kurt Foulds (734) 262-3206 kufou@live.com

We have posted video presentations by the above Insurance providers on our photo/video web-site
http://www.phanfare.com/library/?a=6401814

We have not as yet been able to find any Healthcare Plans that would be beneficial for those under 65 and not eligible for a Federal subsidy under the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) the city has stated they may attempt to put together a Group Plan that pre-Medicare retirees could purchase. The only other option is going to be for pre Medicare retirees to find their own coverage.

We have received information from three companies that say they are interested in providing you with Dental coverage, if you are interested in talking with them to see if they have anything that may be of interest to you the contact information is;

Golden Dental Detroit (313) 535-4241, Warren (800) 451-5918 rates single $23.70
DENCAP Dental Plans (313) 972-1400 rates single $19.90

COPS Trust will be sending out information on Dental and Vision Plans they will be offering, which are;
Delta Dental, Retiree only $25.79 with dependent $51.58
United Healthcare Vision 12 Month Plan $12.50, 24 Month Plan $10.50 ,

The COPS Trust will be mailing out information and enrollment forms to all Police and Fire Retirees offering these plans, the mailing will be in RDPFFA envelopes.
The City of Detroit has slightly improved the level of benefits for the remainder of 2014, some of the improvements include;

1. Stipend/HRA for Medicare eligible. May1, 2014 implementation of $115 stipend for retiree and Medicare eligible spouse as alternative to Medicare plans offered by the city.

2. Retirees over 65 and not eligible for Medicare would see their stipend increase to $300 per month from $125.

3. Spouses under 65 would become eligible for $125 stipend, if they are not available to be covered under another plan, and household annual income falls between $30,000 and $75,000. Must enroll in plan under Exchange ACA (Those with annual income under $30,000 would qualify for low cost Healthcare under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

4. Medicare soft cap (at approximately $4550.00 in payments on prescription drugs, Medicare requires a 5% co-pay). City to pick up in full the 5% co-pay, retiree must participate in Medicare Plan offered by city.

5. Retirees scheduled to receive stipend of $125 will be able to apply for additional $50 per month, if household income under $75,000.

6. For Retirees under 65, The City is working on a Group Plan which will be available at full cost to Retirees, we believe the Plan is the current plan now available to active employees. The premiums Retirees will be required to pay for this plan is not clear at this time.

The above listed items cover most of the changes or improvements regarding Healthcare Plans for 2014. Once these additional improvements are finalized you should receive information from the city regarding these changes and more details. Some of these changes require in-depth explanation, so wait for informational details from the City. These changes will require additional time to process so spouses and retirees receiving new or increased stipend may not receive it until May or June, but will be effective as of March, 2014. These Healthcare Plans are for 2014 only. As the Mediation continues and a clearer picture of the City's assess emerges and a number of legal questions are cleared up, the RDPFFA will continue to push for improved Healthcare Benefits through a consensual agreement, or in the City's Plan of Adjustment (POA) in the Bankruptcy Court.

The Mediation process is continuing in an effort to reach a consensual agreement regarding Healthcare and Pensions. I met with Chief Judge Rosen regarding the Mediation and the RDPFFA representation in the Mediation process. After a lengthy discussion Judge Rosen agreed that the RDPFFA should be allowed to participate in the Mediation process as an Association on behalf of its members. This gives us more representation and a stronger voice. Currently we are limited to participation through the one seat allotted on the Official Retiree Committee. Regardless this Mediation process is going to be difficult and challenging. We are going to need our members to stick together as we work our way through this process.

With all the legal maneuvering, Mediation, court hearing and other legal actions we are taking on behalf of our members, we now have our attorneys working just about seven days a week. With two firms working around the clock you can just imagine the legal expenses we are racking up. So we are continuing to ask for your support, if you have the means to assist. Make checks payable to RDPFFA and in the memo section write Legal.


The Association has also filed an appeal with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the ruling from Judge Rhodes that the city was eligible for Bankruptcy, and requested an expedited hearing. We are also in Lansing working with legislators in an attempt to improve our situation and protect the pensions. The mediation is continuing, so there is always the possibility that a consensual agreement may be reached.

We are continuing to do everything possible to protect and preserve our benefits, but we must be realistic, it is going to be very difficult to maintain the current level of Healthcare Benefits.

With all that is happening the Association has set up a Hotline for members to call into for updates. The phone number is 1-888-596-2508.You will be able to call 24 hours a day, and we will update the number whenever new information becomes available.

Some of the Details regarding changes and improvement to 2014 Healthcare coverage is still be finalized, this is temporary, not the final plan under the Bankruptcy, covers the year 2014.

Don Taylor
President 


Court Filings
October 22, 2013
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

Down load the latest court filings:

Information and Updates Concerning the Detroit Bankruptcy
Updated September 20, 2013
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

Legal Firms Representing Detroit Retirees;
  • Retained by RDPFFA, Main Counsel, Lippitt O’Keefe, and Bankruptcy Firm of Silverman & Morris
Retained by the official Retiree Committee,
  • The Lead Counsel is the Firm of Dentons; they will be working with the local Bankruptcy Firm of Brooks Wilkins Sharkey & Turco
  • The Financial Advisers is the Firm of Lazard Freres & Co, (Lazard)
  • The Actuary Advisers is the Firm of Segal Consulting   
The members of the Official Retiree Committee appointed by the U. S. Trustees (US Justice Department) Are as follows;
  • Committee Chair, Terri Renshaw Individual Member (Retiree City of Detroit)
  • Committee Vice Chair, Shirley Lightsey President Detroit Retired City Employees Association
  • Wendy Fields-Jacobs, International Union UAW
  • Michael Karwoski, Individual Member (Retiree City of Detroit)
  • Edward McNeil, AFSCME Retiree Sub-Chapter 98 (Retiree City of Detroit)
  • Robert Shinske, Treasurer Detroit Fire Fighters Association (Active)
  • Donald Taylor, President RDPFFA (Retiree City of Detroit)
  • Gail Turner, Vice President Retired Detroit Police Members Association (Retiree City of Detroit)
  • Gail Wilson, Individual Member (Surviving Spouse of City of Detroit Retiree)
Regular updates will be posted whenever any of the Professionals, the Official Retiree Committee or the RDPFFA has information that can be released to the membership.     

Filings and Information Released by RDPFFA Attorneys;

Filings and Information released by Attorneys and Professionals of the “Official Retiree Committee”


Notice and Consent Letter
July 29, 2013
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

Download the Notice and Consent letter here.

Information - Emergency Manager Meeting
June 21, 2013
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

Download the large version in three separate files: EM Form One - EM Form Two - EM Form Three. Or if you have slower download speeds, you can download the entire file which has been condensed here: Smaller Version, (prints full size).


Senate Bills
June 15, 2012
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

Senate Bill 409 Relates to New State Tax Law and Pensions from Agencies that did not participate in Social Security.

Senate Bill 1189 requires equal treatment of all elected pension board trustees.

Michigan Tax on Pensions Effective January 1, 2012
December 6, 2011
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

The following information will assist you in understanding the changes. Click here to download it.

2007 Healthcare Booklet
November 4, 2011
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

Please follow this link to the Healthcare booklet, http://www.dpfretiree.com
In the menu, click on Index of Settlement Agreement Exhibits. Under Exhibit 1, if you're under 65, click on Section A (37 pages). If over 65 click on Section B (34 pages). They can also be downloaded directly from this site by clicking on Section A or Section B.

2011 Annual Mail-in Dues Form is Online
January 4, 2011
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association


Click on the JOIN RDPFFA button in the menu to open the printable, annual mail-in dues form. The auto deduction form for 2011 is not ready at this time for posting.


Michigan Association of Retired Public Employees
Michigan Association of Retired
                                                          Public
                                                          EmployeesNew Statewide Organization
April 14, 2010
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

RDPFFA Members,

We are requesting your assistance in getting out this message, please forward to everyone on your e-mail list. I also request that you consider joining the new association as an individual. A request will be made to the RDPFFA Board of Directors requesting the Association join. (Check out the new web-site www.mi-arpe.com) More...


Phone Number Correction
January 6, 2010
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association
Starting today you should be able to verify your Blue Cross coverage.
 
Corrected Phone Numbers:

The BCBS Group number is 54731

BCBS phone number *** 800 951 2583

BCBS Medicare advantage  phone number 866 684 8216

RX Pharmacists prior approval phone numbers (Mich.) 800 437 3803  and (Non Mich.)800 239 1023

 To locate participating providers outside of Michigan 800 810 2583



Retiree "Unity" magazine Volume #105, April 2011
April 27, 2011
Pension Seat HB 4135 & Legislative Update
April 15, 2011
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

On Thursday April 14, 2011 the Michigan Senate passed House Bill 4135 by a 38 to 0 Vote. The Bill is now sent back to the House for a concurrence vote and then on to the Governor. 

I want to Thank everyone that has assisted with this legislation by writing, calling and e-mailing your legislators. Without your assistance this would not have been possible. We know that we reached this same point last year, but things are different this time. Last year we were told by the Governors staff that they were going to recommend that the Governor veto the Bill. Also a number of labor unions were requesting that the Governor veto the Bill. This time when the final vote in the Senate took place yesterday there were no organizations or Unions still actively opposing the Bill. We have also been informed by Governor Snyder's staff that he has no problem with the legislation. So we expect a different outcome this time around.

 

We have also been working on other issues in Lansing that affect our members. We are all aware of the proposals that are in Lansing to Tax pensions. The latest;

Under 62, your total pension would be taxed,

Age 62 to 67 if single after 20,000 if joint after 40,000 would be taxed

Age 67 and above pensions would not be subject to tax.

In addition to above all Social Security income is excluded from retirement tax

As we have been meeting with legislators regarding taxing of pensions, we found that a large number of them, including the Governor were not aware that a majority of Police & Fire retirees do not qualify for social security and those that do only receive a fraction of the amount they have earned because of the Federal Windfall Elimination and Pension Offset passed in 1985. This was not taken into account in any of the current proposals. We have been informed that this is now being looked into, and currently Senator Mike Nofs (R) Battle Creek (Retired from MSP) is working on legislation which would address the issue of Social Security and WEP as it relates to Police & Fire Retirees and the question of fairness regarding the taxing of pensions. We will continue to meet with legislators and attend the Committee Hearings to ensure that our concerns are heard.    

 

We have also been attending the Hearings regarding the legislation that would require all Public Employees to pay a minimum of 20% of the total cost of Healthcare. The Chairman of the committee (Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing) and the sponsor of the Bill, is Senator Jansen. I have spoken with him, and he has ensured me that Retirees are not included in the legislation and will not be affected. I did bring up our Healthcare Settlement agreement just so that he would be aware of it. Senator Jansen and Senator Colbeck asked for copies of the Settlement Agreement, which I have provided them with along with other documents. We will continue to monitor this issue as it works it way through the system.

 

There are a number of other pieces of legislation that may affect Retirees and Public employees that we are monitoring; these are just a few of the main ones. This is going be a difficult and interesting year with the financial condition of the State and the City of Detroit.          

 

As our issue regarding HB4135 comes to an end and with all active opposition by the Local Unions to our legislation having ended, I believe that it is in the best interest of our members and our association what we put the differences that we had in regards to our legislation behind us and move foreword in a joint effort in regards to the other issues in Lansing that may affect Retirees and Public Employees.            





RDPFFA Educational Convention
March 28, 2011
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

Please sign up now if you plan on attending

Crystal Mountain Golf & Ski Resort

The RDPFFA has scheduled the annual convention arriving May 24 and departing  May 27, 2011 at Crystal Mountain Resort located at 12500 Crystal Mountain Drive Thompsonville, MI 49683 (near Traverse City). This event is a great opportunity for members to spend a little time socializing with fellow retirees, friends and family.  We will host a hospitality room each day which will include snacks and beverages along with a game room which members will be able to partake in some friendly games of chance. (cards) Each evening we will gather in the area located in the center of the Mountain Top Townhomes, for some beverages and a cookout.(We ask that you consider this area first for your accommodations) The area has a private pool and picnic area. On Wednesday we will have a short meeting with speakers that includes representatives from our healthcare providers, dental, investments and other areas of interest.

You can now go on line and book your reservation, at www.crystalmountain.com/grouplodging enter group code 45i63M (3 item letter I)we have special lodging and golf rates for our group as follows;

Guest Room $109, Hotel $119, One Bedroom Condo $169, Two Bedroom Condo $209, Two Bedroom Cottage $259, Two Bedroom Mountain Top $259, three Bedroom Bungalow $319, Four Bedroom Bungalow $369, and five Bedroom Mountainside $369, these prices are per night and do not include tax and fees. Some of these accommodations sleep up to 16 people. So gather your friends and family and share a home to reduce the overall cost.  The homes and townhouses come completely equipped with dishes, pots and pans, everything you need is for the most part provided. If you have questions call the office or call the resort at 231-378-2000 or just check out the web-site www.crystalmountain.com .

Activities on site, Golf 18 holes $40 or $35 depending on course (W/cart), 10 acre Golf learning center, indoor &  outdoor pools, Fitness Center, Tennis, Michigan Legacy Art Park, Spa, Chairlift Rides, Hiking Trails, Crystal Coaster (Michigan's only alpine slide), Mountain Bike Rental.

Nearby, Charter Fishing, Horseback Riding, Lake Michigan & Crystal Lake Beaches, Winery Tours, Canoeing, shopping, sleeping Bear Dunes Boat Cruise, and Casinos.

Rates are valid for pre and post stays, rates are for single/double for Hotel or Suite, and for single/quad for the two bedrooms or larger accommodations. Additional charge per person after the allotted number of guest.   

Only  limited accommodations were held, so you need to make your reservations as soon as possible. Space is very limited.   

There is no cost for those that live in the area and are just attending the events, but we need the names and number of guest.

Please notify the office if you make a reservation, room type and number and names of guest. Even if you have already notified us, please do so once again so we can be sure we have the proper number of guest listed as attending. 



HB 4135 Pension Board Seat - Hearing in Senate Appropriations
March 25, 2011
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

On Wednesday March 23, 2011 The Senate Appropriations Voted in support of HB 4135  with a favorable recommendation,  

Twelve Senators voted in support

No one Voted in opposition

Four Senators passed. (Did not Vote)

Speaking in opposition was just one Representative from the State Fighters Fighters Assoc.

The Bill is now before the full Senate, which is on break until April 12, 2011. We expect the Bill to be brought up once the Senators return.

We need everyone to contact your State Senator and ask for their support on HB 4135. It is important that everyone contact the Leadership and ask for their support and that they move the Bill forward.      

Senate Majority Leader, Randy Richardville 517-373-3543, Fax 517-373-0927   SenRichardvile@senate.michigan.gov  P.O. Box 30036 Lansing, MI 48909-7536.

You may also want to go the senate web-site www.senate.michigan.gov and look up your Senators  additional information including e-mail addresses..




Response to misleading information being circulated in Lansing by the Detroit Fire Fighters Association, regarding our House Bill (HB4135) and their current Act 312 Arbitration
March 15, 2011
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

Download this letter from the President of the RDPFFA.



HB 4135 Pension Board Seat - Hearing in Senate Sub-Committee
March 15, 2011
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

On Tuesday March 15, 2011 The Senate Appropriation Sub-Committee on Retirement Voted in support of HB 4135  with a favorable recommendation. Three Senators voted in support and one Senator passed.

Voting in Support Senators; Jansen, Caswell and Colbeck, passing Senator Hood

  

House Bill 4135 now will move on to the full committee on Appropriation. We need you to contact the members of the committee and the Leadership in the Senate, and ask for their support on HB4135. If we are going to be successful we must have your assistance. Those in opposition are not letting up, so we must continue our efforts. You only need to pick-up a newspaper to realize that our pension is in need of greater oversight and accountability. We must attain a voice to insure that your Pensions remain safe, and put an end to those back room deals, using your pension money.

  

Speaking in opposition was Representatives from the Detroit Fire Fighters Assoc and the State Fire Fighters Assoc. They referred to the DFFA current contract Act 312 arbitration, and attempted to convince the Senators that the issue could be resolved in the arbitration. We countered with the fact that all four contracts must have the same language and only the DFFA asked that a retiree to be added, the others asked for Status quo. I had a letter circulated in the House of Representatives which explains the problem with what they are saying. A copy of this letter is posted above.   

You may also want to go the senate web-site www.senate.michigan.gov and look up your Senator or get additional information including e-mail addresses..



Update HB 4135 - Pension Board Seat
February 11, 2011
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

On Thursday February 10, 2011 the Michigan House of Representatives voted to approve HB 4135 by a 84 to 24 vote. The Bill has now been sent to the Michigan Senate.

We ask that you contact your State Senator and ask for their support on HB 4135.

If you need contact information you can go to www.senate.michigan.gov and in the column on the right click "Find your Senator". Everyone and those from outstate should contact the Leadership. Randy Richardville (R 17th District) Senate Majority Leader, and Gretchen Whitmer (D 23rd District) Senate Minority Leader, and ask for their support.



Pension Board Seat, House Bill 4135
February 8, 2011
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

The Pension Board Seat, House Bill 4135 was passed by The Oversight, Reform and Ethics committee today, Feb 8th 2011 by a 5 to 1 vote and has been sent to the full house for a vote. We've been informed that it will be brought to the House floor on Thursday, Feb 10th by the end of session.

I'm now asking for your support, please contact your State Representative and when asking for His or Her support of HB 4135 it will be helpful if you also refer to HB 4917 from the previous legislative session. They will be able to research HB 4917, and because HB 4135 is the same language, this should help to answer any questions they may have.




Pension Board Seat, House Bill 4135 Introduced Replacing HB 4917
January 27, 2011
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

On January 25th House Bill 4135 was introduced by State Rep Fred Durhal (with 21 Co-sponsors), and assigned to the Oversight, Reform and Ethics Committee. On January 26th (one day later!!) we were notified by the Chairman of the committee State Rep Tom McMillin, that he had been notified that HB 4135 was assigned to his committee, and he was ready to move the Bill at their next committee meeting. (Tuesday February 1, 2011 at 12Noon in room 326, House Office Bldg)

If you recall it was a year before we were able to hold hearings on HB4917.

I am now asking for your support, please contact the members of the committee, your State Representatives and your State Senators. When asking for their support of HB 4135 it will be helpful if you also refer to HB 4917 from the previous legislative session. They will be able it research HB4917, and because HB 4135 is the same language, this should help to answer any questions they may have. I will be in Lansing from Monday January 31, until Thursday Feb 3rd. If you or one of your Representatives have questions, or need additional information you can contact me on my cell 810-627-9349.

We are also looking into providing transportation for our members, their friends and family that wish to attend the Committee hearing Tuesday February 1. We will be sending out more information regarding transportation. If you are planning to attend please contact the office 586-795-1734, or after hours call my cell 810-627-9349.

We should not assume that because HB4917 passed through the committee and both chambers that HB4135 will easily pass. Contact your Representatives, thank them for their previous support and ask that they continue to support our efforts.

Language HB 4135 (same as HB4917)

"If the charter of a city, village, or township with a population of 500,000 or more specifies the selection of a Retirant member of the Municipality's Fire Department, Police Department, or Fire and Police Department pension or retirement board, the method of selection of that member is a prohibited subject of bargaining."

Oversight, Reform and Ethics Committee members;

Tom McMillin (R) Committee Chair,
45th District 517-373-1773
TomMcMillin@house.mi.gov (Co-sponsor HB4135)

Bradford Jacobsen (R) Majority Vice- Chair,
 46th District 517-373-1798 BradJacobsen@house.mi.gov

Cynthia Denby (R) 47th District 517-373-8835 CindyDenby@house.mi.gov (Co-Sponsor HB4135)

Amanda Price (R) 89th District 517-373-0838 AmandaPrice@house.mi.gov

Timothy Bledsoe (D) Minority Vice-Chair 1st District 517-373-0154 TimBedsoe@house.mi.gov

Lisa Brown (D) 39th District 517-373-373-1799 LisaBrown@house.mi.gov

Let's all do our part, we came to close with HB4917 to now sit back and take a chance on letting this attempt fall through. It's our pension we have too much to lose. Contact your Representatives, make the trip to Lansing and witness your government in action.

Thank You for your support.



House Bill 4917 Vetoed
December 22, 2010
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

HB 4917 Vetoed by Governor Granholm

On Wednesday December 22, 2010, we were notified that Governor Granholm Vetoed HB4917, ignoring the wishes of the citizens of Detroit as expressed in the 1997 Charter revision, ignoring the support and request of the Elected Representatives of Detroit and most importantly ignoring the rights of all Retired Detroit Police Officers and Retired Detroit Fire Fighters. She also passed up the opportunity to sign into Law a Bill that would have added some accountability and much needed additional oversight to the Police & Fire Pension system.

It is unfortunate that we must endure this delay in providing you your rightful position on the Pension Board, but we have no intention of letting Ms Granholms Veto stand. With the new Legislators and new Governor entering office we intend to continue to pursue proper representation and accountability on the pension Board.

I will be meeting with our Bill Sponsor, State Representative Fred Durhal Jr. tomorrow (Thursday December 23) to prepare to have our legislation reintroduced. In order to expedite the legislation, it will be submitted prior to December 30, 2010. Based on the overwhelming support we had in the House and Senate we believe we will be able to move the legislation very quickly, and have it in front of a Governor that is not owned by the AFL-CIO.

The local unions lead by the Fire Fighters Union and the AFL-CIO will stop at nothing to deny you a voice on the management of your pension system. Their biggest fear is that once we gain our seat their abuse and misuse of your money will have to stop. Although we cannot match the millions of dollars that the AFL-CIO donates to the Democratic Party, we have; basic fairness, justice, equal treatment and enforcing the will of the citizens of Detroit on our side. Let us not forget that on January 1, the Republican Party is in charge and we had their total support in both the House and Senate.

I ask for your patience and continued support, we suffered a setback, which I believe will be short in duration, and with your support we will prevail. The message must be made clear to the local unions that we will not allow our rights to continue to be denied. There is no justification for the recent actions taken by the Local Unions against Retirees including their attempt to block our Healthcare Lawsuit Settlement, their misuse of your pension funds and this attempt to deny you a seat on your pension board.



Update on HB4917 - Retired Member on Police & Fire Pension Board
December 3, 2010
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

On Thursday December 2, 2010 The Michigan Senate voted to approve HB4917 and send the Bill on to the Governor. The Vote showed 34 Senators Voting in Support of the Bill and (0) None voting in opposition. Although we are pleased with action taken by the State Representatives and the State Senators in supporting HB4917, we still face another challenge. We were informed that the Fire Fighters Association intends to send letters to the Governor in an attempt to convince her to Veto the Bill. I am once again asking for your support. I am including the contact information for the Governor, and asking that you send letters or make phone calls to her office and ask that she sign HB4917 into Law.
This legislation does not have any negative affect on Labor. Although many of the Labor Organizations that were in opposition went to the sidelines in the final days of our push for a positive vote, I believe that the Fire Fighters Association may once again attempt to recruit them back into the fight. So we must stand united and continue our efforts until HB4917 is signed into Law.

HB4917 Language;

"If the Charter of a City, Village, or Township with a population of 500,000 or more specifies the selection of a Retirant Member of the Municipality's Fire Department, Police Department, or Fire and Police Department Pension or Retirement Board, the Method of Section of the Member is a prohibited subject of Bargaining." 


This legislation allows for the enforcement of the Detroit City Charter as approved by the Voters in 1996.

Contact information for the Governor;

The Honorable Jennifer Granholm
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909
517-373-3400
(The Governors' E-Mail address has been closed)

Any questions you can contact the office 586-795-1734


Update on Request for Support of HB4917 H-3
Please Contact Your State Senators and Request Support
November 14, 2010
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

We are still requesting that you contact your State Senators and request their support on HB4917 H-3 which was passed in the House by a 63 to 38 Vote. HB4917 H-3 has now been sent to the Senate. I believe there may only be 3 session days for the Senate to act on the Bill. Nov 30, Dec 1 or Dec 2.
 
As stated in the other e-mails HB4917 would only allow for enforcement of the Detroit City Charter, which would place a Retiree on the Police & Fire Pension Board.
Several members have requested information on how to contact thier State Senator, all you need to do is go to the Senate home page, www.senate.michigan.gov and on the right side click on "Find Your Senator"

You may also want to contact those in Leadership positions.
(R) Mike Bishop, Majority Leader senmbishop@senate.michigan.gov 517-373-2417
(R) Jason Allen, Majority Whip senjallen@senate.michigan.gov 517-373-2413
(R) Alan Cropsey, Majority Floor Leader ofcacropsey@senate.michigan.gov 517-373-8661
(R) Cameron Brown, Assistant Majority Floor Leader sencbrown@senate.michigan.gov 517-373-5932


(D) Michael Prusi, Minority Leader senmprusi@senate.michigan.gov 517-373-7840
(D) Buzz Thomas, Minority Floor Leader senbthomas@senate.michigan.gov 517-373-7918
(D) Glenn Anderson, Assistant Minority Floor Leader senatoranderson@senate.michigan.gov 517-373-1707
(D) Raymond Basham, Minority Whip senrbasham@senate.michigan.gov 517-373-7800

Pension Lawsuit
On a related matter, the Lawsuit we have against the City, Unions and Pension Board is scheduled for Oral Arguments at the Michigan Court of Appeals 3044 W. Grand Blvd 14th Floor December 7, 2010 at 10AM, This Lawsuit was over the 75 Mllion dollar back room deal, that excluded Retirees, but used Pension Funds to improve Actives Benefits. We will keep you updated.


Michigan House of Representatives Approves HB4917 H-3
November 11, 2010
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

On Wednesday November 10th, during a late session of the Michigan House of Representatives HB4917 H-3 was voted on and approval with 63 Representatives voting Aye and 38 Representatives voting Nay. This vote was much closer then what I had expected, so this shows the need for us to continue to contact our State Senators requesting their support.

Once again I am requesting your assistance. Please contact your State Senators and request their support. The Legislators are now on break, once they return HB 4917 H-3 will be before the Senate, along with numerous other pieces of legislation. Our understanding is that there may only be 3 more session dates before the current legislative session ends. These dates are November 30 and December 1 & 2. Any legislation which has not passed through the House and Senate will expire on December 31st.

We are very close to achieving our goal, of having Retiree representation on the Board of Trustees of the Police & Fire Pension System. Your Rights have been denied for far too long. Our members have loss thousands of dollars in benefits by not having a voice and being excluded from participating in talks that affect funding and the operation of our Retirement System. Please assist with this final push, contact your State Senators, make sure they are aware of our concerns and issues. We have very little time before they return and HB 4917 H-3 is placed before them for a vote.

Language approved in HB 4917 H-3
" If the charter of a City, Village or Township with a population of 500,000 or more specifies the selection of a Retirant member of the Municipality's Fire Department, Police Department or Fire and Police Department Pension or Retirement Board, the method of selection of that member is a prohibited subject of bargaining."

This legislation is narrowly focused and limited to only the position as it relates to a Retirant, is does not reduce or limit the Rights of the Labor Unions or the City to bargain on the other positions on the Board. Neither the Unions nor the City bargain for Retirees, so it makes little sense to have a position for a Retiree that is a subject of collective bargaining. This legislation only allows for the enforcement of the Detroit City Charter as approved by the citizens of Detroit.



Hospitalization Open Enrollment
October 19, 2010
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

The open enrollment informational packages have been sent out, and the open enrollment period is from October 18 to November 18, 2010. Once you receive your enrollment package be sure to read it carefully, so you can make an informed and proper decision regarding your medical coverage.
 
Blue Cross Hospitalization; If you have Blue Cross and are satisfied with what you have, you don't have to do anything, and you will just keep the same coverage you have now.
 
COPS Trust (US Health); If you still have US Health as your hospitalization carrier, you will need to make a change. U.S. Health Hospitalization coverage is no longer going to be offered as an option. If you have US Health and do nothing, you will be placed into the Blue Cross CMM Plan. Under the CMM plan there is Co-pay deducted from your pension check. If you want the plan with no Co-pay deducted from your pension check, you will need to fill out the open enrollment from and select the Community Blue PPO.
 
If you are with or would like to select Dental (Delta) of Vision (Spectera) through the COPS Trust, these options will remain and you can continue your coverage with these plans.
 
You will also be receiving new Medical Cards from Blue Cross, always use the most recent.



October 6, 2010
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

The following is a copy of a letter we received from Blue Cross, regarding the switch to a PPO. Your Benefits will not change, just a procedure change, required for Medicare coverage.
 
News Flash----BCBSM Medicare Advantage transitions to PPO
Next year, Medicare requires most Medicare Advantage plans to change their private fee-for-service (PFFS) open network designs to network-based plans. The change helps ensure that members have broad access to care and also helps improve the quality of care. BCBSM has responded to this mandate by replacing its Private Fee-for-Service plan with the Medicare Plus Blue Group PPO plan. Begriming January 1, 2011, BCBSM will discontinue its PFFS plan and all City retirees will be offered the Blues' Medicare Advantage PPO plan.
 
How does a Medicare Advantage PPO Work?
A Medicare Advantage PPO plan features a network of Doctors, hospitals and other health care providers that have agreed to provide health care to Medicare beneficiaries and follow the requirements of the PPO plan. This includes accepting the approved amount for payment, helping patients save by directing them to other network providers, including labs and medical suppliers, and working to ensure that patients receive the most cost-effective care.
 
Same benefits, broader access to doctors and hospitals
You'll continue to have the same benefits as your current PFFS plans (Options E, F and G) and continue to choose your own doctors, including specialists. Medicare Plus Blue Group PPO offers broader access to health care in Michigan and elsewhere in the U.S. Next year you'll be able to choose from BCBSM's PPO provider network featuring most doctors and hospitals in Michigan, as well as a comprehensive array of health care specialties. You don't have to select a primary care physician and you never need referrals to obtain care.
 
Under your PFFS plan, if your doctor chose not to accept BCBSM's terms and conditions of payment, you had to pay the full cost of your care. Network providers have agreed to always accept BCBSM's terms for payment, removing the guesswork of whether your doctor will choose to treat you from visit to visit. If you choose a provider who isn't part of the network , you're still covered by the plan but may pay more for some services in Michigan. Outside Michigan, you'll get the same savings when you use providers that accept Medicare assignment.
 
As always, you're covered for emergency services, whether you're in Michigan, another state or another continent. Your cost for emergency care is the same, regardless of whether the provider is in the network. 
 
In the next few weeks, BCBSM will send more information about Medicare Plus Group PPO. For more information, call BCBSM Member Services at 1-866-684-8216 (TTY users call 1-800-579-0235), Mondday through Friday from 8:30AM to 5PM Eastern time.


Retiree Representative on Police and Fire Pension Board
August 18, 2010
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

The Michigan House of Representatives Labor Committee Adopts HB 4917 Substitute H-3.
On Wednesday August 18th the Labor Committee voted to adopt the Substitute H-3 to HB 4917, and then voted to report out HB 4917 Substitute H-3 to the full House of State Representatives, with the recommendation that it pass. The motion prevailed with vote being; Yeas  -7    Nays  -1   Pass  -3.

We will be meeting with our lobbyist and supporters in the near future to plan our next move, as we prepare for the vote in the full House and the Senate. We ask that you continue to contact your Representatives and State Senators and ask for their support for passage of HB 4917 Substitute H-3. Additional information regarding HB 4917 will be forthcoming.

If you would like to read the Minutes of the Labor Committee, go to Michigan House of Representatives, then committee home page, then Labor, and click minutes for August 18, 2010 or this link to go directly to the minutes (PDF file).
 
Language as approved, HB 4917 Substitute H-3, (Page 5, lines 9-13)
 
"(7) IF THE CHARTER OF A CITY, VILLAGE, OR TOWNSHIP WITH A POPULATION OF 500,000 OR MORE SPECIFIES THE SELECTION OF A RETIRANT MEMBER OF THE MUNICIPALITY'S FIRE DEPARTMENT, POLICE DEPARTMENT, OR FIRE AND POLICE DEPARTMENT PENSION OR RETIREMENT BOARD, THE METHOD OF SELECTION OF THAT MEMBER IS A PROHIBITED SUBJECT OF BARGAINING. " 
 
The Bill would require the City of Detroit to enforce its City Charter as it relates to the position of a Retiree on the Police & Fire Board of Trustees.


Letter from Blue Cross -  Transition from Medicare Advantage to PPO
August 9, 2010
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

Our Attorney Chris Legghio's office, notified the RDPFFA that they have received the second payment from the City of Detroit in our Settlement of the Hospitalization Lawsuit.

The checks to the membership will be mailed out from the attorneys office on August 12th , the amount of the checks will be $269.84.

UPDATE TO CANCELED SCHEDULED HEARING IN LABOR COMMITTEE HB4917
May 19, 2010
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

As you know today HB 4917 was scheduled for a vote in the House Labor Committee. The House Leadership decided to put the vote off for 3 weeks to give the unions time to negotiate an agreement, outside of the legislation, for retirees to have a voice in how our pension system is run.
 
Large labor groups, other than the DPOA, LSA, COA and Fire Fighters, are concerned HB 4917 could affect bargaining rights. We know this isn't the case but these concerns are affecting other people's judgement. 
 
HB-4917However, these unions have offered their assistance to try and get the DPOA, LSA, COA and DFFA to resolve our issue without having to move HB 4917. We don't know if the negotiations within the labor world will result in an agreement where retirees get a voice, but bill sponsor Rep Fred Durhal said if the negotiations do not work, HB 4917 will be voted out of the Labor committee 21 days form now.
We need all RDPFFA members to stay active in communicating with the legislators on the House Labor committee asking them to vote YES on  HB 4917.

Please stay tuned for additional updates.

HB4917 Police & Fire Pension Board Labor Committee to Vote May 19
Your Pension Board, Your Rights, It's Time for a Vote
May 14, 2010
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

Urgent, Your Response is Requested.
The time has arrived; the Chairman of the Labor Committee has informed us that he has scheduled a vote on HB4917 for May 19, 12PM. It is imperative that our membership participate . We have been informed by Committee Members that they are being pressured to vote NO, or allow the Bill to Die in committee. We must not allow this to happen. Remember the last Back Room deal that was cut cost every Retiree nearly $6000.00 dollars each. The Trustees must be held accountable, do not allow your Rights to continue to be denied. Show up in Lansing on May 19.

The RDPFFA will provide transportation to Lansing for our members, their family and friends. Eastsiders attending should be prepared to depart from the RDPFFA Office 2525 E 14 Mile Rd Sterling Hgts, promptly at 9AM. Westsiders will meet and depart at 930AM from the Monaghan Knights of Columbus 19801 Farmington Rd Livonia.

Please contact our office and notify us of your intentions, so we can provide adequate transportation. 
Office 586-795-1734 after hours and weekends Don Taylor 810-627-9349
 
We are also requesting that you contact your State Representatives and ask for their support on HB4917, Retirees deserve an Equal Vote on their Pension Board.
 
Most importantly we are asking our members, their family and friends that are constituents of the members of the Labor Committee, to contact these members thank them for their support and request that they vote the Bill out of Committee on May 19th. (Note; If you identify yourself as a constituent, the staff will verify that you are in fact a constituent).

Labor Committee Members
Steven Lindberg (Chairman) District 109 (Marquette) 517-373-0498 stevenlindberg@house.mi.gov
Deb Kennedy (Majority Vice-Chair) District 23 (Brownstown) 517-373-0855 DebKennedy@house.mi.gov
Andrew Kandrevas District 13 (Southgate) 517-373-0845 AndrewKandrevas@house.mi.gov
Lesia Liss District 28 (Warren) 517-373-2275 Lesialiss@house.mi.gov
Bettie Cook Scott District 3 (Detroit) 517-373-1776 bettiecookscott@house.mi.gov
Jim Slezak Districk 50 (Davison) 517-373-3906 JimSlezak@house.mi.gov
Coleman A Young ll District 4 (Detroit) 517-373-1008 colemanayoung@house.mi.gov
Justin Amash (Minority Vice-Chair) District 72 (Grand Rapids) 517-373-0840 Justinmash@house.mi.gov
Kevin Daley District 82 (Attica) 517-373-1800 KevinDaley@house.mi.gov
Joseph Haveman District 90 (Holland) 517-373-0830 JosephHaveman@house.mi.gov
Tom McMillin District 45 (Rochester Hills) 517-373-1773 TomMcMillin@house.mi.gov
 
All Members, do not let this opportunity slip away, do your part, call your Representatives, attend the Hearing and witness the Vote that may affect your future!!!!!



2ND PAYMENT OF SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT RECEIVED BY ATTORNEY
REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE FROM MI-ARPE
June 1, 2010
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

As a member organization we are requesting the assistance of the MI-ARPE in are pursuit of equal voting rights on the Detroit Police & Fire Pension System. The Police & Fire Pension System in Detroit is one of the few large pension system across the State and country that does not have any Retiree representation on the Board of Trustees. The Elected Trustees are elected based on department and rank. The Retired Detroit Police & Fire Fighters Association has had HB 4917 introduced, which would afford Retired Detroit Police & Fire Fighters an equal vote with the active members. 
 
You can go to www.legislature.mi.gov and enter 4917 to read the House Bill. You may also want to review the committee testimony, under Labor Committee, Hearing Dates of Feb 28, March 3 & 10 ,2010.  We are asking that MI-ARPE members call, send letters or E-Mails to the following State Representatives, Speaker of the House and the Members of the Labor Committee. 
 
Speaker Andy Dillon 517-373-0857 andydillon@house.mi.gov
 
Labor Committee Members
Chairman Steven Lindberg 517-373-0498 stevenlindberg@house.mi.gov
Co-Chair Deb Kennedy      517-373-0855 DebKennedy@houswe.mi.gov
Coleman Young ll             517-373-1008 colemanayoungii@house.mi.gov
Bettie Cook Scott             517-373-1776 bettiecookscott@house.mi.gov
Andrew Kandrevas            517-373-0845 AndrewKandrevas@house.mi.gov
Lesia Liss                        517-373-2275 lesialiss@house.mi.gov
Tom McMillin                   517-373-1773 TomMcMillin@house.mi.gov
Justin Amash                   517-373-0840 JustinAmash@house.mi.gov
Kevin Daley                      517-373-1800 KevinDaley@house.mi.gov
Joseph Haveman              517-373-0830 JosephHaveman@house.mi.gov
Jim Slezak                       517-373-3906 JimSlezak@house.mi.gov 
 
Sample E-Mail:

State Representative Steven Lindberg,
Support for House Bill 4917

I am a Retired Captain from Shelby Twp.Police Department and a member of the Executive Board of the Michigan Association of Retired Public Employees. The public sector retirees from Shelby Township have a voice on our Retirement System, and we believe that Retired Detroit Police & Fire Fighters deserve no less. The Detroit Police & Fire elected Trustees should be held accountable to all members of the pension system. Please do not deny those Retirees that dedicated their lives to the City of Detroit the right to have a voice. Vote out HB4917.
 
John Smith
Executive Board Member (Shelby Twp)
Michigan Association of Retired Public Employees
 
(Just an idea of e-mail to the legislators, they should not all be identical, but I believe it it important to include your department and that you are a representative of MI-ARPE. Because we know the members of the Labor Committee, this will serve as a good test. I will be meeting with the Speaker of the House, and the committee members this week and next week, prior to the scheduled vote on HB4917 June 9th. I will inform you of the response and feedback from the Representatives to the calls/letters and e-mails that were sent. 
Thank You for your assistance and consideration in this request. )
 
Don Taylor
President, Retired Detroit Police & Fire Fighters Assoc
Treasurer. Michigan Assoc Retired Public Employees
 
(We have updated our web-site www.mi-arpe.com  includes list of Board Members, check out the site and let us know if you want changes, or have your own updates to display. )





Changes to Bylaws
April 9, 2010
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

Click here to view and print the changes to the Association bylaws.


Moving Forward on Attempt to Form a Statewide Organization

Updated March 8, 2010
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

On February 25, 2010 a number of interested retirees representing various departments met to discuss organizing a Statewide organization. Those in attendance agreed that there was a mutual interest and a need to organize and insure that retirees concerns and interest are conveyed to those that may attempt to diminish their benefits.

A committee was formed to discuss and attempt to put into place the official formation of such an organization. We are seeking input from retirees from other agencies in regards to such basic questions as; membership, Association name, Bylaws, Dues and voting procedure. Please submit your suggestions via email rdpffa@hotmail.com, prior to our next scheduled meeting on March 17.

If you were not available to attend the first meeting which took place, and would like to attend the March 17 meeting please notify the RDPFFA office 2525 E 14 Mile Rd Sterling Heights 586-795-1734.

RDPFFA members we are asking for your assistance in getting this message out. Please forward this information to as many retirees or retiree organizations as possible.



Healthcare Rates for Dependent Children

December 29, 2009
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

Our attorney and the City are trying to clear up the dispute about Health Care Rates for Dependent Children. This may take a long time to resolve. This is an option you may want to consider. Here is a link for an individual health plan option for members who are looking for coverage of their child/children. The rates for the plan are also noted. http://www.bcbsm.com/myblue/plan_individualcareblue_benefits.shtml. The phone numbers are 313 225-8000 or 313 225-9000.

Healthcare Insurance Cards
December 17, 2009
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

For members that made changes in healthcare insurance coverage during the open enrollment period, Blue Cross/Blue Shield will be mailing out their new insurance cards the last week of December, so as to avoid confusion with your present coverage.


2007 Healthcare Booklet
November 3, 2009
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

If you have discarded or mislaid the 2007 Healthcare booklet, you can view a copy of the booklet online at www.dpfretiree.com. Click on Index of Settlement Agreement Exhibits or to go directly to it by clicking here. Exhibit 1, Section A is for Pre-Medicare and Section B is for those on Medicare.

Healthcare Open Enrollment
October 22, 2009
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

The City has notified our Association that Healthcare Open Enrollment Material will be mailed on October 26, 2009 and our members should start receiving the packets by the 28TH  or 29TH.
 
Healthcare Open Enrollment is scheduled to run from November 2, 2009 through December 7, 2009 and changes will take effect as of January 1, 2010.


Pension System
On May 13, 2008 the City of Detroit, The Detroit Police and Fire Pension Board and the active unions entered into an agreement that afforded benefits to the City in the amount of $75,000,000 and increased retirement and sick time benefits for active members of the pension system. This was accomplished by allowing the City to forego making full pension contributions ($25,000,000 per year for 3 years). The retired members of the pension system were given no consideration during these negotiations.

On June 26, 2008 we filled a lawsuit, in Wayne County Circuit Court, against The City, The Pension Board and the active Unions, asking that this backroom deal be nullified and The City be required to make their full pension contributions. Our Attorney, Michael Stefani advised us the lawsuit has been assigned to Judge William J. Giovan's Courtroom.


Pension Lawsuit Update
Updated April 27, 2009
Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association

A court hearing is scheduled for Friday, May 1, 2009 at 9 AM in Chief Judge Virgil Smith's Courtroom 701, 7th floor of The Detroit City County Building, 2 Woodward Ave. We've were notified by our attorney that the May 1, 2009 Court Date has been cancelled. We will notify you when we have a new court date.


Duty Disability Lawsuit
Posted here


Healthcare Court Case Update:
On March 18, 2008,  the court hearing was suspended and both sides agreed to meet with a facilitator, George Roumell, in an attempt to get an expedited settlement. The judge has allowed 90 days for this process and has set June 17, 2008 as the next court date if no settlement is reached.

We all owe a thank you to those members who were able to attend these hearing on our behalf.

We've received emails asking if this lawsuit was relevant to both pre 1995 and post 1995 retirees and the answer is YES. We've all been effected by the changes in our healthcare insurance and we are all part of this class action lawsuit. 

The Summary Judgement ruling was issued by Judge Torres and we received a copy on Friday, March 14, 2008.



WEP/GPO:
The U.S. House held a hearing on January 16th in the House Ways & Means Sub-Committee on Social Security after the first of the year on the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset.
Main Navigation  |