Putting the power of pensions to work—for members
If the 2007 financial meltdown proved anything, it’s that those who put short-term gains ahead of long-term investments can inflict a lot of collateral damage—misery that extends well beyond Wall Street. That point is not lost on AFT members who serve as trustees for their pension funds. With help from the AFT, they are shaping responsible choices for the $800 billion in pension assets that members hold.
Much of the help comes through the AFT’s Center for Workers’ Benefits and Capital Strategies, which spearheaded the 2013 release of "Ranking Asset Managers: A Retirement Security Report on Money Managers for Trustees." The document breaks new ground by calling out money managers who have been profiting from work with public pension funds but acting behind the scenes to undercut AFT members’ long-term interests and retirement security.
Read the story at AFT.org
Read the full report
‘Observation care’ in hospitals can cost you
Seniors who are sent to the hospital under “observation care” are paying thousands of dollars out of pocket because they are not considered “in-hospital” patients. To qualify for Medicare's nursing home coverage, patients must be admitted in the hospital for at least three consecutive days. Advocates for seniors say the distinction is not fair to patients.
Read more at USA Today
Weingarten sparks dialogue
on Common Core standards
To get the transition to the Common Core State Standards right, AFT president Randi Weingarten, in a widely heralded speech, called for a moratorium on the stakes associated with Common Core assessments until the standards are properly implemented and field-tested. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core standards, but some states and districts, including New York, are giving students assessments based on the standards before they have been implemented, without giving teachers the tools and resources they need to make these instructional shifts, and based on content students may have never seen, Weingarten said.
The AFT is urging members and allies to contact U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and their state education commissioners to support the moratorium.
Read about the speech and watch a video
Here’s what others are saying about Weingarten’s call for a moratorium
Seniors get caught up in healthcare scams
Law enforcement agencies are reporting an increase in health insurance scams nationwide, according to a Kaiser Health News story produced in collaboration with NPR. Many of the fraudsters seem to be preying on the public’s confusion over the massive changes taking place in the nation’s healthcare system and seniors are often targets.
“America’s rife with health scams,” says James Quiggle, communications director at the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud in Washington, D.C. “Crooks are offering fake health coverage, stripped down policies masquerading as real coverage.”
Read the complete article here
Weighing in on immigration reform
A key Senate committee has passed S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The AFT weighed in on this major legislation, reaffirming our commitment to meaningful reform that brings 11 million aspiring Americans, students and families out of the shadows and provides them with a path toward citizenship.
Read more at AFT.org