UE Local 170 is strongly encouraging West Virginia public employees and retirees to mobilize and speak out against PEIA's proposal for plan year 2016, which will cut benefits by $40 million, largely by raising co-pays and deductibles. The cuts will disproportionately impact lower wage WV public employees and retirees on fixed incomes. Increasing co-pays and deductibles will cause more WV public employees and retirees to forgo needed medical treatment and prescription drugs. The proposal will also unfairly penalize WV public employees and retirees who do not list a primary care physician when they fill out their paperwork by increasing their annual deductible by $500.

The projected $40 million PEIA funding deficit is the direct result of Governor Tomblin not adequately funding PEIA over the past three years. Instead of increasing the funding of PEIA, Governor Tomblin gave $100 million in tax breaks to the buyers of alternative fuel vehicles (how many public employees bought one of those?). He gave billionaire coal baron Jim Justice $25 million in tax breaks to build a training facility for the New Orleans Saints at his posh Greenbrier Resort (how many public employees can afford to go there?). And, the state continues to subsidize the gaming industry to the tune of $80 million a year (who do you know that raises grey hounds?).

Acting Secretary of Administration Jason Pizatella, chair of the PEIA Finance Board, says PEIA will leave it up to the public employees and retirees to decide for themselves how they will take the cuts - an arm, a leg, you decide. Now that's what they call fair.

WV public employees and retirees need to turn out for the PEIA public hearings in November and tell PEIA to take their cuts and shove it!  Click here for the list of PEIA public hearings. Let your voice be heard! Contact Governor Tomblin at 304.558.3588 and demand that he appropriate the funds to cover the $40 million projected deficit. Tell Governor Tomblin to stop balancing the budget on the backs of WV public employees and retirees!