State employees call court ruling a 'victory'

Sep 28, 2012

Thousands of state employees are applauding a judge’s ruling that they shouldn't be forced to pay for their pension benefits.

An Ingham County Circuit Court judge said today that a rule requiring state employees cough up four-percent of their salaries to keep their pensions is unconstitutional.

She said it’s effectively a pay cut, something only the Michigan Civil Service Commission has the authority to enact.

Ray Holman is with UAW Local 6000, the largest state employee union in Michigan.

“When you don’t get a full paycheck, it can be really demoralizing. So to have this victory really puts a pep in everybody’s step,” he said.

The ruling only applies to people who started working for the state before it switched to a 401k in 1997.

Holman said that accounts for a little less than half of his union of about 17,000 state workers.

An appeal is likely. State officials have not returned a request for comment.