April 20, 2017
Contacts: John Patrick,
Rick Levy or Ed Sills,
Senate Vote Betrays Public Employees
McGee, ‘Fox in Henhouse,’ Takes Aim at Public Employee Pensions
Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick today strongly criticized a sneak attack on public pensions after Republicans prevailed in a 20-10 vote in the Texas Senate to confirm Josh McGee to chair the State Pension Review Board.
“Working people opposed Josh McGee’s nomination because he has a classic conflict of interest, and is actually paid to travel the country and seek to convert strong, stable pensions into riskier defined contribution plans,” Patrick said.
“As chair of the Pension Review Board, McGee has a duty to give advice that strengthens pension systems that serve state and local working people across the state. But as Vice President of Public Accountability at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, McGee is openly hostile to the traditional defined-benefit pension system that has served state and local employees well for many decades. Instead, McGee prefers a system in which state and local government employers no longer share investment and other risks with their employees.”
“Today’s Texas Senate vote betrays a fundamental bargain made by police, firefighters, teachers and other working people who loyally work for taxpayers,” Patrick said. “As lawmakers consider substantive measures to shore up public pensions in Texas, we believe the first place they go to for advice is now fatally compromised.”
“The labor movement will continue to fight to protect the nest eggs of working families,” Patrick said. “Unfortunately, after today’s vote, the fox is enjoying a six-year lease on the henhouse.”
The Texas AFL-CIO is a state labor federation consisting of 237,000 affiliated union members who advocate for working families in Texas.