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Monday, July 28, 2008

What's Been Going On?

My friend PEG just contacted Judge Henry Kantor's office and confirmed that the White Case (concerning the "settlement agreement") has been postponed to October 23, 24, and 27. It was originally scheduled for August 3 and 4. It looks like I will now be able to attend the hearings after all. There is also a motions hearing scheduled in White for August 7.

White is a very significant case. At its core is the assertion that the PERS Board breached its fiduciary responsibility to PERS members and retirees by entering into a "settlement agreement" with employers in the City of Eugene case. The settlement agreement produced some very detrimental consequences to PERS members and retirees - consequences that would not have happened otherwise because the Supreme Court had issued rulings in the Strunk case that would have prevented them. The problem is that retirees and members were stake holders in the outcome of the "settlement", yet they were not only not consulted about the settlement, they were completely excluded and kept in the dark until the agreement was announced. All the actions taken in the Strunk/Eugene "remediation" (the benefit adjustment) arise out that settlement agreement. Thus, if the Courts invalidate the settlement, PERS will be busy undoing pretty much everything it has done to us over the past few years - except for the attorney fee reductions.

I would encourage those of you within short driving distance of Portland to mark those days - October 23, 24, 27 - on you calendars. I'm a firm believer in the power of the people to impress upon the legal system that their rulings have human consequences. Seeing lots of expectant faces in a courtroom could have some influence.


MollyNCharlie said...

I do hope that many PERS members make the time to attend this critical trial. Between my recent experiences watching the Kay Bell vs. PERB trial and last Friday's PERS Board meeting, I am more convinced than ever in the value of actually watching it for yourself.

In the PERS Board meeting there were several occasions where side comments, the stuff that never gets in the minutes or agenda that were of importance to me and my fellow retirees. One of the big ones was this information that the trial dates for White have rescheduled!

We can debate if we had a big or small turn out for Arken and Robinson; at least we had enough observers to overflow the seating provided! I'd really love to have so many show up that they have to find a different courtroom. I always find sitting in on these things informative and I hope many retirees will join us for this most important case. There is also something empowering to watch a good attorney get up and defend your position.


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