Last year, we asked members and retirees to rate how important different issues were through a survey. Thousands of you took the time to answer the questions and provide additional feedback. Your top issue was retirement security, and that includes Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
As the urgency to address the debt ceiling approaches, a growing number of lawmakers are advocating for cuts and other fundamental changes to undermine these programs. While some are pulling back on their statements, we plan to hold their feet to the fire to ensure no concessions are made off the backs of hard-working Americans.
Here’s our take:
- These programs are not entitlements, they are hard-earned benefits. – The American Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid systems are beloved by workers because all workers deserve a dignified retirement after decades on the job. And workers have already paid for these programs.
- We can do better. – While some have tried to cut Social Security and Medicare in order to pay for tax breaks for the rich, our union believes the opposite should occur – that these programs should be expanded.
- No one gets left behind. – In a nation that truly acts on its respect for the inherent worth and dignity of all people, no one’s rights should be abridged. We must prioritize fairness and equality for everyone, from workers who are looking for their first jobs to retirees.
Watch for a national action next week.
In the coming week, we will be asking your local union to adopt a resolution. This resolution urges Congress to quickly raise or eliminate the debt ceiling without any spending concessions that would cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid now and moving forward. We are then asking that locals circulate a signature page around their worksites for members to sign onto for deliveries to congressional offices.
Our retirement security is not just our union-negotiated benefits like a pension, 401k, and healthcare. It is also making sure we push for policies that protect all of the other benefits – like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – that we have earned over the course of our working lives.
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