ALBANY, N.Y. JUNE 1, 2016 — New York State United Teachers today applauded the enactment of legislation that will allow honorably discharged veterans employed by state or local governments to purchase up to three years of credit toward their pension.
“This legislation rightfully recognizes the men and women who have so selflessly served our nation, and the enactment of this bill represents a significant victory for NYSUT, which for three years fought relentlessly to ensure this bill became law,” said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee.
Under the new legislation, female public employee veterans — for the first time — would have the opportunity to purchase such service credit. That, Magee said, is especially significant to NYSUT since more than 70 percent of the union’s membership is female.
Prior to the signing of this legislation, only those veterans who served during certain periods of conflict — including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, hostilities in the Persian Gulf, Lebanon, Grenada and Panama, — were eligible to purchase service credit.
“This important legislation corrects the inequities in the state’s pension laws pertaining to veterans,” said NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta. “The fierce fight waged by NYSUT for the passage of this bill was the right thing to do for the men and women who personally sacrificed to keep our nation secure. We are privileged to call these people our members.”
Pallotta said NYSUT also was grateful for the “tireless advocacy” of Democratic Assemblywoman Amy Paulin of Scarsdale and Republican Sen. William Larkin of New Windsor, who sponsored the legislation.
The union also thanked Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie for their efforts in ensuring the legislation passed their respective chambers.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.