News From Senator Joyce

For Immediate Release:      Further Information:

March 13, 2002      Marie Blanchard (617) 722-1643 

SENATOR JOYCE FILES EARLY RETIREMENT INCENTIVE BILL FOR MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES 

Senator Brian A. Joyce is pleased to announce he has filed legislation providing an early retirement incentive program for municipal employees.  

Senator Joyce explained that as the former Senate Chair of the Public Service Committee, he filed the “local option” to address the need to reduce staffing levels by providing viable early retirement incentives for municipal employees while at the same time, realizing significant cost savings during these uncertain economic times. 

“This is a win-win situation for long-time employees opting for retirement, for the remaining staff, and for the taxpayers,” said Senator Joyce. 

Senator Joyce’s legislation will protect municipal budgets by setting strict vacation and sick leave buyback rules, and by requiring municipalities to establish a maximum number of people who can take early retirement. The legislation would curtail municipal payrolls over the next two fiscal years, and avoid unnecessary layoffs. 

“This legislation is compassionate and fiscally prudent,” said Senator Joyce. “The bill protects younger workers by vacating top positions rather than reducing lower level employees as is the norm during budget crunches.” 

Eligible employees would be able to apply for early retirement until November 1, 2002. Retirement dates would vary amongst eligible employees. 

Senator Joyce wrote a similar early retirement incentive bill for state employees in December, which to date has averted thousands of layoffs and is expected to save taxpayers $40 million in the current fiscal year, $175 million in FY03, and $175 million in FY04. 

Senator Joyce added that there was a pressing need to pass similar legislation for municipalities, many of which are anticipating increasing financial pressures due to declining tax revenues.