With Cope gone, SEANC wakes from its slumber

Only to find itself in an anti-government nightmare:

Buried deep in the Senate budget proposal that lawmakers passed last week is a provision that would eliminate state-paid health retirement benefits for teachers and state employees who are hired after January 1, 2016. “This puts the state at a major disadvantage in the recruitment and retention of state employees, teachers, and university faculty compared to other states,” said Chuck Stone, director of operations for the State Employees Association of NC (SEANC), of the Senate’s push to jettison the health retirement benefit.

Dana Cope always prided himself on knowing what Legislators were planning to do, and working his little back-room deals that (supposedly) benefited his members. But aside from throwing NCAE under the bus over the paycheck dues issue, the rest appears to have been smoke and mirrors:

Since 2010, retirees have seen costs associated with their health insurance plans rise considerably, said SEANC’s Chuck Stone.

“Premium surcharges and other expenses associated with the State Health Plan have occurred, resulting in a cost shift to members of more than $1,300 on average per state employee–active or retired–each year,” said Stone.

That cost increase, said Stone, amounts to more than most state employees have seen in pay raises in recent years.

Which of course directly contradicts what Cope and his cheerleaders have been saying since 2010. Not only was he spending membership dues lavishly for his own benefit, he was concealing just how ineffective he had been as a state employee representative. But maybe under new direction we can finally get some answers that were elusive under his mismanagement, like how many SEANC members lost their jobs due to Republican budget-cutting and agency re-shuffling? How many members are there now compared to 2008/2009? How many thousands of dollars did members overpay for items they bought from the horribly overpriced Purchasing Power scam?

These are not rhetorical questions.