Committee Spotlight: Protecting Our Retirement

This month, we continue our profiles of SEA/SEIU Local 1984 committees, with a look at the Retirement Committee. John Amrol, a member of the Board of Directors and the chair of the Retirement Committee, took some time to explain what the committee is all about.

What does your committee do? What function does it serve for the SEA?

The committee monitors legislative bills dealing with retirement issues. We also work with the SEA’s Government Relations Coordinator Brian Hawkins and Political Organizer Jay Ward on issues of concern to them. In addition, the committee works with current and potential retired members on their issues and undertakes various projects of concern to retirees.

We coordinate attendance at political hearings in Concord, giving testimony when needed, whether oral or written. Members formulate projects to benefit existing or future retirees, such as planning additional savings for their retirement. We also work with the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 representative on the NHRS Board of Trustees, Germano Martins, monitoring the board’s activities.

What would happen if the committee didn’t exist? (Put another way, if there was no committee, what wouldn’t get done)

Our work is very necessary, so if there was no committee, I’m sure the work we do would eventually get done. It just might not be as detailed or thorough.

How many are on the committee?

There are 12 on the committee, plus a staff representative. Usually seven or eight are able to attend each meeting.

Can anyone be on the committee?

Any SEA/SEIU Local 1984 member or retiree can be on the committee.

How often does the committee meet, and what kind of time commitment is involved? What’s a typical meeting like?

We try to establish a common schedule agreeable to the committee members, currently the third Tuesday of every month at 5 at the SEA office. It’s important that all committee members try to make all meetings, for the sake of continuity and being up to speed on issues or projects.

A meeting usually consists of hearing from our political coordinator on pending bills and issues and any updates on projects that committee members may be involved with. We’ll assist staff with any of their issues or concerns and develop the agenda for the next meeting.

Why should members join your committee?

It’s a good way to be active and party to the organization’s political structure. Also, a secure retirement is something all workers have a stake in.

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