CSU-ERFSA (formerly CSU-ERFA) has worked tirelessly since its founding in 1985 to protect the pension and health care benefits of emeritus and retired California State University faculty members. Through the efforts of dedicated staff members and volunteers we also have provided our CSU-ERFSA members with personal assistance in resolving problems with their pension and health care benefits. The following list highlights some of the major accomplishments that CSU-ERFSA has achieved on behalf of retired and emeritus CSU faculty members.
- CSU-ERFSA successfully convinced the CSU Board of Trustees to adopt the resolution (RFSR 06-89-03) which established that "the .... emeritus faculty shall be deemed to be continuing members of the academic community" and shall have privileges "on the same basis as they are enjoyed by the general faculty." CSU-ERFSA works with its campus affiliates to ensure that the intent of the Trustees' resolution is fully implemented.
- CSU-ERFSA has been very active in protecting employees' retirement funds. In 1992 the Governor attempted to balance the state budget by using close to $2 billion from the supplemental part of the pension fund. The diversion of these funds to general budget purposes would have eliminated cost-of-living adjustments to retirees' pensions. Working with other California public employee organizations, we secured the passage of Proposition 162, The California Pension Protection Act of 1992, that provides protection against the use of pension funds for general budget purposes.
- Our Legislative Affairs Committee protects the interests of all CSU retirees by analyzing and tracking legislation in both the California State Legislature and the United States Congress that would affect retiree pension or health benefits. The Committee similarly analyzes propositions submitted to the voters as well as changes in rules and regulations of administrative bodies that would impact the interests of CSU retirees. CSU-ERFSA representatives participate in legislative and public agency hearings to present and defend the interests of CSU retirees; and, when appropriate, we take positions on propositions submitted to the voters.
- CSU-ERFSA was instrumental in working with the Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) to establish the CalPERS Long-Term Care Insurance Program. Several features of the program including its flexibility, consumer protection standards, and the California Partnership option were influenced by our work. The Association actively advocates reforms to improve the program, and we provide individual assistance to members who have been turned down for coverage or have other problems with the program.
- Key CSU-ERFSA staff members and volunteers have extensive experience working with the various CalPERS health benefits plans. We use this knowledge to assist individual members who encounter problems with their health insurance plans or with their medical and health facilities.
- CSU-ERFSA successfully supported federal and state legislation that eliminated the source tax for retirees who live in a different state than that which provides their pension income. Because of these laws, the pension income of CSU retirees who live outside California is subject only to the state income tax of their state of residence.
- CSU-ERFSA provided assistance and effective representation for retirees in the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP) who were threatened with layoffs during past periods of budget exigency.
- The Association also is committed to serving members who need guidance and support in dealing with or responding to administrative decisions relating to pension, health or early retirement program issues that affect them adversely.
- CSU-ERFSA keeps its members informed about impending changes in health plan benefits. The Association is especially active in working with CalPERS to control the costs of medical plans and pharmaceuticals.
- The Association provides assistance and support to individual CSU campus retiree organizations. We encourage campus retiree organizations to affiliate with CSU-ERFSA, and we provide financial support to these affiliated campus organizations by returning to them a portion of the CSU-ERFSA dues paid by retirees from their campuses. In addition, each affiliated campus is represented on the CSU-ERFSA State Council, which is our primary governing body. Currently 20 campus organizations are affiliated with CSU-ERFSA.
- CSU-ERFSA has implemented a Grant Awards Program to provide support for members' research on matters of importance to CSU retirees, and to support the scholarly and creative endeavors of our members. Grants are awarded each year.
- CSU-ERFSA representatives discovered through extensive research that the legislation that prevented CSU faculty members who retired in 1992 and took the "Golden Handshake" from working in any compensated capacity with agencies governed by the CSU Board of Trustees is no longer in effect. Because of CSU-ERFSA's efforts, CSU and CalPERS now acknowledge that 1992 retirees can work for compensation with CSU agencies.
- The Association has developed a Survivor's Guide that identifies details that should be considered in advance of death and matters of concern when death occurs. A copy of the Survivor's Guide is provided without charge to each new member, and additional copies are available to members for a nominal fee. Members have described the Guide as an essential and invaluable document.
- CSU-ERFSA's efforts culminated in voting membership for a retired faculty members on the CSU Academic Senate. CSU-ERFSA appoints the retired faculty member who serves on the CSU Academic Senate.
- CSU-ERFSA supports legislation designed to prevent the physical, mental and financial abuse of elders. Our support has assisted in the passage of several important elder abuse prevention laws.
- The Association supports and works on behalf of consumer protection legislation deemed to be in the best interests of our members and other CSU retirees. We are especially active in advocating reforms that would improve the CalPERS Long-Term Care Program, and other health-care benefits for retirees.
- Through our newsletter The Reporter, which is published quarterly, we keep our members informed about important pending legislation, governmental agency actions, and CSU Chancellor's Office and Board of Trustees actions that could affect the benefits, rights, and privileges of CSU retirees. Our website provides members and the general public with current information about issues of importance to us.
- Currently, we are working to improve the dental benefits for CSU retirees to the highest level of benefits received by active CSU employees.