Upstate NY Teamsters Threatened with 20-31% Pension Cuts

The New York State Teamster Pension Fund has just threatened 30,000 Teamsters and retirees with huge pension cuts, according to the newly-appointed “Retiree Representative,” Tom Baum. 


A posting by brother Baum says that the Fund plans to submit a proposal to the U.S. Treasury to cut retiree pensions by 31%, and impose a 20% cut on current active Teamsters.

Baum reports that the Fund plans to submit the proposal to Treasury on August 25. Letters explaining the proposed cuts will be mailed to participants perhaps as early as August 15.

The proposed cuts are the result of the Fund claiming to be in “critical and declining status” under the 2014 Multiemployer Pension Reform Act. Prior to that disastrous legislation, such cuts were illegal. 

Over the course of the past few months, the Fund and local officers have alerted Teamsters to the pending cuts. In response, current and retired Teamsters have held independent, grassroots meetings in Albany and the Hudson Valley to counter any cuts.

Mark Greene, a UPS driver from Local 294 Albany, has been at the center of this rank and file organizing effort.

Mark_Greene_L_294-sm.jpg“Since the Upstate New York Teamsters pension crisis began to unfold in 2008, we’ve always believed in a shared responsibility approach for fixing the problem,” stated Greene. “This would mean actives, retirees, employers and our government should share the burden for fixing these pension shortfalls.”

Greene and other Teamster activists have formed the Teamsters Alliance for Pension Protection (TAPP) as an independent campaign to find fair solutions for maintaining hard-earned and promised pensions and retirement security.

Greene has noted that the New York Fund has also assessed the Central States application and learned from the rejection of that proposal. Teamsters in upstate and western New York have much to learn from the fight that has been waged to oppose cuts proposed in the Central States. Both active and retired Teamsters who want to learn more and get involved in a campaign to counter the cuts can contact TDU

In 2010 the Fund cut pension accruals to stabilize the plan. Since that time, the stock market has done well, so many members question what caused this crisis.

Teamster president James Hoffa has had nothing to say about the cuts, and done little or nothing to help bolster Teamster pension plans. First Central States, now Upstate New York—who’s next on the block?

Showing 19 reactions

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  • Bruce Swearingen
    commented 2017-01-08 20:31:43 -0500

    Considering the A#1 LAWYERS &legal team that prosecuted the (at the time decade old )CONSENT ORDER, their backgrounds& histories ,Hoffa’s earlier connection with central States pension embezzler exstrodinare Alan DORFMAN , the WALL Street players that followed(Lehman bros. Goldman Sachs),this central States pension debacle has to rate just below 9\11 as a COLOSSAL failure of government to fulfill its functions!!!

    Come on IDO had some of the FOREMOST authorities on organized crime ,between the IRB mmbers & Edwin whose careers we’re focused on just these problems.It’s beyond comprehension that we arrive at the TOTAL FAILURE we are at!
    This is comparable to NASA being unable to successfully launch a weather BALLOON !
  • David Thayer Sr.
    commented 2017-01-08 09:51:30 -0500
    After more thinking of this,how can Mr Baum think these cuts are fair even after the teamsters that take 31 percent cut that recieve 5000 a month they will still recieve about 3500 a month and still recieve Thier health insurance, but for people like me I will only recieve 731.00 a month with no health you tell me where these cuts are fair,they are fair only to the ones that will recieve 3500 and health sure I’m not the only one that these cuts are unfair to.the teamsters made this mess and they should be held accountable.
  • David Thayer Sr.
    commented 2017-01-08 03:03:08 -0500
    Please Treasury dept,don’t listen to mr Baum,he does not have our best interest in this endeavor,he is urging you to cut our pensions when he is suppose to be helping to prevent it.i worked to hard and paid In to my pension for 20 years to let them just take my money.there is no way I would have stayed at ups if I knew they were going to miss use my money.i would have left that crap hole ups and went to work for the state with better benefits,and pensions that will never be cut and where we would get cost of living adjustments .but we were promised a good pension and benefits which has turned out to be a lie.if I take a 31 percent cut that will leave me with just 731 dollars a month to live on.i will loose my appt my health insurance.i will be in bankruptcy.i have never received a cost of living adjustment and I also do not get health insurance through the union.because of ups my knees had to be replaced from all the heavy lifting and running over the course of 20 years, not to mention back injuries.biggest mistake of my life was working at ups and having the teamsters control my pension. cuts were suppose to be fair and this is far from fair.people still working are able to put money aside for Thier future while we the ones all ready retired are not able to do that ,because we are not working to save money.the people still working have gotten a heads up to save,we did not,there is no way these cuts are fair,if we would have known 10 years ago we could of saved money or left for better jobs.please do not approve these cuts. Thank you
  • David Thayer Sr.
    commented 2017-01-05 21:16:16 -0500
    Please Treasury dept,don’t listen to me Baum,he does not have our best interest in this endeavor,he is urging you to cut our pensions when he is suppose to be helping to prevent it.i worked to hard and paid I to my pension for 20 years to let them just take my money.tbete is no way I would have stayed at ups if I knew they were going to mis use my money.i would have left that crap mod and went to work for the state with better benefits,but we were promised a good pension and benefits which has turned out to be a lie.if I take a 31 percent cut that will leave me with just 731 dollars a month to live on.i will loose my appt my health insurance.i will be in bankruptcy. Thank you.
  • Bruce Swearingen
    commented 2017-01-05 00:37:51 -0500

    In a organization that was defined as "corrupt from the TOP DOWN " in 1996 ..,paving the way for a immediately corrupt Hoffa\Hogan gotta wonder!
    Anyone want to debate the status of the UNION today?
  • David Thayer Sr.
    commented 2017-01-04 13:10:51 -0500
    I feel the representative to help us avoid cuts is doing more for the teamsters than for us,by urging the Treasury dept to approve the cuts is not in my best interest.i worked at ups for 20 years and paid into my pension out of my benefit package and now because they mishandled our money, corruption,lavish trips, bonuses,and paying them selves huge salaries.after the cuts I will get 731 dollars a month and have to pay 535 a month for rent and 209 a month for health Insurance.which leaves nothing for food,medication, car insurance,copays,lights ,gas and so on.we the retirees should of gotten the 20 percent cut because we can’t save money because we are no longer working but the ones still working have time to save money.and why isn’t the salaries and pensions of the officers being cut. And we had to bail out the car companies and Wall Street so those people’s jobs and pensions were saved, why isn’t the government helping us.
  • David Thayer Sr.
    commented 2016-12-31 21:57:54 -0500
    To me the teamsters are useless,they do noting to protect our pensions.i paid enough over 20 years to cover my pension,and I want my money 360 $ a week there is no reason why my money isn’t there for we were made to pay into it to work also offered to take control of our pensions and the teamsters said no because they would not be able to help them selves to our money.and the amount the officers make a year is rediculous,3-4 hundred thousand a year while we are the ones who broke our backs at ups and paid all that money into our pension fund.hoffa has done nothing to help our pension,he’s all set when he retires no cuts and a big in the millions when he leaves.i worked to hard and put up with to much crap from ups and the teamsters to let them cut my pension.many of us will be forced into bankruptcy and will have to have the state to help support us.teamsters before us got Thier pensions from us paying into it,now it’s our turn and they will have to have people working now contribute more.and why must we that are retired have to take 31 percent cut but yet ones still working only take 20 what crap.i think it’s time to get good lawyers and sue the teamsters for mis handling and taking our money.
  • Dave Smolinski
    commented 2016-09-13 18:12:44 -0400
    So here’s what my benefit reduction will be 32.2 years equals 1584.00 cut a month or 19,000 a year are they totally insane!
  • Robin Bobowicz
    commented 2016-09-04 19:41:24 -0400
    The proposed 30% cuts for retirees and 20% cuts for active Teamsters are absurd. Isn’t the UNION referred to as the Brotherhood? Any cuts should be equal across the union. And, what about Hoffa and his corrupt “brotherhood”? Are their salaries, benefits and retirements going to face the same cuts? Aren’t they the administrators responsible for managing the wealth of the union? Stand up to these crooks brothers.
  • Russell Clark
    commented 2016-09-01 14:55:56 -0400
    This crime was not caused by hardworking Teamster brothers and sisters. Our leaders act and talk of the “economic decline” in 2008 as if it was not our leaders responsibility. The corrupt elected leaders and bankers all protected themselves with our earned money. The democrats socialist and un-constitutional policies were the largest re-distribution of wealth in the history of the world. It was they who STOLE our retirement for votes and power. and they are doing just as good on wall st now as before because our retirement is paying for it. Not that many years ago corrupt leaders like that were covered with hot tar and feathers and floated down the hudson river for all the others leaders to see what would happen to them if they screwed us too. It seems that was the only way to stop this criminal activity. Recently judges are just letting these irresponsible, born rich, criminals off with a scolding at best (they probably dine at the same country club) No one is holding them accountable. Is anyone starting the tar pots boiling again.? Plucking feathers? If I,m the only one who feels this way then maybe i,m wrong. If not, then why am I the only one saying it.
  • donald piatek
    commented 2016-08-30 09:41:31 -0400
    to mr pane we fought hard for our pension the people running the fund caused the problem some day you will retire maybe the workers will sat the same about you rember how to spell union its you and i not me what happen to our brotherhood nobody sticks togerther anymore god bless you brother
  • donald piatek
    commented 2016-08-30 09:34:17 -0400
    our fund would not be in trouble if yrc paid into it for the last 5 yrs let yrs pay the fund back they have the money. just came back from a trip out west all yrc i seen were being pulled by crst
  • Rhonda Welk
    commented 2016-08-23 18:17:22 -0400
    All the corruption and embezzlement going on, and let’s cut pensions. Hoffa needs to prioritize and get his act together and quit covering up and standing up for those who deceived the locals and pensions
  • Gary Payne
    commented 2016-08-22 17:03:40 -0400
    It’s time to wake upand smell the cofee. Multiemployer pension plans were a good idea when they were formed. The way they put the burden on current participants, when companies leave is the biggest problem. 0% interest rates, and dismial stock market returns for the last 16 years will do all of in. The plans don’t work. The solution is to give the PBGC the orphaned employees who are retired, and cashout to those who aren’t. Then if only on employer is left its still solvent.
  • Dave Smolinski
    commented 2016-08-17 16:38:24 -0400
    Hard to believe the lac of comments, this is totally wrong, we earnded these pensions and they should not be reduced because of management but the fund!
  • Bruce Swearingen
    commented 2016-08-13 19:37:59 -0400
    Hoffa has nothing to say…because it doesn’t affect HIS pensions are healthcare…he has enjoyed a CEO status in the IBT!
    He NEVER was a rank and file Teamster!!
    Why with the serial betrayals and constant Officers corruption ,have Working members reelected this FRAUD..again and again!
    Taking the same course of action, that has always ended in failure, yet expecting different results…defines INSANITY!!!!
  • Bruce Swearingen
    commented 2016-08-13 19:10:51 -0400
    “When they took the New York pensions..I didn’t care I’m in the Western conference..when they took the Central States..I didn’t care..I’m in the Western States Conference..when they came for my pension…there was no one left who gave a shit!!!!
  • edward martin
    commented 2016-08-13 09:10:56 -0400
    thanks to mark greene for all the work he has done to fight for our pension, im all for helping the fun and share in the burden, but some of us are being cut much higher then others this has to be done fairly. this will be my third cut since 2010!!!!!!! get on board with TAPP make a donation to help us fight.
  • Mark Schwarz
    commented 2016-08-12 14:21:03 -0400
    We all need to get behind mark. They need to do a forensic audit to get to the bottom of this problem. Tapp is looking for a one time donation of $100
    To get this done. Send it to the tap fund in Kingston ny
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