Institutions members with dangerous jobs press for safety pension reform

PSERS.13113aMembers from several institutions came to Olympia Thursday (Jan. 31) to meet one-on-one with legislators to ask for retirement reforms for those in dangerous jobs in mental health, juvenile rehabilitation and developmental disabilities.

They’re asking for inclusion in the Public Safety Employees Retirement System (PSERS). It’s a good fit for institutions workers in dangerous jobs, allowing earlier retirement. DSHS was originally included in the 2005 legislation creating PSERS, but was Xed out on final passage.

They told lawmakers:

Job classifications within DSHS agencies should be eligible for the PSERS retirement system:

  • Mental Health hospitals (Mental Health Division)
  • Residential Habilitation Centers (Department of Developmental Disabilities)
  • The Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, to include JRA institutions, Parole and Community facilities.

The following job classes should be eligible for the PSERS retirement system:

  • Job classes with unsupervised direct exposure to the clients served.
  • Defensive Tactics or some manner of de-escalation training is a mandatory condition of employment.
  • The supervisor of the above job classifications.
  • The duties performed closely resemble positions already included in PSERS: analogous positions exist at the county or city level; clients served are in an institutional setting or exhibit frequent criminal behavior; comparable conditions of violence levels and threats on employee safety.


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