Why? Here's your answer!
Every Idaho public employee should become an IPEA member. Our work at the Idaho state legislature makes employment at the state level AND at the local level so much better for public employees. Every raise state employees have received in the last several years has come about at least in part because of IPEA's lobbying efforts. We've also had success in changing the very structure of state employment such as convincing the legislature to raise the floor of the pay scale for all classified employees. We also lobby for changes in the state's merit pay system and we are working to reinsert cost of living and longevity raises for state employees.
We help all Idaho public employees by lobbying for decent economic (tax) policy. Idaho's state legislature has made terrible decisions in the past decade to cut government funding at all levels. IPEA is part of the Partnership for Idaho's Future which works every year just on tax policy to make sure our state, county, and city governments have the revenue necessary to fund crucial programs like education, infrastructure, etc. Not only that, but we need to make sure the money is available to pay public employees adequately and provide decent benefits. In the last couple of years we have successfully stopped a repeal of the Business Equipment Tax (personal property tax). Had that tax on Idaho big business been repealed, county and city governments would have been devastated. In 2015 we stopped Representative Mike Moyle's horrible bill to cut income tax on wealthy people. That bill would have given people making over $60,000 a year a big tax cut, while it would have raised taxes on all the rest of us making under $60,000. Not only that, but there would have been another big chunk of money coming out of the state's General Fund, which would have made it much more difficult to adequately fund our state government.
We depend on our Standard Members at IPEA! They know what is happening on the ground for public employees all over the state. Their input is crucial in our annual planning meeting, and our members in leadership positions in their employment circumstances are so valuable when we talk to government decision makers about how public employees should be treated. They are invaluable as members of our Board and as District Directors representing their own part of the state.
Our Standard Members can also take advantage of our employee support benefit. When our members have a problem in the workplace, they can receive personalized counseling as they utilize the problem solving process. Not only that, but if their employee complaint reaches the point where we agree they need an attorney's advice, we will pay for their consultation with our legal partners at Strindberg and Scholnick. But we are usually able to work out their complaints without ever needing to consult attorneys because we have experience in how to navigate the system.
Our Standard Members need to be informed of everything that is happening in Idaho's government. We often call on them to write emails and make phone calls to their state, county, and city elected officials. And they respond in great numbers when we call on them, and those contacts are often a crucial part of making policy changes. They know their membership in IPEA entitles them to receive our quarterly newsletter and our email alerts. They also have access to the "Members Only" page of the IPEA website where they will find so much important information for all public employees.
Many public employees want to remain or become IPEA members when they retire. They know that IPEA is vigilant about monitoring what is happening with PERSI. In fact, IPEA was formed in 1959 because a few forward-thinking state employees knew how important it was for state employees to have a pension plan. They lobbied the legislature, and by 1963 PERSI became a reality. We would never have had a great pension plan for Idaho public employees if not for IPEA. Now all state employees are part of the PERSI retirement system, and almost every county and city in Idaho also participate in the PERSI retirement program. Almost every year someone in the Idaho legislature attacks PERSI, and we fight to keep it as the solid defined benefit plan that it is today. We attend the PERSI Board meetings on a regular basis and we promote the fair distribution of COLAs for our retired public employees.
We value our Retiree Members at IPEA! We know they have great institutional wisdom that can help us in our efforts to support Idaho public employees. That's why we encourage our retirees to participate in our annual planning meeting and to help us in our lobbying efforts at the Statehouse. They can testify on behalf of public employees without any fear of retribution. We also encourage them to serve as officers on our Board of Directors and as District Directors.
Our Retiree Members want to stay informed of everything that is happening in Idaho's government. They know their membership in IPEA entitles them to receive our quarterly newsletter and our email alerts. They also have access to the "Members Only" page of the IPEA website where they will find so much important information for working and retired public employees.
Lots of people who are not public employees still want to keep track of Idaho state government. IPEA gives you the most comprehensive day to day updates about what is happening, and our mission is to keep every informed! ANYONE can be a Supporting Member of IPEA! For only $5 a month you will receive ALL of our publications, including a quarterly newsletter, regular email alerts about Idaho government, and access to great material like our annual Legislature Report on the "Members Only" page on our website.
Some public employees or retirees just want to get our communications, and that's okay with us as well. We hope they will sign on as either a Standard or Retiree member eventually, but if they want to try us out and see what we're all about as a Supporting Member for awhile, that is okay, too. Supporting members cannot serve on our Board or vote at our annual meeting, but they are always welcome to attend any event we hold and they have access to all of our communications, including our email alerts, newsletters, and access to the "Members Only" page of the IPEA website. And if they ever need other services, they can always upgrade their membership at any time.
Standard membership - $20 month
Retiree membership - $10 month
Supporting membership - $5 month