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Tier VI sexist, Russell suggests

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Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, told union delegates for the local AFL-CIO that the new pension tier that was approved earlier this year is unfair to women.

She voted to approve it, and said in a follow-up interview that it was the “worst vote I’ve ever taken.”

“The harshest change was specifically targeted at, essentially, women,” Mrs. Russell said.

Tier VI, as it’s called, raised the retirement age for most new state hires from 62 to 63. But for future teachers, it raised the retirement age from 57 to 63, Mrs. Russell said. And the teaching profession is “dominated” by women.

She said it’s something that Albany could address next year.

“I stand willing to bring this issue to the forefront,” Mrs. Russell said.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a fellow Democrat who muscled through the pension system changes, said the bill will save the state government and local governments $80 billion over 30 years.

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