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What's New at IAFF 522
Arsonist Denied Parole

We are proud to announce that on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, the California State Parole Board voted to DENY parole for Arsonist Mario Catanio.

In l98l, Mr. Catanio was paid to set fire to a North Hollywood restaurant as part of an insurance fraud scheme. In the course of fighting that fire, eight Los Angeles City Firefighters were injured and one, Thomas Taylor, lost his life. Brother Taylor, a second-generation Firefighter, was only 34-years old when he was killed. He left behind a wife and two children who grew up without a father. Mr. Catanio was arrested eight months later and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for murder and federal mail fraud.

Since his conviction, Mario Catanio has consistently shown little to no remorse for his crime that resulted in the death of an LAFD Firefighter.

LAFD Captain II Frank Lima, the President of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, joined LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas at the Parole Board hearing and testified, "Because of Inmate Catanio’s crime, a department lost our brother, a father lost his son, a wife lost her husband, and two young children lost their father forever. Do not allow a convicted arsonist that committed murder to be granted parole.  It’s simply not fair to so many people who have lost so much over the years. Keep Mario Catanio in prison."

Thankfully, the Parole Board listened to Captain Lima, Chief Terrazas, and the Taylor family in denying the release of Mr. Catanio.

UFLAC would like to thank LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas – who testified with labor at the Hearing and made it a priority to keep Mr. Catanio behind bars.

We would also like to thank LA City Councilman Paul Krekorian for writing a letter to the Parole Board and for passing a City of Los Angeles Resolution – both encouraging the Board to deny release. Thanks also to the State of California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, who wrote a similar letter to the Board. 

Help keep an arsonist behind bars

Brothers and Sisters:

Please take a moment and read Bulletin #06-15 (attached in this email) from the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112.

Apparatus Operator Thomas Taylor was killed in the line of duty as a result of an arson fire on

January 28, 1981.

The arsonist, Mario Catanio is scheduled for a parole hearing on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in the Sacramento area.  In 2004, members of Local 522 stood with the Taylor Family, members of Local 112, and members of LAFD Task Force 60 to deny parole to

Mario Catanio.  This convicted arsonist and murderer is again up for parole.   I am asking the members of Local 522 to honor the request of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City by sending a letter to the State Parole Board to deny parole.  Please have your letters in prior to February 25, 2015.   A template is provided in UFLAC Bulletin #06-15

Please leave your calendar clear for March 11, 2015. It is critically important that Uniformed Firefighters attend the parole hearing. As soon as the Local knows the exact time and location we will arraign a march or transportation to the hearing site.

Brother Tom Taylor's father and brother are both retired from LAFD. We need to be there for them.  Further details will follow as we receive them.  To attend the parole hearing, please RSVP to Gabriela at the Union office.

Respectfully,

Brian K. Rice

President
Download: Help Keep a Murderous LA Arsonist Behind Bars.docx
2013 10-7 Luncheon

Another great year at the Luncheon!  Over 200 active and retired firefighters from all over the Sacramento Region joined to share stories and see old friends.  Below is a few photos, with more in the photo gallery.

CalPERS Board Re-Elects Officers, Pension Fund returned 13.3% on investments

CalPERS Board Re-Elects Feckner as President; Diehr as Vice President

Pension Fund returned 1.3% on investments last year

The California Public Emploees' Retirement System (CalPERS) Board of Administration unanimously re-elected Rob Feckner as Board president and George Diehr as vice president. Feckner will be serving his ninth term as president, and Diehr will be in his sixth vice presidential term.

CalPERS also announced that it earned a 1.3% return on its investments for the 12-month period that ended December 31, 2012. The pension fund has gained 71.1% in the first six months of the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

"My colleagues have shown tremendous trust in me to guide CalPERS and I appreciate their faith in my leadership," said Feckner. "As we emerge from this recession, I am positive we will contiinue on the path of improved transparency, accountability and ethics that enhance our ability to provide retirement and health security to the public employees who serve our state,"

Feckner was first elected as the representative of CalPERS school members in 1998. He also chairs the Board Governance committee, and is a member of the Investment, Pension & Health Benefits, and Risk & Audit committees.

Feckner has worked for the Napa Valley Unifed School District fot the past 35 years. He is isthe past president of the California School Employees Association and is currently executive vice president of the California Labor Federation.

The Board President oversees the Board's business, sets meeting schedules and agendas with input from other Board Members and Executive Staff, makes appointments to board policy committees, and represents CalPERS to outside parties.

Diehr, who is elected by State employees, including employees of the California State University system, was first elected to the CalPERS Board in 2002. In addition to serving as vice president, he also chairs the Finance and Administration Committee, is vice-chair of the Board Governance, Investment, and Pension & Health Benefits Committees, and serves on the Risk & Audit Committee. "I appreciate the opportunity to continue serving in a leadership role at CalPERS," siad Diehr. "I look forward to working with my colleagues, our fine staff and our constitutents to make sure that we offer well-managed, high-quality benefit programs for California's hard-working public employees." Dr. Diehr has been a professor in the College of Business Administration at California State University, San Marcos, since 1990. He is also active in the California Faculty Association. The Board vice president assumes the president's duties when the president is absent and carries out special duties assigned by the Board president.

CalPERS 13.3% return for the 2012 calendar year was led by strong gains in global stocks and real assets including stakes in office, apartment, industrial and office buildings. Public Equity earned a 17.2% gain while Real Assets garnered a 12.8% return.

The remainder of CalPERS asset classes also showed positive results as follows:

Growth                     16.1%

Private Equity          12.2%

Fixed Income            7.6%

Inflation-Linked        5.0%

Absolute Return      3.2%

CalPERS is the largest public pension fund in the U.S. with approximately $250 billion in assets. The retirment system administers retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million current and retired California State, public school, and local public agency employees and their families on behalf of more than 3,000 public employers in the state, and health benefits for 1.3 millioin enrollees. For more information about CalPERS, visit www.calpers.ca.gov

CalPERS compliance with State changes PPPA payment date to May

PPPA and COLA Update from CalPERS:

We (CalPERS) wanted to inform you about a change in the Purchasing Power Protection Allowance (PPPA) that goes into effect in January 2013. As a reminder, PPPA is a supplementary cost-of-living benefit payable over and above the annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). Most members will not begin to be eligible for the PPPA adjustment until 25 to 30 years into retirement. In the past, the PPPA was calculated and reflected in checks each January, but due to legislation that CalPERS sponsored in recent years to make technical amendments to the law, we are required to make PPPA adjustments in May to coincide with the annual COLA. We made this change so the same measure of inflation could be used for the PPPA and COLA to ensure the adjustments are precise. In the past PPPA was based on estimated inflation amounts in January and later adjusted. This new process will provide more reliable numbers for our members. For 2013, CalPERS will calculate a retroactive adjustment to cover the four months of January through April of 2013. Pension law also dictates that CalPERS use the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for all U.S. cities, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, to determine the annual loss or gain of purchasing power. The benefit can increase or decrease, and under the change in timing a decrease could be offset by the annual COLA. About 45,000 members are expected to be eligible for PPPA this year.

Law Changes PPPA Assignment Date Expect Your PPPA in May, not January

For the last two decades, any increases (or decreases) to the amount of CalPERS retirees'  PPPA, or "Purchasing Power Protection Allowance," were reflected in the January 1 benefit payment.

Senate Bill 1139, passed in 2010, changed the payment date. The PPPA benefit will now be paid annually in the May 1 benefit payment, to coincide with the annual cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment. The 2013 PPPA will begin with your May 1, 2013 benefit payment.

CalPERS will calculate a retroactive adjustment to cover the four months of January through April of 2013. The benefit can increase (or decrease) based on recent inflation; therefore, we will process your adjustment accordingly.

The Purchasing Power Protection Allowance (PPPA) is a supplementary cost-of-living benefit payable over and above the annual COLA. It restores up to 75 percent of the original purchasing power of the retirement benefit for retirees who have State or school service. It restores up to 80 percent of the original purchasing power of retirement benefits for retirees who have public agency service.

State law dictates that CalPERS use the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for all U.S. cities, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, to determine the annual loss (or gain) of purchasing power.

Your eligibility for the PPPA benefit is based on the year of your retirement, the cost-of-living adjustment you receive each May, and the extent of increase or decrease of your purchasing power. Based on recent historical rates of inflation, it could take approximately 25 to 30 years for a retiree, beneficiary or survivor to receive a PPPA adjustment.

If you have any questions regarding your PPPA benefit, please contact the Benefit Services Division at the following address:

P.O. Box 942716 Sacramento, California 94229-2716

You can also call CalPERS toll free at 888 CALPERS (or 888-225-7377).

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