In case you missed it in The BEU Brief #24, please click to read more about the core members, who represent us on the BEU Negotiations Team:
A follow-up to the Finance Article from the March 2019 BEU Newsletter:
Much Ado about Finances
The PSLF Formula for Loan Forgiveness or How to Join the 1% – At first glance, who wouldn’t be discouraged from applying to a loan forgiveness program that’s so “exclusive” it only accepts 1% of the applicants. That’s exactly what happened when the first cohort of borrowers became eligible for PSLF in 2017. Only 1% or 99 of the approximately 28,000 borrowers who applied managed to get their loans discharged. (See MarketWatch article; https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-government-loan-forgiveness-program-has-rejected-99-of-borrowers-so-far-2018-09-20)
Yes, the process for PSLF loan forgiveness is about as straightforward as a labyrinth and, unlike the labyrinth in Greek mythology, there’s no Ariadne thread to guide you to the exit. It’s an admittedly complex and confusing 10- year- long journey with a long list of specific requirements.
Keys to Successfully Navigate the PSLF Labyrinth
“…they just sort of have this vague understanding that after ten years my loans go away. They haven’t done the research to see that it’s an actual program.” Betsy Mayotte, president of the Institute of Student Loan Advisors.
If there’s one common denominator for the 1% whose loans were discharged, it’s their detailed and systematic approach. This cohort of borrowers did their “research” about the program, verified their eligibility, didn’t rely on their loan servicers for information and kept ridiculously detailed records. (I’ve recommended storing all records for ten years in a fire proof box!)
- Is Your Employer Eligible – If you’re a full-time, PSB educator, you’re eligible!
- Do You have Direct Loan(s)? – You must either have a Direct Loan or a Direct Consolidation loan. (You can use the NSLDS website to verify your loan type.)
- Are You Enrolled in an Income-Driven Plan? – You must be enrolled in an income-driven plan with a 20 – 25 year repayment schedule.
- Have You Made 120 Payments – You must make 120 on-time payments over 10 years!
- Have You Submitted an Employment Certification Form? If there’s one key to success in obtaining PSLF loan forgiveness, this is it! When you file this form, you can confirm that you’re both on the correct path for loan forgiveness and the exact number of qualifying payments.
(Keep copies of all submitted Employer Certification Forms and the Response letter.)
- Have you dotted your ‘i’s and crossed your PSLF ‘t’s? – An unconscionable 28% of PSLF applicants were rejected due to an incomplete application.
Ariadne at your service – If you have any questions or concerns about your PSLF application, I encourage you to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Market Rebound in 2019 –
If you can keep your head about you when all about you are losing
Are losing theirs and blaming you……
Nice to see the portfolio, which closed the year at 954K, ended the month of January at 992K capturing some of the losses from the steep December downturn. When examining the NorthStar end of the year numbers, it’s important to realize that in December the market was on track for the worst start since the Great Depression! (The S&P was actually down 9% for the month!)
Taxes in 2019
* The PSLF program was initiated in 2007 and required eligible borrowers to submit 10 years or 120 payments under an income-driven repayment plan.
David Bowie – Changes
Turn and face the strange
Brookline School Committee Refuses To Bargain With Educators
Brookline Educators Union files unfair labor charges
Following the Brookline School Committee’s refusal to negotiate in the presence of silent representatives, the Brookline Educators Union is filing charges with the state Department of Labor Relations.
The BEU’s bargaining team – which represents teachers, paraprofessionals and administrators – was prepared on Monday, Feb. 25, to discuss proposals for a successor three-year contract with the School Committee.
As has been the practice for many years, the BEU’s bargaining team is comprised of approximately 15 active negotiators. This year, the BEU informed the School Committee that silent representatives would also be at the bargaining sessions. The committee did not object to that idea when presented at an initial bargaining session, though the committee did oppose the BEU’s request for full open bargaining, allowing members of the public to witness negotiations.
The BEU is filing a charge with the DLR as it has the right to choose its bargaining team, and there are no prohibitions against silent representatives being included on the team. Members of the BEU will also be bringing the union’s concerns to the School Committee meeting on Thursday.
“The School Committee simply does not want to bargain with educators on their own terms. There is a pattern of committee members stalling and looking for any excuse to avoid addressing the BEU’s concerns about our students’ learning environments and our members’ work environments – which are one in the same,” said BEU President Jessica Wender-Shubow.
The BEU rejected the School Committee’s attempt to split up teachers, paraprofessionals and administrators into separate bargaining teams.
“I might be in one unit, but I am concerned about how all of the units are being treated,” said Christin Wheeler, a teacher at the Heath Elementary School. “My school is better when everybody’s perspective is considered.”
Wheeler was one of the thirty silent representatives who attended Monday’s bargaining session. The silent representatives do not speak during bargaining, but are able to participate in caucuses with the bargaining team. “Having more members listen and participate in the caucus will add important expertise to our discussions and allow us to settle a contract much faster,” said BEU Secretary Jody Curran. “Our last contract negotiation had a small team but stretched out over several years before it was finalized.”
“Allowing for greater input from members during the caucuses will help us craft the best proposals in a timely manner. We totally disagree with the School Committee’ assertion that having silent representatives will slow down the bargaining process or somehow be unwieldy,” said Eric Schiff, BHS Guidance Counselor and chair of the BEU’s bargaining team.
Schiff added, “The BEU is deeply disappointed that bargaining has not had a smooth start. We came prepared and ready to work on the important issues facing our schools.”