The ruse of a Defined contribution plan replacing defined benefit programs is criminal. It will cut a pension in half and if the amount put in declines, like the article suggests, retirees will end up with less than 50% of what they are now getting. Just because the non-union private sector of our economy hasn't been able to stop the rape of their retirement should not lead to public employees having to suffer too. I remember when, as a state employee, Iwas getting 12 cents/hr raise, when it did happen at all, the private sector was getting $1.25hr raises regularly.The tables have turned. and the only reason it is now a high priority is becasue the republicans want any and every opportunity to raise people's ire against the current crop of public employees so they can whittle away at government and end up with their true goal satisfied-that is---the elimination of any obstacle to their greedy, self centered, approach to their position in society--me, me, me first! and the H...with everyone else. Not to be too paranoid, but that is why groups like the Buckeye Inst. Tea Party, and American Legislative Exchange Institute have been plotting for years to terrorize their way into positions of authority (be writing the legislation you see throughout the US these days) so they can destroy any semblence of the good life for average Americans; Then the country is theirs. We have voter suppression laws, antipathy against public employees programs, intimidation by tea party radicals with guns, elimination of concealed carry laws. Every thing to send us back into the 19th centruy when government was a flea and the rich were the elephant that couldn't be penetrated. If we don't wake up , the country will be thrown back to 1880 when no one could count on any security at all.Even Russia and the middle east have finally gotten fed up with such totlitarianism. We shouldn't let it be imported here.
December 18, 2011 at 9:33 p.m.
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I have been a state employee for over 40 years. I was on the first state wide union negotiating committee in 1986 that worked out the model for future contracts. From experience I know that without the ability to bargain with management, there will be total disregard by the legislature of the needs of employees at the state level. Before the unions, we were only able to get 12 cent/hour raise over two years every 3-4 years. in between we got nothing, no steps after 5-6 years and no benefit increases. In the last 9 years even with a union to bargain for us, we have gotten no raises in 5 of those years and have taken a 4-6% pay cut in each of the last two years. To say we have to be flexible is to say the public has no idea what we have been doing for years. I wish people who want to keep SB5 would actually do some homework and learn what has been happening. Those instances used to propaganize the need for SB5 can be handled in other ways without resorting to denying everyone the right to bargain. It unfortunately doesn't go without saying that when management and employees are willing to be on the same page, services get delivered with motivation to do a good job. If Kasick insists on conflict, the people to suffer will be employees and citizens since he will simply move on to the larger national arena were he wants be anyway. This is a coordinated effort by republicans to stymie democratic fund raising and influence since we are the last group of people with enough clout to stop the take over of our government by the likes of the Tea Party and extremists who want us all to live in rural farmland, spin our own clothes and rely on the master to give us our jobs and sustenance. As any right to work state can reveal, when unions are not present, employers often do whatever they please, pay low wages, run roughshod over peoples' right to dignity by firing or never granting raises in order to show they are in total control.Thats is the way it is. I hope we have developed into a more caring state than that. Please vote no on Issue 2 next month.
October 2, 2011 at 3:56 p.m.
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