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Emailers on my Sunday SB5 column

By Todd Franko (Contact)

Published October 26, 2011

Untitled document

Dear Mr. Franko,

I would like for people to really take minute and examine the pension plan that teachers are in known as STRS. If that plan was eliminated how much would really be saved? Right now the public pays 14% of my pension. It sounds as if that is huge. The reason I would like it examined is that the whole picture is not represented as it is portrayed. Let's say that we scrap strs as of next year and all teachers go on a traditional employer contribution for social security and we add in a comparable 401k program for the type of professional job teachers were portrayed as before the last 18 months of hatred. The 6.2 % employer contribution + the 6% 401k contribution match from the employer is really close to what is paid. If we take a teacher that makes $50,000 that savings would be $900 savings for the year. If that is the difference we are taking about to save the state then I know plenty of teachers that would find a way to make the right thing happen for the state. I can tell you I am a veteran of the Army, a father and a teacher. I promise you that know what sacrifice is and how to sacrifice and will do my part to help when asked. That being said I cannot understand how teachers, police and fire became the enemy of the state. I write this without anger but much more with a genuine feeling of wanting things to get better. I am open to discuss this or any other part of SB 5 as a professional. I am someone that truly loves what he does and cares for the school, community, state and country. If you can please respond to this so that I know that it did not fall of deaf ears. I do not want this published please but have read your column and have been wanting to express to you a professional and different side of things in a way that may bring dialogue to a problem that needs fixed.


Mr. Franko,

I read with interest today's article.  I thought it was well researched and written.  Here is my take on the whole thing in a nutshell:
All the money to run government IE: salaries, benefits, retirement and operational costs come from a "pool" of money that I and others pay into.  I can no longer afford to pay ANY more money into said pool.  I do not blame any worker for what they have.  As the old saying goes, "it's great work if you can get it" we all want all that we can get.  When the company I work for needs to increase it's bottom line they either cut costs (wages and benefits) or raise prices.  If they raise prices then the consumer can choose to buy elsewhere.  We don't have that option with government operations.
That being said, I can not afford to put any more money in the "pool".  The public sector needs to realize this.
Thank you for the work you do.
Semper Fi ...


Excellent Article..You have spoken the truths!  I realize it is hard for people to give things up but in today's world it is not logical to expect things "as they have been".  Thanks for writing this..I hope it gives the public pause.


Could you check to see what the average percentage of Social Security contributions are compared to what the public employees pay towards their pensions.
It use to be 6 - 12%. 
OPERS members has an average annual salary of $35,849, (OPERS FY 2009 Financial Report, page 113). Employees must pay 10 percent of every paycheck toward their retirement.  The medical insurance is not free either.  Part time people pay a large percentage for medical coverage while full timers pay a lesser amount but this only encourages more part timer to be hired as the older employees retire or die. 
So when you compare Social Security with the Public employees benefits it looks pretty even to me or am I missing something?





1CantStandYa(174 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Shouldnt people be working harder? You say that as if it is a bad thing. Would you rather have people just mope through and do just enough to get by? The lessons we should be teaching our kids are that hard work and dedication and willingness to keep learning, striving and producing new and fantastic results are how life is supposed to be lived. Not relying on the strength in numbers game to keep a bunch of people earning who are willing to do just enough to stay afloat. We should be teaching them that in order for them to succeed and be employed means constantly working to get better. The biggest life lesson I have ever learned is that those who get succesful at something stay sucessful by continually learning and doing things others havent done yet so they can stay successful.

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