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Letter: State employees not to blame for pension problems

Published: Friday, June 28, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

The opinion from Scott Reeder in Springfield (“Working for state pays well for some,” page A5, June 26) was misleading to say the least.

In it, he cherry-picked numbers and continued to blame state employees for pension woes.

The State of Illinois continually neglected to put their share into pension funds, and then to add insult to injury, “borrowed money” out of the money paid into the pensions by state employees.

For those who don’t know, we, (yes, I was employed by the state, and do receive a pension) paid a higher percentage into the system than our counterparts paid into social security.

After working in the system for 20-plus years, retirees are being told that we created the state’s financial problems, and should now be not compensated with our own money.  

What does it mean that our pensions are being paid on the backs of taxpayers?  I and my entire family are taxpayers!  We have served the state, but are being vilified for the loyalty to our places of employment. We essentially forfeit whatever we paid into social security in our previous employment by working for the state.

Getting into finer points of the op-ed piece: Where are the state barbers employed? It would probably be in Springfield, where the “elected” officials have many amenities;  I certainly never ran across a barber in NIU’s employed force! 

I agree with the woman who posted an online comment about this article. It does take a lot of nerve for the Chronicle to thumb their nose at the county’s largest employee base.  She said it more diplomatically ... she used the word credit, but I think it doesn’t benefit anyone to dismiss a whole group of people who technically support your business.

I have subscribed to the Chronicle for years; don’t always agree with current and changing publishers, but think there should be some thought given to what is being said about many of the Chronicle subscribers, and fairly present issues.

Ruth Cain

Maple Park

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