Letters to the Editor

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STATE BUDGET: Another broken promise

Letter by J. L. Hall, Edgewood on March 28, 2011 at 2:44 pm with 8 Comments »
March 28, 2011 2:47 pm

Re: “Lawmakers eye retirees’ cost-of-living increases” (TNT, 3-27).

In 1966, I was promised that if I spent 30 years in the classroom and “donated” 6 percent of my salary each year, I would receive a monthly retirement check based on my years of service and my highest salary. This “donation” was, of course, mandatory.

I truly believed the state would uphold its part of our contract. I believed it would not only pay me my money back, with interest, but would, upon my turning 66, include a COLA in the bargain.

Now I find out that the state intends to walk away from our deal. They took my money and put it in an account but didn’t always add matching funds like they promised. Now, surprise – they are short funds and want to renege on the deal we made. No COLA even though it was a contracted benefit.

They’re certain I’ll understand and sympathize with their self-created catastrophe. Well, surprise! I don’t understand. Are they the only entity in Washington that can cancel a contract and walk away blameless? And they wonder why they can’t find new teachers. Maybe the “new kids” aren’t as naive as I was.

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. truthbusterguy says:

    The problem here is that democrats in Olympia have written a check they can’t cash. They have made deals over the years to the unions in exchange for campaign donations knowing they would be out of office when the bill came due. Now the new crop of democrats is forced to make a choice and they don’t like their options.

    They have decided that since you are no longer paying mandatory union dues, that come back to democrats via union donations, it won’t cost them as much in campaign donations if they stab you in the back. Do you feel betrayed, you should. The only fair answer her for all to take a haircut equally. We are having wars between education, health care, unions, social programs and yes retirees.

    I am starting to believe that the only fair way is to make very deep across the board cuts to balance the budget. Man up, members of the legislature. Spread the pain and make massive across the board cuts.

  2. alindasue says:

    I’ll go for “massive across th board cuts” if those cuts include the salary and benefits of the governors (past and present) and legislators who put us in this mess to begin with.

    Right now they are being very selectives about which contracts they feel the need to violate… and it’s not the union contracts they’ve chosen to honor. Union members make good scapegoats, but they are not the true cause of the problem.

  3. The beast is being starved and guess what? The beast is you! Nice idea on the theoretical level, not so good when it gets personal.

  4. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    I agree with alindasue that state workers are not the problem. They are forced to pay union dues and the state collects these dues and sends to the unions bosses. They in turn send democrats big checks during the election season. State worker unions should collect their own dues and the state should not fire them if they want to opt out. That is how it works in the federal worker system. Union donations are the root cause of all corruption in Olympia and must be reined in. The workers are great, the unions are the cancer here.

  5. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Grow up J.L. – you are one of a very select few who get COLA’s after retirement – only from a gov’t union agreement!!!

  6. olbluedoc says:

    I see the usual crowd here is still spreading their lies – The unions are not guilty of ANYTHING. The lame politicians – Republicans AND Democrats – give corporate America tons and tons of tax breaks – so that they can in turn send our jobs overseas – and then try to balance the mess on the backs of the workers and the retirees. You morons will believe anything and everything they tell you, because you have no minds of your own. Big Brother will take care of you forever right? Walmart has your back, right? Those clowns are laughing all the way to the bank. You’re just laughing. When it’s all over there will be no political parties, just us dissidents and you Nazi sympathizers.

  7. harleyrider1 says:

    I don’t feel sorry for you as I would bet you and the union you pay dues in, continued to vote the same party into office that has run the state legislature for the majority if not all the time you have been a teacher.

    And, while you continued to vote for them, you continued to demand or threaten to strike more money. The people you continued to elect, continued to take the money earmarked for funding your pension, and paid it to you. They also continued to fund, appropriate, and spend on all the social programs you and your union demanded – both as teachers and individuals. Spend, spend, spend.

    The money had to come from somewhere – but no one asked. Not even the math teachers.

  8. J.L. your problem lies in the fact that you and your fellow teacher sold your soul to the democrats. You became there slaves doing there bidding. After time they began to take you for granted and finally lost all respect for you, knowing you would never leave there team. Now you get to reap what you sow. Welcome to the world of politics,you loose and your union still sends your money to your masters.
    You can take comfort in knowing that the Republicans didn’t get a chance to give you the shaft, the democrats beat them to it.

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