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Union leaders vow court fight if pensions cut

February 2, 2013

HARRISBURG (AP) — Leaders of Pennsylvania’s two largest public employee unions on Friday vowed a court fight if Gov....

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(35)

andy33

Feb-02-13 1:50 AM

These unions will never do anything for the taxpayers...they have what they want and they will fight to the end for the right to continue to bleed everyone till there is nothing left.

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mikekerstetter

Feb-02-13 6:02 AM

Union members pay their union to fight for the members.... so, what is your point? If a lot of people had their way Government employees would make minimum wage with no benefits.

A lot of Government employees could have made better money in the private sector but chose to serve the people with the promise of a decent pension and good benefits as the trade off for lower earnings throughout their career. Yes, I've heard the false argument that Government employees make more than the average citizen. But that argument is fallacious in that you are comparing part time McDonald's employees and Convenience store clerks to professional employees who have a higher level of education and skill set.

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mikekerstetter

Feb-02-13 6:09 AM

What it boils down to is that these employees, who have invested decades of their life serving the people, have been paid less than their private sector counterparts, have had a percentage of their pay involuntarily taken from their checks by law, and have been promised that for their service and for their money that was involuntarily taken that they would receive a defined benefit pension based on years of service x a certain percentage x final average salary. The courts have ruled it unconstitutional in various cases to change it for existing employees because it constitutes a contract, which the PA Constitution says the government cannot break. The unions are doing nothing but representing their members interest.

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andy33

Feb-02-13 7:49 AM

I personally know State employees....both active and retired....they have and ARE making out like bandits...MIKE...and you know it! The only reason they work for the state are for the benefits and they could NEVER find that in the private sector and to boot...they can never loose their jobs BECAUSE of the union....yep...real fair for the taxpayers!

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mikekerstetter

Feb-02-13 9:54 AM

andy33-"I personally know State employees....The only reason they work for the state are for the benefits"

Yeah, so do I. If you go back and read my statement you will find I said that they trade higher wages they could make in private industry for the retirement and benefits of Government employment.

Study's show that, when comparing job for job, considering education level and skill set, government employees are paid less than their private industry counterparts, even with retirement and benefits included. Google "Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation Over 20 Years" and "Comparing Compensation: State-Local Versus Private Sector Workers".

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mikekerstetter

Feb-02-13 10:18 AM

Bobbie2-"Put simply Kerstetter, you're full of crap on this issue."

No, actually, I am spot on with all my facts.

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jhildy69

Feb-02-13 10:30 AM

Put plain and simple, the public unions have drained the tax payers to the point of loosing their homes ,jobs and future. We taxpayers can't afford your outlandish benefits and healthcare. Why should we sacrifice our lives for your benefit, when your unions have put us in this position?

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mikekerstetter

Feb-02-13 12:19 PM

jhildy69-"Put plain and simple, the public unions have drained the tax payers to the point of loosing their homes ,jobs and future. We taxpayers can't afford your outlandish benefits and healthcare. Why should we sacrifice our lives for your benefit, when your unions have put us in this position?"

That is a typical response but what is your proof of what you just said?

Google "Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation Over 20 Years" and "Comparing Compensation: State-Local Versus Private Sector Workers".

The truth is that government employees aren't overpaid, even when including pensions and benefits.

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rick424

Feb-02-13 1:00 PM

I love how some blame the unions for all or problems. Sad...

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RightisRight

Feb-02-13 1:15 PM

I am a State employee as well, I certainly do not live in the lap of luxury. My family's needs however are met, and I do not need the help of welfare etc. I used to work in dead end job at a local retailer. I realized that I could not afford to raise a family on that income so I bettered my self. That is the wonderfull thing about this country, if you don;t like the situation youare in change it. Don't be jealous just because I went out earned a state job and now I can afford the things in life that I want for my family.

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stacey21

Feb-03-13 8:52 AM

Sounds like andy33 should have applied for that state job that he is jealous about his buddy having. You know you have that freedom to take any career path in life. I would expect nothing less from the 33 brothers when it comes to union bashing. Well where are you jeff33. We're waiting.

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jhildy69

Feb-03-13 3:14 PM

Well Mike, here is my proof. My property taxes have gone from $86 per year in 1980 to close to $5000 in 2010,paying for your greedy pensions and healthcare for stupid teachers. AND the FACT that teachers make more after retirement then they did when working. Your killing us.

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jhildy69

Feb-03-13 3:21 PM

Hey Mike, let the unions foot the bills that they created instead of the private sector

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jhildy69

Feb-03-13 3:24 PM

Union workers are overpaid, LAZY and greedy, so I take it your union MIke

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stacey21

Feb-03-13 4:04 PM

Jhildy69 I know several teachers and they get 50% of their salary for their pensions. Do you honestly believe they would make more just by retiring. If that were true don't you think everyone would choose that career path.

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jhildy69

Feb-03-13 5:17 PM

Well Stacey, I happen to know 2 teachers personally that are making 30% more after retiring. And I'm tired of paying for that.

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jhildy69

Feb-03-13 5:19 PM

Public union worker Stacey? I thought so.

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jhildy69

Feb-03-13 5:25 PM

Yea Mike, and look where this country is today, thank's pubic unions.

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mikekerstetter

Feb-03-13 6:07 PM

jhildy69, you have lots of personal opinion there, but not much in the way of facts.

In 1980 gas was $1.03/gal, bread was 48 cents, milk was $1.60/gallon, the average new car was $5400, the median income was $11,000/year and minimum wage was $3.25/hr. Things go up, some more than others.

I sense some jealousy on your part that some people chose better career paths than you. Or perhaps it's because they planned better for their retirement. Any way you slice it though, your rage is misplaced at best and a complete lie at worst.

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mikekerstetter

Feb-03-13 6:10 PM

jhildy69, just out of curiosity, did you happen to read either of the reports I referenced? I doubt that you did, given the fact that both provide evidence that public workers are paid less than their private industry counterparts even with their pensions and benefits included. Or is it that you choose to ignore those facts that are in opposition to what you want to believe?

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mikekerstetter

Feb-03-13 6:27 PM

stacey21-"Jhildy69 I know several teachers and they get 50% of their salary for their pensions. Do you honestly believe they would make more just by retiring. If that were true don't you think everyone would choose that career path."

Stacy, teachers pensions are based on years of service x 2.5% x final average salary. It IS possible that with more than 40 years of service a teacher could make as much as when they retired. More if they are getting social security. But I highly doubt that jhildy69 knows anyone like that. Most teacher burn out long before reaching that 40 year milestone. And if they DO reach it, they deserve every penny of it for lasting that long working with disrespectful kids for that long.

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stacey21

Feb-03-13 9:32 PM

Jhildy69 another fact is a lot of public sector employees are not entitled to social security

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stacey21

Feb-03-13 9:33 PM

Jhildy69 another fact is a lot of public sector employees are not entitled to social security

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djzlucky

Feb-04-13 8:50 AM

I just wanted to chime in with my personal experience. I worked at Brodart for many years, until the economy crashed and libraries lost much of their funding. At that time Brodart began mass layoffs so I decided to look for a more stable position to support my family.

After searching in our area and finding that the majority of the open positions were in the gas industry and required much time away from home, I found a position at a state university. This position provided a family-sustaining wage and a generous benefits package. Even though my starting net pay would be a little less than what I made at Brodart, the benefits more than made up for the loss of a few dollars a week.

I don't understand how anyone could begrudge the fact that I went out and found the best opportunity available to provide for my wife and kids. This opportunity was open to any other qualified applicant that applied. How is what I chose to do wrong?

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FTMPTB1

Feb-04-13 9:32 AM

Well said djzlucky. We all make our career paths in life, and it sounds like a few people on here are unhappy with the path they've taken. If your unhappy with your career, or you don't like the pay or benefits of your job, than make a change. Don't bash somebody that has a decent job and benefits, because you don't have one.

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