Saturday, October 1, 2011

Conservative Melvin supports repeal of Senate Bill 5

My friend, Melvin -- not his real name -- tends to lean conservative on a number of issues. He is a frequent commenter on my posts and provides thoughtful responses on many issues.

Because I really don't have a place to put this comment, I'm giving it its own blog post. Congratulations, Melvin. You're now famous.

Here's Melvin's take on State Issue 2:

I'd been a proponent of the recently enacted limitations to public employee collective bargaining and especially mandates for pension and health care benefit changes. But looking back over a decade that has seen private sector wages barely keep up with even modest inflation... many public employees have seen wage freezes extending over years and most have been paying more and more of their benefit costs, closing the gap that had been very wide at one time compared to private sector workers.

Public employee pension programs are similar to private sector pensions as far as employee contributions.  STRS and PERS are changing relatively quickly to require their members to work more years to get their retirement benefits and other reductions are in the pipelines.  Even "double dipping" is going to become much less beneficial to the retiree in the near future.

We're talking about teachers, police, fire, and the people that make our lives more pleasant and safe.  I don't want to make those jobs so unattractive that only the least capable members of society will be willing to take those jobs because they're not qualified for anything that has better compensation.  That why I'm going to vote No on Issue 2.


Anonymous said...

10-4 Melvin

You said what I have been trying to explain to people.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Melvin!

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree with Melvin. After serving 25 years in Dover, as a police officer, I can tell you it is unfair for those of us who choose the public sector as a career, to be punished by Senate Bill 2. We are aware of the fact from the onset; we are never going to be wealthy or listed in the top ten wage earners of America. Two of the main considerations we had were the benefits and a pension plan.

Let's face some personal facts; I'll be egotistical enough to say, I worked my heart out for the citizens of Dover while I was at the police department. I know, as most of you do, there are others who do just enough to get by, but receive the same pay and benefits as someone who does a great job, because of a contractual agreement. There's the downside of being a public employee and public service. Those of you in the private sector who do a great job would more likely than not, receive bonuses at the end of the year and raises throughout for doing what is perceived to be the best, but in the public sector, I was lucky if I got a thank you from some. I am thankful the citizens thanked me over the years and for this I’m extremely grateful. I'm just pointing this out only to let you know there are those of us who love our job and serving people. The positive considerations of being a public employee are the satisfaction of knowing you helped someone along with the benefits and a pension plan. Without those, what is the sense? You can make more money in the private sector if you are a good employee.

I think Melvin makes a terrific point and would hate to see those who teach our children and protect all of us be less than the best. However, I fear it will happen if Senate Bill 2 passes and becomes law. There will be no enticement for good people who want a career in the public sector, what's the incentive? With the jury of public opinion the way it is today, the wages of most public employees have been kept to a minimum or frozen, just as Melvin alluded to. The only things left were the personal satisfaction knowing you "may" have helped someone and/or the benefits and a pension plan.

For all of these reasons, I too would encourage all of you to VOTE NO on Issue 2 in November.
-- Bob Everett, Dover