Last year, the University of Pittsburgh took the same position as Mayor-elect Bill Peduto, offering an early retirement to its staff (“Peduto Offers Workers Early Pension Option,” Nov. 13). During this time, I was the president of the University Staff Association, a council that represents more than 7,000 employees.
Because of my support for the university decision on early retirement, I often felt the need for campus police escorts. I know it is a difficult decision for any administration to even propose early retirement. Many staff were upset; however, it was a decision that helped save jobs and, more important, was the right thing to do.
In the end, 352 staff members accepted the generous retirement package offered by the university. Some sent emails to me expressing this as the best decision they ever made. One staff member who retired has become an active student of mine in pursuit of her B.A. degree.
In closing, the early retirement offered city employees is a wonderful beginning for our city to become world-class. As one popular song says, There’s no easy way to leave your lover.
Good luck to Mayor-elect Peduto in his new role as our city’s leader.
DEBORAH L. WALKER