Your March 16 editorial “Pension Pitfall” was mistaken. Several studies examining the issue of public pension funds have shown that the main cause of problems with these pension plans has been due to the fact that the governmental authorities have refused to meet their financial obligations. I believe the PG has even published articles about those studies.
In Pennsylvania, our governor and many of our legislators have refused to meet their contractual and legal obligations. Both employers and employees agreed to support the pension fund. If this enterprise fails it is because the employer refuses to meet its commitments; the negligent partner should be blamed, not the employees. In Pennsylvania, however, our officials try to avoid paying their bills by rewriting laws they don’t like (the 2010 Pension Reform Act). This action hurts commonwealth and school district employees who met their financial obligations to the fund.
Are we a “banana republic”? Can government officials circumvent contracts and law in pursuit of narrow political agendas?
The Post-Gazette has admirably opposed other such attempts (voter suppression laws, restrictions on reproductive rights, marriage equality bans). This pension fund gambit is just another base attempt by politicians and special interest groups to destroy the rights of working people, hurting the middle class.
The commonwealth and school districts need to meet their financial obligations, obey the 2010 law and deal honestly with their employees.
The writer is a member of the Grievance Appeals Committee, Service Employees International Union No. 668.