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Old 11-15-2010, 02:20 PM   #341
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Do you have a signed contract that says your benefits can not be touched ever Didn't think so... (if you do, then the lawyers did a very bad job as all benefit plans that I have ever seen has a clause in them where they can be changed at the employer discression)...

And as I said... the constitution can be changed...


If you also read.... I said we can not change your earned pension....


But, let's say that you still think that it is a contract obligation that we can not change going forward... what prevents us from firing everybody and then rehiring them under a new contract Unless you are working under a signed contract that has a specific time period, I don't think that you are hired forever (or do you think so)...
[mod edit]I had a signed contract in 1977 that specified the pension system.
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Old 11-15-2010, 02:24 PM   #342
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I had a signed contract in 1977 that specified the pension system.
Just curious, did the contract you signed specify that the pension system would remain the same as it was the day you signed for as long as you chose to be employed in the system? Or did it only guarantee "sameness" for years already credited? That is, pension rules could be changed for existing employees for future years but not for years already credited?
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Old 11-15-2010, 02:29 PM   #343
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RE:
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Your 'beliefs' are out of sync with the facts.

Again, unequivocally, this is not the case. In our school district, they ran into funding problems. The District had two options:
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Not sure you can dispprove someone's beliefs based on your anecdotal facts.
True, but it wasn't up to me to disprove it. It was beowulf who made the original statement that "most other public employees would not object to a pay freeze for a year or two...". So I want him to prove it, and extraordinary statements require extraordinary proof. Considering that most school teachers belong to a National Union, I doubt that our case is unique.

There isn't enough info in your linked article on Fairfax county for me to tell much, but a few things stood out:

Quote:
"Morale is at an all-time low. It's at a breaking point," said Patricia Reed, ..."
Wow, a breaking point, because they have not received a raise in such a long time...

Quote:
Fairfax teachers have not received cost-of-living or step salary increases since fiscal 2009;
Really, that's not going to garner much sympathy from the private sector folks.


Quote:
Board member Stuart Gibson noted the approximate 6,000 contract employees whose days were cut in the past two years. "Are we looking at giving some people a raise when we haven't made up for the pay cuts we've imposed on other employees?" Gibson said.
What to make of that?

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Old 11-15-2010, 03:48 PM   #344
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RE: True, but it wasn't up to me to disprove it. It was beowulf who made the original statement that "most other public employees would not object to a pay freeze for a year or two...". So I want him to prove it, and extraordinary statements require extraordinary proof. Considering that most school teachers belong to a National Union, I doubt that our case is unique.
There isn't enough info in your linked article on Fairfax county for me to tell much, but a few things stood out:
Wow, a breaking point, because they have not received a raise in such a long time...
Really, that's not going to garner much sympathy from the private sector folks. What to make of that?-ERD50
You want me to prove something that can't be proven, along with 99% of what everyone here says? Virtually nothing can be proven. These are opinions, not facts. I said that "I believe...". You prove almost nothing that you say - you back up anecdotes with commentary and sarcasm as in the above quote. Yes, employees grumble and complain - that's normal. I would be worried if they did not. You should read "Working" by Studs Terkel.

I could care less if private sector folks have sympathy or not. Government employment is generally slow and steady - you don't get big jumps and you don't get huge bonuses and stock options. You seem to have a lot of bitterness about many things and resent pretty much anything that is different from what you know to be true (though how you know is a mystery). My opinions are just that - my opinions. After 40 years in the federal public sector (either as AD, CS or as consultant), I have a pretty good idea of what federal employees feel about certain issues. Since I'm with them every day, I'd say it's certainly better than your grasp of the issues. But I don't have any "numbers" to prove it. So you'll just have to turst me .

They don't like being the ones held up as an example every time a sacrifice is to be made. You have a short memory - federal pay has been frozen before and increases have been held to low levels to "Whip Infaction Now" when others were getting large pump ups. When things were good, then we had to set an example so raises were held down then. You act as if the current situation has been going on for 25 years. We are 3 years into a recession - that's it - and yet you call for changes to everything because it's "not working."

Feds are huge supporters of everything about this country. We have the highest percentage employment of veterans of any large company and we have diversity that's hard to beat. When told we will have to sacrifice for the country, we do it willingly, albeit with a bit of grumbling. The only time there has been a strike by federal employees was PATCO under Reagen. And many workers were fired and their union dissolved. You keep talking as if we have some sort of mystical control over what is happening today. We don't. We are the same as any other citizen - there are good employees and there are bad employees. There are smart investors and bad investors. Etc.

Some here keep saying public employee are not victims becuase they took advantage of the situation. Of having a job and feeding their family? By that standard, no employee in the country is a victim. We have a victimless recession - special to the NY Times. People who are laid off, lose their homes, go on welfare, lose their pensions, work for companies that go bankrupt - none of them are victims - after all, they knew what they were getting into by taking a job in the US. All those folks at Enron (and other companies that went under, especially those financial ones) were complicit in their firm's frauds - they must have been so - and they deserved what they got because...they benefitted from working there. Maybe you don't realize it, but that's EXACTLY what you are saying . I guess there are no victims - everyone is guilty.
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:54 PM   #345
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Just curious, did the contract you signed specify that the pension system would remain the same as it was the day you signed for as long as you chose to be employed in the system? Or did it only guarantee "sameness" for years already credited? That is, pension rules could be changed for existing employees for future years but not for years already credited?
I was guaranteed membership in the Teachers retirement system which was a statute. Courts have a a lot of experience with such statutory contracts.

yes changes can be made. No they cannot be made just because some politicians don't want to pay for what they agreed to. Some states have stronger protections against future changes than Maryland

More importantly , and my point is that once the benefit accrued it was not able to be changed.

FWIW our health benefits are merely statutory
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:15 PM   #346
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Honest question, When did you start practicing law?
I've been a member of the Bar since 1976. I chaired the State pension and compensation committee for faculty.
Your understanding of contract law is defective. And yes I had a signed contract in 1977 that specified the pension system.

And what does your contract from 1977 say Did it have language in it that stated your pension was fixed forever?... did it say you were hired for life?? Maybe you are tenured... and maybe your pension is fixed... but just throwing out that it is 'contract law' and that it can not change is not very bright coming from a lawyer....

Many public pensions HAVE been changed over the years... and they are likely to be changed in the future... so I still think your statement is bogus and worth zero to the discussion... your education level notwithstanding... Also, you did not put down the language that would make this a contract that could not be changed... which is what I think I had asked...
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:20 PM   #347
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Beowolf, has somebody in this thread argued that pension for existing FEDERAL workers be cut? Because if they have I've missed. I know that ERD, TP, and I have also said the problem really isn't with Federal pensions it is with state and local pension which are severely underfunded.

I'd like to see Federal workers pay frozen, until their private conterparts pay mostly recovers from the recent crisis. Eventually, I liked to see the debt commission recommendations of hiring only 2 federal workers for every 3 people who retire or leave. But those are the only sacrifices I expect from Federal workers, other than paying taxes.

The reality is that federal pension problems can be solved by printing more money. State pensions don't have that luxury.
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:22 PM   #348
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I was guaranteed membership in the Teachers retirement system which was a statute. Courts have a a lot of experience with such statutory contracts.

yes changes can be made. No they cannot be made just because some politicians don't want to pay for what they agreed to. Some states have stronger protections against future changes than Maryland

More importantly , and my point is that once the benefit accrued it was not able to be changed.

FWIW our health benefits are merely statutory

AHHHHH... my bold.... that is exactly what I said... why not go back and read it...

I also said that future benefits can be taken away....

[mod edit]


Edit to add: Federal law also protected the pensions in the private sector... and AFAIK everybody got their full accued benefit prior to them being changed... problem is that the amount was very little unless you had many years into the system... so I still do not see anything that would prevent someone changing future benefits... except it is to hard to get it passed and they would rather do something else so they can get reelected or move to a different higher office..
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:37 PM   #349
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I was guaranteed membership in the Teachers retirement system which was a statute. Courts have a a lot of experience with such statutory contracts.

yes changes can be made. No they cannot be made just because some politicians don't want to pay for what they agreed to. Some states have stronger protections against future changes than Maryland

More importantly , and my point is that once the benefit accrued it was not able to be changed.

FWIW our health benefits are merely statutory
From what I understand, the California constitution is filled with spending mandates so much for the schools, so much for employee pensions, and so much for the prisons etc. The CA constitution also has very strong provision against raising taxes, requiring super majorities in many cases.

With all of these competing provisions and not enough money to go around, it is going to fascinating (as well as a preview of coming attractions for other states and state workers) to see how pension stack up against other constitutionally protected claims.
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:49 PM   #350
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Edit to add: Federal law also protected the pensions in the private sector... and AFAIK everybody got their full accued benefit prior to them being changed... problem is that the amount was very little unless you had many years into the system... so I still do not see anything that would prevent someone changing future benefits... except it is to hard to get it passed and they would rather do something else so they can get reelected or move to a different higher office..
Mostly. There still were ways to pay less than the vested benefit. They involve mostly pulling assets form the funds or transferring additional liabilities into the funds, spinning off underfunded subsidiaries and letting them go broke. Devious and clever people.

This is why I feel that the folks the believe public pensions must be fully paid in their current form are in for a rude awakening. It's not that they can't be changed, just that there really hasn't been a serious effort yet to do so.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:35 PM   #351
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I am a state retiree.

anyone who thinks the pension of a state retiree can be changed at the whim of a politician is "in for a rude awakening"
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:47 PM   #352
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I am a state retiree.

anyone who thinks the pension of a state retiree can be changed at the whim of a politician is "in for a rude awakening"
Again...[mod edit] almost everybody I see posting does not say anything about changing people who are retired... and almost everybody has said that if you have earned it, you should get it...

[mod edit]
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:54 PM   #353
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