I was disturbed to read the Empire article "Retirement covered, but troubles loom (Jan. 28), particularly the part about "For current government employees, however, raises may be crimped." I believe it needs a correction.
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This article is distorting and re-writing history. State employees had already absorbed pay cuts in the form of wages that haven't kept up with the high cost of living. The employer's retirement contributions were other deferred compensation intended to supplement the low wages paid during those years. The fact that the employer neglected to make retirement contributions is not the employee's fault; it is the employer's. Now that the employer's liability for those missed payments has ballooned to billions of dollars, they are asking their current employees to make up for the shortfall by crimping their long overdue pay adjustments? What is wrong with this picture?
Government employees who worked in 1999, 2000 and 2001: Those missed retirement payments are deferred compensation that the state should have paid you, but tricked you out of back in those years.
Government employees planning to work from 2007 through 2010: This is money the state should be paying you in wage increases to make up for past shortfalls in cost of living adjustments. If you let them, they would be glad to trick you out of overdue pay adjustments and move your money over to repay their debt to employees who worked eight years ago.
Government employees need to rise up and fight this, otherwise they will gladly rip us off, not once, but twice.