Don’t take cheap shots at unions
To the Editor:
I was just a little confused to read the letter in the February Communicator from the retiree who complained that the PEF Retirees page should focus more on the governor’s attempts to curtail retiree benefits, but then turned around and complained about alleged “left-leaning rhetoric” in the same column.
I’ve been retired for several years and I recall during my years of service, without a trace of fondness, the hypocritical moaning from right-wing state employees about “liberal” and “left-wing” pronouncements from union officials and in union publications.
Have they noticed the steady decline of union membership and workers’ rights and benefits nationwide since the 1970s?
Are they completely clueless to the constant drumbeat of anti-public-sector employee rhetoric from their heroes on the right?
Are they aware of how many of their counterparts in the private sector have no pension, have expensive, inferior or nonexistent health care coverage, and have no employer reimbursing their Medicare premiums?
Everything these people take for granted was won by difficult and hard-fought collective bargaining on the part of the “left-leaning” union officials they conveniently pillory, who continue to fight on a daily basis to preserve these benefits that are enjoyed by few other workers in this country.
By all means, hold PEF Retirees’ feet to the fire regarding reporting on efforts to hold the line on benefits. However, cheap political shots against those who are on the front lines trying to protect the unique privileges and advantages of NYS PEF membership are totally out of line.
MICHAEL P. WEINSTEIN
Fernandina Beach, FL
Feels Empire Plan unfair to elderly
To the Editor:
I believe your published response to my previous letter is wrong.
The only ones who benefit from pooling (employees and retirees for the Empire Plan) benefits are those who are not on Medicare. It actually increases the health insurance costs of those who are on Medicare.
Why aren’t the (Empire Plan) benefits the same (for retirees with Medicare and those without Medicare)? Why would 100 days in a rehab facility for a stroke cost me $13,000, but be free for up to a year under coverage for a person who is not on Medicare? I would gladly give up maternity and fertility treatment for equal rehab coverage.
Since I retired in 2003, my pension has increased less than 4 percent, while PEF salaries have increased 35 percent to 40 percent. Why am I subsidizing them? That actually increases the retirees’ costs.
The people being subsidized are the only ones allowed to vote (on PS&T contracts). The retirees don’t vote. This is an example of financial exploitation of the elderly!
Thanks for photos of late activist
To the Editor:
Many thanks for the pictures of Ray’s (Ferraro) retirement (in 1991). I definitely will share them with the family.
PEF’s thoughtfulness is deeply appreciated.
Letters Policy: The Communicator welcomes letters to the editor about union issues and events relevant to PEF’s diverse membership. All letters are subject to editing for space, fairness and good taste. Please type your letters, keep them brief (up to 250 words), and include your name, non-work email address and phone number for verification.
Email your letters to: gro.f1521767321ep@ro1521767321tacin1521767321ummoc1521767321eht1521767321
Or, mail your letters to:
P.O. Box 12414
Albany, N.Y. 12212-2414