The below letter to the editor is from Marquita Popidinski a teacher in Illinois
I am writing to express my support for our state and local public employees, including fire fighters and police, teachers and child protection workers, and other public employees who provide essential services. Illinois public pensions are modest — on average just $32,000 a year.
Most public employees are not eligible for Social Security —they rely solely on their pension for security in retirement. The state’s pension debt is the fault of politicians who failed for decades to make required contributions to the retirement systems.
All that time, public employees paid their share faithfully and in full — in most cases, 8 or 9 percent from every paycheck. A modest pension is a promise our state makes to those who serve. It’s a promise that should be kept.
I hope lawmakers will do the right thing and stand up for the police and firefighters who keep us safe, teachers who educate our children, nurses and caregivers who serve the sick and disabled, and all the other state and local public employees who are counting on the modest pension promised them. Say NO to cutting public employee pensions.