To the Editor:
In a letter to the editor in last week’s paper from the RTC Treasurer some corrections are needed.
The writer states in his opening paragraph that the editorial from the prior week entitled ‘Silence’ published on Feb 21, had the direct effect of bringing State Senators Leone and Duff to Darien to speak to a group of school parents. A quick inquiry revealed that the invitation to our State Senators was sent and responded to weeks before Feb 21, clearly debunking the false statement of the writer.
The letter goes on to paint a skewed picture of the 2011 State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition Agreement. The writer should have indicated that concessions were needed in order to get the unions back to the negotiating table to reopen the costly agreements signed by Republican Governors Rell and Rowland. The result was an agreement negotiated by Governor Malloy, which for the first time has state employees contributing towards retiree healthcare and retirement ages raised for new and certain existing employees. Together, and with other portions of the agreement, SEBAC 2011 is meeting it goals and will net the state of Connecticut a savings of over $20 billion dollars over the next 20 years.
The writer goes on to unfairly characterize the state’s current pension issues. It is important to understand the facts. And the fact is that there are currently 4 tiers of state employees. Tier II, IIA and III employees’ pensions are currently very well-funded and not a burden on the state budget. Tier I employees — those hired prior to 1984, are the problem. The state never put any money aside for pensions prior to the 1970s. Pensions became a benefit for state employees in the 1930s. It wasn’t until 2011, under Governor Malloy, that the state put enough money into the pension fund to meet its actuarial required contribution. For many years prior to the Malloy Administration, there were no contributions made at all to the pension fund leaving us in a position of playing catch up.
19 Salt Box Lane