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Public misled over Illinois pension reform

Published: Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

Negotiate, contract, politician, compromise, journalist, opinions – words that are so easily used and so often heard and seen in many media formats today.

Some journalists write articles based less on facts and more with a design to appeal to current popular perception and assumption, skewing and separating reality from the public.

Misleading the public via journalism is inept and suspect especially as an editorial opinion. Editorializing on Illinois pension reform without having complete historical facts for the public to view is corrupt.

Many media formats have criminalized the position of the Illinois state employee in regard to state pensions. Public perception is the employee somehow is forcing the government to give us the great “golden parachute” retirement. The current presumptive resolution to the state of Illinois financial crisis is to reduce or eliminate employee pensions.

Do you consciously believe pension reform or elimination will resolve the Illinois government deficit? Illinois pensions have become an easy political target, primarily from the same individuals who have not held up their end of the negotiated contract terms of the pension. I believe politicians have spoon fed the pension story to the journalists, who have become willing participants in this propaganda.

State of Illinois pensions were negotiated with and controlled by the governors’ office and political appointees, past and present. The government has agreed to pay their required portion. Have they? Will they? Government has failed their employees and the taxpayers.

Those of us who work for the state, we don’t create our own rules – they’re negotiated. We don’t set our wage – it’s negotiated. We don’t give ourselves a retirement pension. We work for it and we pay for it and most important, it’s negotiated with the government of the state of Illinois. Who makes the decisions for the state of Illinois?

Note to readers: B.J. Minott is an Illinois De­part­ment of Transportation highway maintainer.

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