February 26, 2013

What is Oregon’s real retirement mess?


Today the Oregonian ran yet another flawed, misinformed story this time flagging that Oregon PERS members benefits are more generous than those of neighboring states and making a stink that Oregon public workers don't contribute to their retirement based on a flawed study released by the Center for Public Policy at PSU.

Our response is available online and is pasted in below. For those of you who are Facebook and Twitter users please be sure to share, like or tweet our response and spread the word!

What is Oregon’s real retirement mess?

In response to today’s divisive and misinformed editorial about PERS, SEIU Local 503 Executive Director Heather Conroy issued the following statement:

“Part of SEIU Local 503′s vision is a ‘just and vibrant society.’ That means a society—and a media—that places the blame for economic short fallings on the banks that caused them, not the hard-working Oregonians who suffer because of them. It also means that all workers—public- and private-sector alike—have access to retirement security.

“In a sense, the editorial staff of The Oregonian are right: our retirement system is broken. Over half of private-sector workers are at risk for retiring into poverty, and Oregonians have lost millions because of bank misconduct. Sadly, instead of investigating the cause of our financial woes, they choose to pit private sector worker against public sector worker; neighbor against neighbor; working Oregonian against working Idahoans and Washingtonians.

“I invite editorial staff to look into the eyes of retirees who will have to choose between groceries and prescriptions if PERS ‘reforms’ go into place and explain to them why they’re the source of Oregon’s suffering economy, and why the state has the right to break the promises that were made to them year after year by pulling the rug out from underneath them in their autumn years.”

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