Statement from MAPE Executive Director Rollie Katz on
Anti-Worker Group’s Attack on Public Sector Earned Pensions
Today, Rollie Katz issued the following statement in response to Transparent California, an anti-worker and anti-pension group, releasing its report on 2017 public sector retirees’ earned pensions.
“It’s unfortunate, but not surprising that this conservative, anti-government group, that masquerades under the name “Transparent California,” would highlight pensions over $100,000 a year. I hope the MIJ doesn’t take the bait, either with its headline, or the lead paragraph of the story.
I took a very cursory look at the information and quickly found three retirees who had more than 30 years of service whose pensions are less than $55,000 a year. I found another whose pension is less than $46,500 a year. Then there are the widows and widowers, with pensions under $50,000. Those retirees with more than 30 years of service for Marin County don’t have any Social Security for their time working as public servants. Any Social Security they might have earned from other employment would be reduced because the retiree worked for a public agency.
This list doesn’t include School Bus Drivers, Teachers Aides, Food Service Workers and custodians who work for our school district as they are in a different Pension System. What’s Transparent California’s headline about their pensions?
If we’re being transparent, and if we’re doing more than looking for a headline, isn’t the real question what standard of living are most working people, including public employees, able to maintain when they retire? For those who had a career in Marin County, are they able to continue to live in the Bay Area, let alone Marin, when they retire?
That’s the public policy discussion we should be having. We won’t hold our breath for the so-called Transparent California to engage in that discussion in a meaningful way. Nor are we anticipating they will be transparent anytime soon about who they are or their agenda. It isn’t transparency.”