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Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Strange Becomes Acceptable

Apathy, disinterest, diffidence all seem to characterize many "window" retirees' attitudes towards PERS. PERS has been screwing over retirees for some years now, yet a large percentage of those affected (or to be affected) seem completely unaware of the size and magnitude of the hole PERS is putting in us. The strange has become acceptable. It is time to change. It is time to get off the dime and stop permitting this to go on. If you haven't already, take a few minutes to read my post from yesterday "Heading For the Light". Download the calculator that works best with your system. When you're all done running it (it is easy, trust me) calculate your "spread" - the difference between what you are reputed to owe PERS and what the Sartain verdict says PERS owes you. If you find out that your spread is less than $10,000 I'll be very surprised. Nevertheless, when you find out just what this "spread" is, try to be more than just plain sanguine or indifferent about it. This is real money - your hard-earned money - that we're talking about. Time for some activism. Join the PERS discussion group (OPDG, link on left near bottom) and find out what others' spreads are. Post yours. Get involved. The next court hearing at which PERS retirees' fates will be discussed is a Status Conference to be held at 9 am on August 16, 2006 in Judge Henry Kantor's courthouse (Multnomah County Courthouse - 4th Avenue entrance). Be there to watch the PERS lawyers try to spin and dissemble and delay. Be there to watch PERS retiree lawyers Greg Hartman and Jim Coon try to get Judge Kantor to clarify his ruling and to urge PERS to just comply and quit stalling. What should aggravate you no end is that PERS is using member and retiree money to fund the legal fees needed to prevent retirees from getting what is due this. What gall! What chutzpah! The strange is UNacceptable. Let people know this. Don't let them continue to stomp on your bones, because that's all that will be left if we let PERS continue its delaying tactics. Time for a movement, some attitude, and to restore our benefits. Delay, indifference, and apathy are our worst enemies. The PERB is "doing its job"; unfortunately that "job" is on us. Time for it to stop.

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