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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Scream, Aim, Fire

This probably describes the way many PERS retirees feel today after learning that PERS caved in on the various public record requests to release a fair amount of information to the media about current retirees.  While PERS got some concessions of what would be released and won a reprieve to allow notification of retirees about what information will be released, we basically got sold down the river.

This coming November, the local media (Whoregonian, Stateless Journal, Eugene Register Hard) will be getting a list of all current retirees along with their current retirement benefit amount.  What the media does with this information is anyone's guess, but it is hard to imagine anything useful coming from it.  I expect to be harassed unmercifully by those people who think public employees are worth "shit" and all are overpaid at work and in retirement.  I'm not looking forward to this information being released.  On the other hand, perhaps all of those idiots out there who are convinced we are bringing home at least 6 figures will be shocked to discover that few of our fellow retirees actually get 6 figures and, moreover, those that do could have been predicted by my pet roach.

Things get uglier next March (2012) when PERS will be compelled to release year of retirement, final average salary, agency, and job classification at retirement.  PERS has been able to limit the damage to this information and will not have to compile all of the other information requested, and this information alone will not be enough to generate identify theft ---- at least that's what everyone thinks.  The reality is that there is enough information that will be released that any intelligent identity thief could put together a credible dossier of information and financially rape almost any of us.  The good news /sarcasm on/ is that PERS will notify us before they release this information /sarcasm off/.  I'm so relieved that I can prepare to be screwed just knowing it is going to happen.  Perhaps it will be time to file a name change with the courts.  Maybe I'll call myself Prince.

For what it is worth, the PERS Coalition is examining the settlement to see whether there is any way to seek an injunction or file litigation to stop the release of any of this information.  I personally don't think there is any way to stop this crass invasion of privacy.  They are not releasing addresses, phone numbers, beneficiaries, social security numbers, employee ID numbers, or historical work data.  It doesn't look terribly likely that the Coalition will be able to do much about this, and I can't imagine the public employee unions spending the money to stop this.

All I can say is that you've been notified and warned.  The next time you see your name somewhere in print, it just might be in the Metro section of the Whoregonian.  Maybe Steve Duin will bake a column just for us.  Or maybe Elizabeth Hovde will write one of her classically snarky, unfriendly, and public-employee bashing columns about all of us piggies (and now she'll have names) slopping at the public trough.  The next sound you may hear from public employees may be the scream, followed by aim and fire.

11 comments:

Joe C. said...

I am just so damn tired of SITLL BEING a public employee even thou I am retired. What will come next, sexual harassment classes or some other way to make our last days less than peaceful. What a stinking crock. It is as you said spiteful.

mpguy said...

Marc ... Even though I've received a couple of checks, I still have the option of reversing my decision and taking a lump sum. Would you advise this?

mrfearless47 said...

No, I wouldn't recommend it. It won't be any different when you do finally retire. I'm just venting. This is going to be an annual event, I'm sure.

Rivrdog said...

No, if the next sound you hear is shots, they will be from retiree's guns.

We're armed also, the public-employee-bashing loudmouths don't have a monopoly on guns, and being retired means we have more time to perfect our skills /grins/.

In fact, I'll offer any PERS retiree who cares enough to learn armed self-defense, appropriate lessons, at no charge for the instruction. I am a certified Range Safety Officer with lots of experience teaching others to shoot.

Wire Paladin, er, no, email George Schneider at perspac@yahoo.com...

mrfearless47 said...

@Rivrdog. I think you associated the title of my piece with the wrong group of people. If you read it again, I think you'll see that the inference is the same as your conclusion.

gms59 said...

Joe, I agree with you. When does it stop? When I retired last year, part of my decision was based on getting away from all the crap that State Employees take on a daily basis. I now feel that I will never achieve the peace I set out for when I made my decision to leave a job I truly loved and was good at.

jgotime said...

I try to keep focused on the fact that I have dedicated my life's career to the education of our youth...as have all the dedicated educators reading this blog. Unfortuantely with the media, circulation circumvents truth. Any opportunity the media has to belittle or demean public employees, who have sacrificed so much for so many, they jump at the chance so they can sell their poor excuses for newspapers. Comically they complement themselves with the delusion that they are doing everyone a great service. The Oregonian and especially the Statesman Journal are pathetic examples of the media controlled by small, closed minded, mean spirited people...remember, they can never take away the awesome legacy of service and scarafice of our public employees...hey, enjoy your retirement, who cares what they say about us!

J said...

Here is another attempt for the media (Statesman Journal and Oregonian) to breach our privacy and generate a firestorm of bullying for state employees once more. It is a sad affair to think that publicizing people’s names and the amounts they receive in retirement will do any more than cause safety risks for these individuals and their families. It is a blatant invasion of privacy. It opens the door to elderly financial abuse for those PERS seniors who have no defense against family, caregivers, spammers, or others who can now take better advantage of their situation. Public employees are treated as a sub-human group of people these days, as if we are causing the financial crisis. What’s next? Publicizing the rate of pay for all of our military personnel? After all, they too are public employees.

mpguy said...

J, if we're going to publish PERS recipients' salaries, not only should military pay be public record, but so should that of any employee/manager of any firm receiving government contracts. So should the compensation of all people working in the financial services industry. Those bailouts and that continuing assistance from the Federal Reserve involve our tax dollars. As such, the compensation of every banker, stockbroker, and mortgage finance firm exec should be out there for everyone to see. After all, fair IS fair.

Incidentally, today's Eugene Register-Guard has an editorial on this topic, accompanied by some really ugly comments from the more unhinged members of the public. It will make for some interesting, if annoying, reading.

Heike said...

Mrfrealess,
Speaking of screaming have you heard anything about them wanting to change the actuaries by adding anther 5 years??? WOW if that is true I am sure all the tier ones will retire quickly!

mrfearless47 said...

@Heike. There is zero truth to the rumor that the actuarial tables are going to be adjusted by 5 years. At most, the actuarial tables are going to be set back by about 18 months, but the actual difference to individuals will be 1% to 1.5%, which can be recovered by working another month or two. I don't know where you heard that the actuarial tables are going to change by that absurd amount, but your source(s) are dead wrong.