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Friday, March 09, 2012

Shackled and Drawn

Sometime late this afternoon PERS turned over the latest data dump on 117,000 retirees who were listed on PERS' rolls as of December 1, 2011. This increased the number of retirees exposed by almost 12,000 since the last exposure in October. This release was more specific and included information about final salary, length of employment, and current percent of final salary received. Already The Oregonian is carping about all the information PERS didn't release because it wasn't available easily from the newest computer upgrade PERS completed this past year. You would think that the Oregonian believes it has a right to participate in the RFP process for securing a computer system tailored for The Oregonian, rather than PERS. I'm really sorry to let the Oregonian know that computer systems are developed to meet the needs of the agency designing and paying for the system. I'm sure PERS would be more than pleased to accept large cash donations from the Oregonian to assist in developing a computer system that simultaneously meets PERS' and The Oregonians' needs. Unless and until the media wants to contribute to the costs of such a system, they should be damned grateful for the information received and they can go piss up a rope for any information they feel they deserve but didn't get. Information costs money and the Oregonian didn't have to pay a nickel for what they got. They've already posted the new data and those of us exposed feel just a bit more shackled and drawn by the latest financial colonoscopy.

3 comments:

Unknown said...

Thanks for the well stated comments in your posting about yesterday’s Oregonian article, as well as your previous blog entries. As a long- time Community College faculty member & a soon- to- be PERS retiree, I must say that after reading the Oregonian article, I was left feeling extremely perplexed & angered. It fills me with enough anxiety knowing that in a few months my annual PERS salary will be hung out in the laundry for unrestricted public scrutiny- now they also have the need to hang out my final working salary, the # of years I was employed, & what percentage of my final salary I’ll be earning through PERS? And that’s not enough- they also want to know how much balance I have in my PERS account (which was all earned through honest, persistent hard work), my # of sick hours (which are well over 1,500- even though I won’t receive 1 dime of extra PERS pay for them), & the $ amount I have received for work- related equipment (which is $0), & the amount of overtime pay I’ve earned (also $0)? Huh??? It would be 1 thing if there was some reason for a diligent do- good reporter at the Oregonian to believe that I had committed fraud, perjury or somehow misused either my employer or the PERS system. But what evidence do they have that I’ve done something illegal or unethical? After being a hardworking, dependable public employee for several years, earning far less than if I had worked in a private sector position, it seems ridiculous that the Oregonian thinks I & other public retirees deserve be treated as though we are criminals, subjected to exposure of what most would consider deeply personal information paraded over the Web for anyone to see & judge, or use for their own twisted agenda. How many employees of private- sector businesses would tolerate being subjected to such detailed, humiliating exhibitionism? What is the purpose of this? What gives people the right to have access to this information? What will be done with it? Who needs protection from whom? When/ where/ how will this end??

mrfearless47 said...

Enjoy your retirement. If you spend your time being angered by all the latest shenanigans from the media, you'll be an unhappy person. Unfortunately, the media believes (incorrectly in my opinion), that we are living off of taxpayer dollars (not true in my or your case, BTW) and that therefore they have a right to all this information. We've fought this and we've lost. But since John Kroger won't be running for re-election, we'll have a new AG in a couple of years. And hopefully he or she will overrule Kroger, just like Kroger did to Hardy Myers. Until the Legislature takes a definitive stand on how much privacy public employee retirees deserve (it is ambiguous in the ORS), we are going to be stuck with this level of intrusion. If you can document any instance of your information being used in an unethical way, be sure to save all salient documentation. I'm saving all the email and paper mail solicitations I've received from brokers and other investment firms since the release of information in October. I'm going to be dumping all of these on the AG's desk when I get enough to be able to cover his desk.

Unknown said...

Wouldn't it be a shame if the Oregonian had to re-think (re-write) all the anti-PERS stories that they had in the hopper, just because they didn't get the information that they wanted from the PERS Board? They won, and are now crying about the information that they (I feel) extorted. Could it be that the Oregonaian got outsmarted? Nah! Us dumbass state employees couldn't have done that. Could we?