It was with great frustration I read Sen. Howard Walker's Forum on "unfunded" legacy costs. If the teachers retirement system is broken, it begs the question: Why? He failed to mention that in the 1990s Gov. Engler raided the fund and never paid it back. Engler switched the health care from an actuarial basis, future costs therefore being accounted for, to a pay-as-you-go system taking millions.
Walker also failed to mention the 3 percent wage cut teachers started taking in 2010 to fund retiree health care for a benefit they won't see. Furthermore, he fails to mention his vote to take $1 billion from the School Aid Fund last year, or that teachers have given up pay raises, increased their payments for benefits, and continue to do so. All of which pulls millions from the local economy.
The defined benefit pension is part of the package. If legislators are altering the deal, what of substance will Mr. Walker offer teachers to make up for all the concessions they are asked to make? Stop taking money from funds that pay for education and pensions. The state should honor its commitments. I doubt that Mr. Walker cares if teachers have a pension.
The writer is vice president of the Traverse City Education Association.
Nation has matured
Lest we forget the long established, well regarded and regularly enforced definition of marriage, it was that marriage was the union of a man and a woman of the same race. The nation matured. We realized we had no right to limit others to fit our customs, beliefs or prejudices. We banished that law.
G. H. Whelden Jr.