When I received my state employee paycheck recently, I assumed that since we no longer are subject to service reduction and furlough days I would have slightly more money. That, however, was not the case. Instead, I am making less money than last year because AFSCME, the state employees union, negotiated a sweet deal for the Democrats and themselves while claiming to fight for us.

Our prescription co-pays were increased, as well as our portion of health insurance. The union also negotiated a 2 percent retirement increase that goes to the General Fund.

In effect, we're paying for something that more than likely will not be there for us when we need it — just like Social Security.

Kathy Moore, Pasadena