Somebody tell the unions: We're out of money

Your article, "Panel to propose raising the bar for state pensions" (Dec. 21), points out the ridiculous benefits public service employees enjoy from our tax dollars. What makes union leaders believe public service employees should receive pay raises and increased benefits during a time of high unemployment?

Being a rich state has nothing to do with pay equating to the job, as the union leadership complains about.

In the private sector most employees pay for half their insurance and all of their supplemental insurance on retirement. So why do public service employees think taxes should be used to pay for their health insurance on retirement? Why do they think they should be able to retire in their late 50s and continue to live off the public dole? Why do they believe they can retire, collect a pension, and get another state job?

It is time to drastically reform the public sector retirement system and give them a choice. Join Social Security or take a drastic cut in pension benefits. Reduce the number of holidays they currently enjoy and make their pay and benefits equate to the private sector.

What the state needs is a professional negotiator that needs to tell unions we have no more money and benefits are getting cut, if you don't like it, there are plenty of unemployed people we can hire who will be grateful for a job, even with a few less benefits.

J. Michael Collins, Reisterstown

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