We recently sent out a very short survey asking our members their thoughts on Proposal 1. While MARSP supports the Proposal, we also recognize our members are independent thinkers and ultimately make their own decisions when it comes to casting their votes.
The results of the survey were generally what I expected. About 44 percent support the Proposal; about 33 percent oppose it; and the final 23 percent remain undecided. My guess is ultimately the proportions will remain consistent and about 57 percent of our membership will support Proposal 1 while about 43 percent will oppose it.
To me, the most interesting finding comes from the comments made by those undecided and opposed to the Proposal. By a wide margin, both groups indicated their greatest concern is a lack of trust in the Legislature to follow through on the commitments Proposal 1 promises.
The lack of trust should greatly concern the Legislature as well as the leadership of both parties. We have come to a point where most of the public simply do not trust our elected officials to be honest with us on anything.
The continued political bickering and one-upmanship of politics makes the public wish they would all just go away. It’s a sad commentary on our politicians, all of them!
Each party says they are the “honest” ones. Meanwhile they send out their talking heads with talking points that rarely tell the full story and more often than not accuse the other party of telling lies. By the way, is a half-truth being honest? I know when it came to my children, the whole truth was the only thing I found acceptable and I know my parents wouldn’t have ever let me get away with a half-truth.
Maybe therein lies the answer to the whole trust issue. Politicians would be well served to consider how trust is built: When we, the voting public ask for the whole story from politicians, we expect to get the whole story. Anything less creates more mistrust and the real possibility that those politicians will have to be grounded from playing with their friends.
Detroit News take on MEA exec pension deal
In her Detroit News column March 20 regarding Steven Cook’s pension deal, Ingrid Jacques implies that all public school employees and retirees have “sweetheart, six-figure pensions” from the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System. With about 400,000 active employees and retirees, the current average retiree benefit is about $20,000 and the average salary for active employees is about $40,000. In addition to teachers, those employees and retirees are bus drivers, maintenance workers and support personnel.
A payout of $100,000 in benefits is rare. Although the Detroit News takes issue with Mr. Cook’s income and retirement benefits, both were negotiated in good faith. In today’s world, such negotiated deals are not typical.