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Dec. 11 letter to the editor

PERS is used as a scapegoat

The bashing of PERS recipients continues unabated. It reminds me of a line from the movie “Casablanca.” When a worried citizen approached the police chief and advised him of a crime wave in progress, the chief replied, “We will round up the usual suspects.”

The PERS situation in Oregon is similar to this loud talk and little analysis before pouncing on an easy target.

I went to work for the state of Oregon on two occasions. Both times I was hired on the spot. Am I a prize package? Of course not. There was no one else on the list.

Later, while I was working for SAIF, Liberty Mutual came to town and started selling worker compensation insurance. Our younger employees left in droves for better wages and benefits.

Any worthwhile analysis will show PERS benefits are in place of better wages. The idea is to keep trained workers on the job.

In time loss claims, the client gets two-thirds of base wages. Therefore, we had a great knowledge of all kinds of wage scales. There was no indication that our benefits were excessive.

I am in my mid-80s, but it is only lately that I have become a scapegoat.

Recently I read that judges should not be able to judge PERS cases as they are in the PERS system.

To me, it seems a stretch to accuse judges of being dishonest.

One solution to the state’s financial problem would be fee schedules for all services provided to the state.

Harold E. Hansen

Troutdale



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