October 14 and two headlines on the letters page caught my eyes. They were, “Do your research” and “Think before you write”.
Both were about the inaccurate letters of others. I have to admit I always check the facts of what I write to the Star, but I am having serious doubts about some letter writers.
Some time ago there was an atrocious rant by G Ellison, who was revelling in the possibility of public sector workers in this city losing their jobs, and vilifying public sector workers without a shred of evidence to back up his/her comments.
I found it distasteful and I wrote a letter pointing out all the people who depend on the staff in the public sector.
Clearly it went over his head because he was at it again earlier this week, with yet another ill-informed rant at public sector workers, again rejoicing that they might lose their jobs. Not only is that a lousy thing to wish on anyone, it also disregards the effects it will have on their families.
Tonight, Alan Lockwood had a letter printed in which he too took Ellison to task, and he too pointed out all the public sector employees who the public rely on.
So far so good, but then Alan fell into the trap of pedalling misinformation that undid all he had written. He stated that public sector workers have the compensation of gold-plated pensions paid for by private sector workers.
Alan claims to be a retired public sector worker, so why did he not notice his pension stoppages on his salary slip each month?
As for gold-plated pensions, that’s absolute tripe. I worked more than 20 years in the public sector and had pension deductions from my salary every month, and I still have the salary slips to prove it.
I also took out Added Voluntary Contributions (AVC), basically giving up part of my remaining take-home pay to further fund my pension pot. I went without to ensure I had a better pension. With my pension deductions and my AVC deductions and over 20 years’ service I get a pension that amounts to about £100 a week.
That’s less than the state pension, which I also paid into every week. Does that sound like a gold-plated pension?
I don’t mind people knowing what I get because sadly, there are people out there who don’t know the facts and will believe the rubbish in these letters and help fuel the us and them attitude that is rife today.