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Pension burden misplaced

Updated: June 29, 2012 9:45AM

I am quite put out over Illinois’ position to make pension reforms on the backs of thousands of employees who have dutifully served the state. I was mortified when I saw the news just days ago that the Senate passed a bill affecting our pension and even more incensed that Gov. Pat Quinn plans to support pension cuts in the wrong places.

I have been a state employee for the past 17 years, believing my retirement would be secure with my ‘good government job.” I chose a demanding career that consumed a great portion of my life and my family’s life to ensure that the children and families of the State of Illinois received the best case-management services I had to offer.

I speak for my colleagues as well, who could never be compensated for all the time spent “trying to save the world” or that one child we could make a difference with. Scores of us having attempted to save a youth from a morgue, gang life or imprisonment. We spend more time in our clients’ classrooms and principals’ offices than we do our own homes.

We soldier quietly on behalf of our clients, and hold on to those redeeming moments when we realize why we make the sacrifices we do. We don’t get paid for every crisis deferred or when a foster parent, adoptive parent or natural parent is ready to give up on a child. We don’t get paid for every court battle won, for every child who pursues higher education or for championing against discrimination that our children convey to us as one of their best advocates.

Most assuredly at the end of the day, when we can’t take one more step, drive one more mile, visit one more jail, one more hospital or attend one more staff meeting surely the state should feel obligated to take care of us. Take care of us for time served and years devoted with a decent pension and health care benefits.

Pension reform should be an educated, informed, methodical look regardless of political affiliation with a feasible and viable outcome.

Jataun Williams,

South Holland

Heart-warming story

In light of all the violence and strife in this world it was wonderful to read about the conscientious and talented Kurt Heersema, who rescued eight helpless ducklings as their mother literally watched. It’s always encouraging to read articles about individuals who have reverence for lives of animals instead of reading about inhumane animal abusers who have no respect for the lives of our fellow creatures.

Brien Comerford, Glenview

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