To the editor:
I am a lifelong Topekan. I have been a state employee since 1981. I have been so disappointed in the direction our state is headed. There have been many attacks on state employees as of late, many insolent attitudes and actions of the KS GOP are towards us. The following bills; first – HB2325, which would eliminate my longevity pay and for a person who has not had a raise in over 10 years, those few extra dollars are a life-saver. I ask you to put that in perspective; 10 years ago everything was a lot cheaper.
Second bill; HB2027, it not only changes a system that has worked effectively for many decades but allows management to choose who represents us. It is like the opposing team's coach also being the referee. Keeping state employee bargaining rights is fundamental because it helps keep management honest and fair.
The third bill; HB2308, This bill is all about retirement and pensions for state workers. It changes the way my benefit is calculated (negatively by the way) and changes working after retirement limitations. And since I am so very close to retirement every dollar that I have in KPERS is my lifeline. And finally, HB2384, under this bill, newly hired positions including any employee who is rehired, any current state employee who transfers into, or is promoted or demoted into a different position on and after July 1 in any state agency would lose civil service protections. The Civil Service system serves to protect state employees from the ability to be hired, fired, demoted or promoted based on race, political affiliation, gender or religious beliefs.
State employees like me deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. We should not have to endure pejorative treatment from the KS GOP.