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Throughout history there has always been a group of people who acted as scapegoats when circumstances were not the greatest. Since the beginning of time various groups of people were killed, misused, and mistreated. The Jewish people, Africans, and other various ethnic groups were taken advantage of. In today’s society though, it is not a racial or ethnic group, but those who protect, serve, and educate. How many people personally know a police officer? A firefighter? A teacher? When you get right down to it, almost everyone’s life has been personally touched by one, or all three professionals. The men and women who are officers or firefighters and risk their lives on a regular basis are at risk of having their benefits reduced. The teachers in New Jersey, the men and women who are the greatest influence on our future- the children- are losing their jobs as well as the risk of having their benefits reduced. Today, the current pension system is as follows: (Current employee of Passaic County, Corrections Officer) 1. Police and Firefighter’s pay eight and a half percent of their salary toward pension. Teacher’s pay five and a half percent of their salary towards theirs (proteacher.net). 2. After twenty years, police and firefighters are entitled to fifty percent of their previous years’ salary; after twenty-five years sixty-five percent is received, and after thirty years seventy percent is received. 3. If an officer or firefighter retires at twenty years, the employee has to pay towards medical insurance. This is just a rudimentary overview of how the current pension system is carried out. For the most part, a pension is based upon length of employment. Men and women who work in the public sector work dilig.

. .ople he cared about,” Ray Coles, a Lakewood committeeman. “He was always investigating, questioning and trying to do a good job.” (www.nj.com) The fact that people want to reduce the New Jersey Firefighter, Police, and Teacher Pension’s makes little sense to me. The men and women who serve, protect, and educate, should be held in the highest regard in our state, yet they are the ones people are blaming for our current financial crisis. The salaries and benefits provided to the public sector employees is what enables the state to hire the most qualified people for these particular jobs. It is understandable that people need someone or something to blame for our current economic problems, but let’s not reduce the pensions of those who have paid in to them for many years. Police, firefighters and teachers deserve this for the amazing job they do on a daily basis.

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