Whatever happened to the notion of shared sacrifice?

It seems that the governor’s notion of shared sacrifice is forcing $524 million in cuts to the health and retirement benefits of Maine’s public workers, teachers and retirees, all the while reducing the top income tax rate for Maine’s wealthiest residents.

As a customer service representative at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, my retirement age would be raised, and I would have to contribute another 2 percent toward my pension without a corresponding increase in the pension.

I’m already contributing 7.65 percent, which is more than the 5.5 percent that the state is contributing.

Under the governor’s proposal, the state’s contribution to my pension would drop to 3.9 percent, pensions would be frozen for three years without any cost-of-living adjustments, and cost-of-living adjustments then would capped forever at 2 percent annually.

My pension would decline in terms of buying power, even though I’d be contributing more toward it as a worker.

Is this what we call good government and fair policy?

Most public employees don’t qualify for Social Security. My contributions to my pension already provides for 58 percent of my pension, more than what the state contributes.

The state of Maine made a solemn, contractual promise to provide modest pensions for public employees. Will that promise be kept?

Debbie Gillis