Rep. John Reilly’s support of bill to close teacher pension system ‘a slap in the face for our educators’

Our state Rep. John Reilly, R-Oakland Twp., 46th District, recently shared his opinion piece in The Detroit News regarding his support of closing the teacher pension system. (The Detroit News, “Current pensions a fiscal cancer,” June 13, 2017.)
I found this rich, considering legislators are in session roughly 100 days per year and earn more than DOUBLE their first year of service than a Lake Orion teacher does in their first year:
Approx $72,000 (plus $11,000 in expense allowance, at least 2 legislative aides, mileage reimbursement, 3 percent match to their 401k, and a nice health insurance package) vs. the $38,000 a first year teacher with a bachelor’s degree earns in Lake Orion.
There are no education requirements to serve in our legislature versus a minimum of a bachelor’s degree for teachers.
Legislators earn double working half of the time.
Perhaps with such a high salary it is difficult for Mr. Reilly to relate to the educators his vote affects.
A teacher with student loans earning $38,000 can’t possibly contribute enough to a 401k to make the earnings equate to anything near a pension, as is guaranteed in our Michigan State Constitution.
Who will teach the children once every last Michigan teacher is looking for another career and college students laugh at the idea of being treated so badly for such little money?
College students in education programs are down 40 percent, presently.
This bill (HB 4647 of 2017) is another slap in the face for our educators. Legislators voting yes should be ashamed. Ashamed and voted out.
Strong Schools = Strong Communities.
Jennifer Smith
Lake Orion resident

Editor’s Note: The 46th district includes Orion Twp. and the Village of Lake Orion.

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