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NH Public Employees Rally for Retirement Security

March 10, 2008

Concord, NH – Public sector employees are rallying in Concord today for a solution to the state's retirement funding crisis. The New Hampshire Retirement Security Coalition says it represents 70,000 workers including teachers, firefighters, and law enforcement officers. The group opposes a bill in the legislature that would shift more retirement-related costs onto wage earners.

Chief Barry Osborn, of the state Probation and Parole Office in Nashua, says workers are only looking for the benefits they were promised when they signed onto their jobs.

"A fair wage and fair benefits, that's what people are looking for. They just want to be treated fairly. I don't believe they should to try to balance the state's budget on the backs of state employees."

Osborn says many public service jobs are as much a calling as a career, and a secure retirement helps workers afford to take them.

"It certainly isn't the money, because they could probably command more money in the private sector. It's basically the security of the retirement plan that attracts people.

The coalition sees retirement benefits as a shared obligation between workers and employers, and the group is vowing to work with the Governor and lawmakers to fund retirement plans in what they call a "fiscally responsible manner." The group believes a decent retirement benefit package is essential in order for New Hampshire to recruit and retain top-quality public employees.

John Robinson/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - NH