The Oregonian: Readers respond: PERS reform talk disrespectful

I am an English instructor at Mt. Hood Community College, where I’ve taught for the last five years and hope I am making a difference helping people build lives for themselves. I’m proud to be serving my community. While teaching is generally not a high-paying profession, it does offer benefits and job security that allow me to provide for my family.

I’m a dad with two young children. Having secure compensation isn’t just about me, it’s about my family, and I’m alarmed when I hear talk of reforming the Public Employees Retirement System because that means my overall compensation will be decreased and my family’s future will be put at risk. Teaching at a community college isn’t the most lucrative career, but that’s not why I got into it. I and others like me are here to serve our community of nearly 300,000 students. If we really value education and attracting and retaining qualified instructors for our students, the last thing we should do is decrease teacher compensation and benefits.

Finally, I find it disrespectful to public servants to cut retirement benefits when they are already modest, especially for those hired in the last 15 years. It’s a breach of trust. It just isn’t ethical, and I hope state lawmakers will stand up for teachers and not powerful corporations.

Sean McGinty, Portland