Your View: Here’s what firefighter would get in retirement
While I appreciate Phil Sloan’s article (Guest Column, March 28, “You think government workers have ‘pay equity’?”) and his implication that firefighters and police may be worthy of the benefits he outlined, as a city of High Point firefighter I would like to offer what our true benefits consist of.
North Carolina is one of only a few states that require us to work 30 years for full benefits, and High Point is one of a few municipalities that do not cover our medical insurance after 30 years. If I retire today, in mid-management, with a salary of $60,000, I will receive an annual benefit of approximately $31,200. If I want to keep my medical insurance, just for me, the cost is approximately $7,200 annually. If I need to cover my spouse, the cost is approximately $9,600.
After paying my health insurance for just myself, I would gross $24,000 annually and if I covered my spouse I would gross $21,600. Under Sloan’s calculations, I would receive $48,000 annually with my medical insurance paid. As you can see there is a drastic difference. The county and state benefits may vary but the figures I presented are a more realistic picture of our benefits.
Protect children from bullying at school
This letter is in response to learning, via the Internet, of the self-inflicted death of 14-year-old Derrick Thomason from Kannapolis. He had Aspergers Syndrome, and was driven to take his own life by relentless bullying, especially in school.
I have grieved deeply for this young man; for his suffering has been my suffering. I also, was born with Aspergers Syndrome and experienced ruthless bullying myself, especially in junior high. I sometimes wonder how I survived those years. Young teen-agers naturally struggle to be accepted by their peers, and a child with a disability like Aspergers has an extra struggle to be accepted as “normal” by their peers because of the lack of social skills that goes along with Aspergers, even though these children are highly intelligent and often high academic achievers.
Bullying can be very destructive to such a child’s self-esteem. I feel that we need to do all we can to protect children from being bullied at school. We need to teach children the harm that bullying can do; it is not only painful, it can be deadly. We must do more to create a society that accepts diversity and doesn’t single out persons who are different.
YOUR VIEW POLLS
Sen. Stan Bingham has introduced Senate Bill 138 to allow N.C. high schools to offer elective courses in historical study of the Bible as long as they maintained religious neutrality and diversity of views, traditions and perspectives. What’s your view? In 30 words or less (no name, address required), email us your thoughts to email@example.com. Here is one response:
• The continuing Republican effort to blur the line between religion and politics is evident. ... This is the usual right-wing hogwash being proposed by too many legislators in Raleigh nowadays.
Will U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s recent statement that she backs marriage rights for same-sex couples help her or hurt her in the 2014 race to fill the seat she now holds? In 30 words or less (no name, address required), email us your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.