After getting the one-two punch from business-backed groups critical of Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's lack of support for a 401(k)-like system to be an option for future state employees, the state's two largest union--as well as the Comptroller himself--came to his defense.
CSEA President Danny Donohue issued this statement in response to the criticism leveled against DiNapoli:
The Business Council (the lobby for Big Business in New York State) Unshackle
New York (another front for big business interests) and Billionaire NYC Mayor Michael
Bloomberg are all taking shots at state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for standing up for
working people in the Tier 6 debate. DiNapoli has raised legitimate concerns that a 401K
style pension option will lead to greater economic instability.
Once again, the corporate interests and the 1 percent are at it trying to demonize
anyone who stands up for fairness and consideration of what’s right.
The other big public employee union, PEF, released this statement from its president, Ken Brynien:
Tom DiNapoli is talking about the facts, and the facts show our defined benefit-pension system is the best way to provide retirement security.
Meanwhile, the highly paid lobbyists for millionaires in the Business Council and other right-wing groups are trying to take money out of the pockets of nurses, firefighters and other workers, so Wall Street can further enrich itself at the expense of the middle class.
I understand why the supporters of Tier 6 are afraid of the truth, because the truth is their plan will hurt the average worker and make retirement with dignity an impossibility.
In a statement from DiNapoli's office, the Comptroller chose to come at the situation with a bit of humor:
I haven’t seen such a coordinated attack since Francesca was voted off Survivor.
I stand firmly behind my position that defined contribution plans are not adequate for retirement security for public or private workers. Study after study has shown that defined benefit plans cost less in the long run than 401k style plans and perform better. It is unconscionable that so many New Yorkers and Americans do not have a secure retirement, often times because corporations have stripped retirement plans for short-term fiscal gains.
He went on to say that "[t]he best public policy comes from thoughtful discussions, accurate and realistic presentation of the facts, and a long-term view."