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February 22, 2013

NYSUT: our pensions are none of your business

E.J. McMahon

Why is this man smiling?

The statewide teachers union is celebrating a court ruling that, in contravention of long-established precedents, would allow the New York State Teachers Retirement System to treat the identities of its pension recipients as confidential information. The Empire Center will be seeking leave to appeal the case, as our director, Tim Hoefer, announced yesterday.

From a New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) news release today:

“This is an important victory for our retired members,” said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. “We are pleased that New York’s appellate court has recognized that, after decades of dedicated service to their students and school districts, the privacy rights of retired teachers in the New York State Teachers Retirement System should be protected. Too often, some in the media and extreme right-wing groups harass and seek to embarrass NYSUT retirees by wrongly publishing their personal information and pension benefits. We expect this ruling will stop that in its tracks.”

That phrase “extreme right-wing groups” is basically NYSUT-ese for “anyone who subjects our contractual terms and compensation arrangements to objective critical scrutiny.” As for “some in the media,” Iannuzzi really should have said “most in the media,” since complete lists of retired teachers and their pensions also have been posted online and analyzed in detail by the Buffalo News, Albany Times Union, Newsday and the Gannett chain, which pretty much covers the daily journalism waterfront in NYSUT-land.

Pending a final court determination in this case, you can continue to invade the privacy of teachers retired before 2011 at www.SeeThroughNY.net.

Filed under: Public Pensions, Uncategorized


  1. Judge must be a a Cuomo appointee — can’t get further to the left — public employees salaries currently working and retiree compensations should be public information — Don’t like it — get a private sector job.

    Comment by Don Cabo — February 22, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

  2. It’s no mystery why NYSUT president Iannuzzi is smiling. After all, with no public access to and media coverage of the outrageously generous,fiscally unsustainable and economy-killing NYSUT pension benefits, the old time-proven NYSUT mantra “for the kids” will continue to provide a disingenuous but historically effective smoke screen to ensure voter passage of school budgets bloated with ever-escalating pension and health care costs.

    It is a critical time right now, while access to the 2011 pension data is possible, to challenge the “for the kids” assertion by NUSUT and local school officials. For the life of me, I cannot understand how New York’s job-killing, company-chasing school taxes are “for the kids”. What kids ? Those who have not been able to find jobs in NY because high taxes, bloated with pension and health care costs, have chased th kids and the job-creators elsewhere ?

    Comment by C. Michael Mercincavage — February 22, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

  3. How about looking at State troopers, corrections, road crews?
    Teachers have paid a lot for their education, work tirelessly,
    And put up with non stop punches from the public. Why?
    We need to respect and value our teachers!

    Comment by N. Lynn — February 22, 2013 @ 10:24 pm

  4. I think this should apply to all government workers. If you want to know how much a given title pays, or an agency’s total payroll or pension… fine, but you don’t need to be able to look up individual people. If my information is public, then every worker in the US should be public. I don’t think the people who own and run these websites would be very happy if the feds publish their payroll data or the amount of their Social Security Checks.

    Comment by Jeff — February 26, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

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