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.