SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

February 27, 2013

Our view: A sweet deal for Peabody officials

(Continued)

What’s worse, School Committee members will now be allowed to count their service toward a public pension.

Even if you consider serving on the School Committee a job, rather than a public service, this gives the public “employees” full-time benefits for part-time work.

Other public sector workers don’t get the same benefits if they work part time; that perk goes only to elected officials.

Salem gets around this by classifying School Committee compensation as a stipend — a much more reasonable option, particularly considering such elected officials have no required work hours. This allows Salem to compensate volunteers for expenses they may incur and give them a small expression of gratitude. It does not obligate taxpayers to provide them with health insurance, pension credits or other benefits.

It’s another instance of public officials getting benefits far greater than anything enjoyed by those in the private sector.

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