HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Moved by President John F. Kennedy, Scott Brown became an educator in 1961 and retired in 2000 after teaching at Plymouth-Whitemarsh in Montgomery County.
“I was inspired to do the public good,” said Scott. “And I did it. I have no regrets. But fairness is important. And this is an issue of fairness, morality and taking care of people that need it.”
In 2001, Act 9 boosted pensions by 25% for public school and public sector retirees, even lawmakers. However, those who retired prior to 2001, like Scott, were left behind with no increase.
“If I would have waited one more year, $15,000 more per year,” said Scott. “That hurts.”
There are approximately 69,000 workers, most of whom are now in their 80s, impacted. The average pension in these inflationary times? $20,000 a year.
“These are our public school teachers, these are our state employees,” said Rep. Steve Malagari (D-Montgomery), who has a bill that would boost those pensions by 15-25%, something he says is long overdue.
“These are public sector workers that are actually living in poverty right now,” Malagari said.
Why workers who retired before 2001 were not included is unknown to many in Harrisburg, most of whom were not in office at the time.
Brown called for all lawmakers to “stand by” teachers and public workers impacted by Act 9, saying “the way we stood by you, your parents, and your grandparents, let us let us close out the last chapters of our lives feeling appreciated and value for the many years of service.”