GEOFF SCOTT: Does local Rep. Phil Potvin deserve your support?

To the editor:

I ran across an article in the Ann Arbor paper recently which highlighted the passage, with Phil Potvin as co-sponsor, of a bill which made third party contractors who work at Michigan school systems ineligible for unemployment benefits during the summer when school is not in session. This covers bus drivers, kitchen help and any other positions which have been privatized and are now performed by outside contractors.

It has been law for some time now that any school employee, that is any employee who draws a paycheck from the local school system, is ineligible for unemployment. I suppose that is to be expected since those employees at least are working toward a pension and other benefits that the school or state provides. After their years of service are up, they at least get a pension for the years of work they have endured, and should. But this bill penalizes people who have no connection to the school, or the state for that matter, except for paying a payroll tax. Is this what you want when you chose Phil Potvin as a state representative?

It seems the current crop of lawmakers in Lansing, including our local state senator, is of the mind that educating children should be viewed as pouring money down a rat hole. That teachers and support staff, private or not, who educate, feed and ensure the health and safety of the next leaders of this state are not worthy of the salaries, benefits and basic subsistence that are earned. Now Rep. Potvin and the like want to further erode even the most basic help given to people, who through no fault of their own, are unable to work even though they are able and willing.

Ironic, speaking of rat holes, that the legislators pay, benefits and retirement benefits are not part of this discussion, isn’t it? They will tell you that they deserve it because they are away from home so much and miss time with the family. Ask a long haul trucker about this topic sometime and see what kind of sympathy is offered.

I have written to Mr. Potvin and expressed my dismay at his heartless attitude toward those of this state who make the whole thing happen, taxpayers and electors. I guess it’s OK, meaning easy, to pick on people who have no power except their vote. I strongly urge the local voters, when Mr. Potvin is up for re-election, to make him ineligible for employment. Unless of course the actions of Mr. Potvin and his kind are what you wanted, in which case you must be ecstatic.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a casual fill in worker at my local school system, and draw a paycheck from there when I work.

Geoff Scott
Evart

Leave a Reply