In a recent TV ad, Dan Sullivan shamelessly tries to claim to have helped teachers by saving their retirement system. This is a huge stretch. He did nothing to help teachers individually. Not one teacher retirement check changed as a result of Dan Sullivan’s actions.
His absurdly low settlement in the Mercer case (bringing back $500 million to the state as opposed to the $2.8 billion the state asked for) left $2 billion still on the table that the state has to find elsewhere — hurting all Alaskan public employees.
Instead of standing up for teachers, Sullivan has left the state scrambling to pay teachers what is rightfully theirs. Teachers already had their retirement fund jeopardized when the 2005 Murkowski administration desecrated the retirement for future generations of Alaska teachers by changing the defined benefit system to a contribution system. Those teachers, who do not qualify for Social Security benefits because of federal law, will struggle in retirement because of the changes made at that time.
So the last thing teachers and Alaskans need is to have Sullivan in office, who has proven that he is most certainly not the champion of teachers and public employees. The person who will continue to truly represent the best interests of teachers and all working people is Sen. Mark Begich.
Robb and Judy Salo
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