Indiana, PA - Indiana County

MARK M. STEPHENSON: Looking for answers on pensions, drug testing

on March 13, 2013 10:40 AM

Some questions have arisen due to reporting by the media concerning public sector retirements.

It was originally reported that all Pennsylvania public pension and investment accounts were set up to earn the depositors at least a guaranteed 6 percent interest rate.

If this was not achieved, the difference was made up by the commonwealth out of revenue derived from the taxpayer or general fund. This is far superior to current private, mostly non-guaranteed interest rates.

The amount of contribution and who ultimately contributed that amount to the fund, whether by contract or voluntarily by the funds’ owner, is not really an issue; but a guaranteed interest rate for a select group or groups by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is very much an issue.

It was also reported by the media recently that the Punxsutawney Area Education Association) (PAEA) president had an altercation with the school board over random drug testing.

The PAEA president stated that the PAEA is against the practice and that it would violate the personal constitutional rights of every member.

Apparently the PAEA offered its own drug testing policy, but the school board rejected it.

If this is such a large hurdle for the education association to seemingly overcome, then perhaps all the rest of society can take the same approach.

No unannounced drug or substance tests in the coal industry or natural gas patch, not for any type of licensing for drivers and certainly not for an airman medical certification for the FAA.

I can only imagine telling a medical examiner issuing a federal controlled certificate to take a hike.


Mark M. Stephenson


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March 13, 2013 10:30 AM
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