Tonight will be the second night the wall of shame Yale retirees set up across from President Levin’s office in a ceremony yesterday will continue standing on Woodbridge. The wall shares the names, years of service, and pension statistics of retirees, including Shirley Lawrence’s mother, who put in decades of service at Yale only to have the University buy out her housing as part of its expansion and gentrification process, leaving her with an unlivable pension and without a home. Shirley has worked at Yale for years and is now an organizer for Local 35; she spoke at our teach-in on Friday and at a moving forum with Yale Union Women held tonight at the Women’s Center. Every member of this community should take the time to stop by the wall and talk to the men and women holding a vigil there – including my peer who wrote, in an article on David Horowitz’s website earlier this week:

A Yale sophomore argued (somewhat unintelligibly) in the Yale Daily News that “To defend a pension plan which left the average Yale retiree of 2000 with a $609 per month pension while proposing to offer Levin a $42,000 monthly pension and investing the rest of the fund is indefensible.” Yet the unions hold out as their examples “victims” who, having worked at Yale less than 30 years, are not long-term workers and, as such, have no right to the full retirement package provided under the current contract.

The full retirement package, unfortunately, isn’t much to brag about either. But don’t take it from me – take it from the intelligible, reputable, and often viciously anti-union YDN editorial board, which acknowleged it in an otherwise unsurprising editorial at the beginning of the strike, or from Richard Levin himself, who begrudgingly agreed the pensions needed improvement after some of the men and women standing across from his office now took over the Investment Office. Better to hear about it from those folks themselves though. And if you ask nicely, they’ll also teach you how to knit.


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