I became a New York City high school teacher after college for many reasons, one of which was the great pension that came with the job ["A bid to stop pensions from going bust," Opinion, Jan. 22].

While I have no complaints about my salary, my paycheck did not earn me big homes, new cars every few years or expensive vacations -- many of the things others my age had, although my degrees and extra courses well surpassed theirs.

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I was never taken out to fancy restaurants and did not accumulate frequent flier points while an employer paid the charge card bill. Yes, these perks in the private sector were paid for by businesses, not the public, but the costs were most definitely passed down to consumers, including many civil service employees.

My pension is one I worked for and earned. My salary contributed toward it. It is money I earned years ago and am only now reaping. I am sick of people saying civil service workers are getting a free ride. Our sweat made others' lives better. We are only getting what we worked for.

Linda Silverman, Bellerose Manor