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Letter: Congressional jobs have perks

I was so sure I had the answer to the question posed by a recent letter writer, who asked which other profession has pensions, health care and works less than a full year ["Teachers' benefits are too generous," Dec. 10]. It was obvious. Congress!

Maybe the writer forgot about our representatives, or perhaps he doesn't consider them to be professionals.

Naomi Berman, Commack

Editor's note: The writer is a retired teacher.

Undercutting wages among skilled labor

In response to "Illegal influx has served businesses" [Letters, Dec. 14], I wholeheartedly agree that immigrants provide cheaper labor.

We should provide anyone who wants to work legal entrance into this country. Why pay $20 to $30 an hour for an electrician, plumber or bricklayer, when someone will do it for half that cost?

In fact, the next influx may do the work for half of what current immigrants are paid. This would be good for business owners, the affluent and anyone else who is not a blue-collar worker.

The rich will get richer, and the rest of the people -- most of us -- won't matter, right?

Anthony Bordano, Atlantic Beach

Editor's note: The writer has been a bricklayer and member of Teamsters Local 237 since 1989.

Temp UPS holiday workers underpaid

Every year, United Parcel Service hires tens of thousands of seasonal Christmas helpers to assist drivers deliver the enormous numbers of packages and gifts. Helpers work extremely hard for about two months or so for only $8 an hour. Contract negotiations come and go, and yet no one speaks for them. The union doesn't want to give up anything at the table for these nonunion workers.

When I started as a UPS driver in 1985, helpers made what was then a decent wage. Back then, $8 an hour was more than twice the minimum wage of $3.35. As of last Wednesday, the minimum wage in New York is $8.75 an hour, which translates into a shameful and indecent image problem for UPS.

Granted in hard times, a job is a job. But to be spit out after Christmas, after hard work lugging boxes in the cold and rain for a shameful wage is unfair and unjust.

Ken Reiman, Hauppauge

What to do now about speed cams?

If Nassau County decides to remove speed cameras at schools, the county shouldn't cancel its contract with the camera supplier ["Photos finished," News, Dec. 16].

Just move the cameras to the parkways and watch the revenue from speeding vehicles climb even higher.

Martin Graham, East Meadow

To be able to speed unimpeded through school zones while school is in session! Shame on the Nassau County Legislature for giving in to a few cranks who refuse to do the right thing and complain about a county money grab.

This is an absolute disgrace. There's not a driver in this county who doesn't witness ridiculous transgressions of traffic laws with every mile. And now a handful of those transgressors are dismantling what seemed to be a good idea.

John Pecha, Glen Cove

I was an out-of-towner turning right from Hempstead Turnpike onto Nassau Road for the first time ever, on a cloudy day. On the corner to my right was a Sleepy's store; its parking lot extends along the road I'd now turned onto.

Toward the back of the parking lot is an old, white posted sign, "school zone," with speed information in tiny letters. It was difficult to see. By the point where this sign with vital information in tiny print comes into a driver's view, he is driving at normal speed, which is 25 to 35 mph. No school was yet in sight because of a row of tall spruce trees lining the parking lot.

Two weeks later, a ticket for $80 arrived in the mail, addressed to my husband. The photo showed the back of our car and license plate, but not the surrounding area and no way to verify the vehicle was being driven at the claimed 32 mph. I called to find out what I could do and was told that because the car was not in my name, they couldn't talk to me. Great. I would have to get my husband, who was at work and who wasn't even with me at the time of the offense, to make this call?

It's no wonder that the rate at which people pay the fine and do not challenge it is high.

Jane Hanser, Newton, Mass.