10 September 2012

Teachers On Strike

I love my kids' teachers (most of 'em).  They deserve to be paid well.  They deserve vacation time, sick time and the same sorts of medical benefits other workers receive.  How can we expect our kids to learn about fairness and working hard for a dollar if they see our teachers treated badly?

But the economy really stinks right now.  Lots of regular people are losing their jobs, paying taxes is a hardship for many, and it's probably not a good time to whine that your average teacher earns $74,839 and go on strike.  That's gonna backfire, at least perception-wise, with the public.

But they'll get much of what they're asking for in the short term because the schools can't blanket fire and start with fresh college grads who will take $15/hour.  And probably do a better job if test scores are any indication.  (They aren't always, with an average pay of  $74,839, I'm expecting the Stand and Deliver guy in every classroom.)

Yup.  The school district caved and offered a 16 percent pay increase and several other concessions.   It isn't enough, though.  The news is full of pictures of screaming teachers waving signs written in freaking Spanish about how they're mistreated.  Really.

Meanwhile, on the insanely odd flip side, Chicago's children cannot possibly be ok if they have to skip a few weeks of classes.  It's an emergency.

"The school district opened 144 of its 578 schools for part of the day to provide a safe environment and meals to children in need," CNN reports. "Dozens of churches and civic organizations stepped in to provide activities for the thousands of suddenly idle students. And police, expecting an uptick in trouble with more kids on the streets, pulled officers from desk duty to increase patrols."

Translation:  it's obvious that people in the inner city are somehow different from other people and cannot possibly be expected to care for their own kids.  And let kids get bored?  Well, they commit arson, armed robbery, murder and other assorted crimes if you don't entertain them!  It would all be the teachers' fault for not being there for the kiddies!

Crazy any way you slice it. 

 I know some parents have to work, but that doesn't mean it becomes the government's problem when school is not in session.   And the whole thought that everyone needs these teachers this badly is just off-putting.  I think my children's teachers do a good job.  But while nearly $10,000/month is a bit steep, the union wants more than that?  ($74,000 x 1.16 and then divide by 9 = $9,667)

The whole thing doesn't make sense.  Would it make more sense if I lived in Chicago? I don't really have a dog in this fight, but the whole thing seems bewildering to me.

11 comments:

  1. I live here and no, it doesn't make sense to me either.

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    1. Hi, Mommy to three! I guess I'm not alone, then.

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  2. You want insanity? Watch this excerpt from a speech given by the Chicago teacher's union leader. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1YXOSaMZzs&feature=player_embedded#! I found it at Michelle Malkin. The full speech is also available, but I think I've seen enough.

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    1. Dang. Two of my children have pretty pronounced lisps. One goes to public school and they have done NOTHING to fix it. It isn't a big deal unless someone ignorant decides to make it so.

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  3. $74,839 plus a 16% rise? I earn about a fifth of that and we get a 3% rise spread over three years or so. Even if I worked full time, I would still get much less than $74+k. Of course my job is nowhere near as specialised as teaching, but to me, this is like hearing that one of our politicians is finding it hard to manage on his $330,000 per year salary.

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    1. Exactly. In this economy when people are struggling to put a roof over their heads, they shouldn't be expected to fund this via the schools. It's unreasonable.

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  4. There is more to this than striking and pay. Have you noticed the color they chose to wear? Red. Illinois is not a red state, it is a blue state. http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/09/11/us/jp-STRIKE-1/jp-STRIKE-1-articleLarge.jpg

    My husband grew up in Latin America and keeps up with the news, especially on socialist/communist dictators such as Hugo Chavez. Compare the picture from the teacher's strike to this. The choice of color is not a coincidence. http://venezuelanalysis.com/files/imagecache/images_set/images/2010/01/chvez_plaz_o_leary.jpg

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    1. Whoa. I like red. Just not commie red. And it boggles me because communism in its purest form is nothing like what these dictatorships/extreme socialist governments wind up becoming.

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    2. Also, how could these teachers seriously expect MORE tax money from some poor hourly worker mom making minimum wage at Wal-Mart? I get that teachers are paid more than they are, and construction work costs billions, and some people in government earn way more than me, but past a certain point it becomes juuuust a little insensitive. :/

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  5. This economy just isn't one for a raise like that...especially if you are already making wages like those. That's pretty good pay by todays standard!

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    1. I've read somewhere that the original raise asked for was 30 percent.

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)