I recently commented on kittykat's comment on the recent Young Republicans' post about the immorality of teachers' strikes. I'll put my thoughts here, too.
One of the arguments put forward by the poster is that teachers will be doing 20 to 30 percent more work with the longer day and year. Firstly, no they won't. Perhaps one hour of classroom time demands 2.5 hours of prep, but 8 hours demands maybe a half hour of outside prep for every hour. The outside demands marginally diminish, making demands of 30 percent raises baseless even at this level.
The commenter [, presumably a teacher,] compared public and private pay and seemed to indicate public employees get a raw deal. Initially, the idea was that public employees receive lower compensation in exchange for job security and cost of living increases. But over time, all the guaranteed contracts with automatic pay raises start to compound and overtake private sector pay. This teacher seems to have no idea what it is really like in the private sector.
At the company I recently worked for, the top employees who comprised the heart of the company STILL had to take 20 percent pay cuts from a year ago. So what are these teachers complaining about?? NOT getting a raise last year and being expected this year to increase their average hours per year to NORMAL SCHOOL DISTRICT AVERAGES! They think a RAISE of 2 percent this year is untenable because they were “promised” four percent last year. So due to this combined with demands to work as many hours as required everywhere else, they want A 30% RAISE!!!!!
Another commenter complained of a 47,000 dollar starting salary. That's more than my starting engineering salary, and my degree is a lot more technical. Further, my benefits were orders of magnitude less generous than teachers', and there are no contractual pay raise guarantees in the private sector!!!
If this kittykat wants to be compared to the private sector, let's examine what that would mean for her and her ilk. There is only one reason for teachers' jobs, and that's to serve children. Their effectiveness in helping and teaching them is the only legitimate determinant of their compensation. Education and experience levels, contrary to this teacher's argument, have little bearing on the quality of a teacher. How do I know? My own school years are not so far back. I had good veteran teachers and bad veteran teachers. I had good new teachers and bad new teachers. Should the public pay more for teachers who have a longer history of failing children? If CPS' failure rates are any indication, serving the children would demand the freedom to FIRE these teachers, not raise the carat numbers on their gold plated retirement packages!
Let's be clear: The education system does not exist to serve teachers! The entire reason for the existence of your job is to serve the children. TEACHERS' INTERESTS DO NOT MATTER HERE!!! Our children are too important to waste resources that should serve them on teachers who are delinquent in their duties to the children! If there were any justice, striking teachers would be swiftly fired, like they would be in the private sector.
But since private schools are forbidden to compete with public schools for a particular child's share of property taxes, the public must be protected from the labor cartel that you belong to. To be honest, the mere existence of unions in public education is immoral for the simple reason that you are a public servant serving those without a voice -- children. Their interests at the "good faith negotiation table" cannot be as well defended as yours for two reasons
- Children cannot speak for their own interests.
- Their parents [and the taxpayers] don't directly sit across from the table in negotiations with you, even as they pay the tab. Politicians' objectives are not the same as taxpayers' and parents'. The hand that feeds does not belong to the employer. This is the fundamental immorality in public sector unions, and it's what people on the left don't seem to understand. There's a massive conflict of interest keeping the arbitration table from properly representing both sides. Only one interest is represented here! Customers cannot take their tax dollars elsewhere when their children are being failed!!! In a monopolistic system where the labor cartel is the only game in town, employers have no seat at the table! To understand the absurdity, contemplate the justice of having every pay or benefits increase put to a referendum.
- Children cannot strike to threaten teachers' jobs! They are unable to defend themselves against unabashed greed.
Teachers do not seem to understand the incredible extent of the special privileges they've enjoyed. It's so inequitable at this point that the teachers are AGAIN using the power of poor state laws to hold children hostage for selfish benefit. The public will not stand for this any longer, and public finances are now so strained that taxpayers may finally have an ally in the mayor.
Teachers may fight their last battle in this state over 30% pay raises, as justifiable rage is likely to meet them when childrens' needs, the whole reason for teachers' existence, go ignored. This state may finally join the 38 others without public education unions. I'll be cheering in the streets when Illinois teachers who forget their priorities and use the system to injure children are summarily fired and replaced.