Dear Ill. Teachers Unions: You Can't HANDLE The Truth

-By Warner Todd Huston

The teachers unions in Illinois are mad. They are unhappy that their scheme of having their personal, employee contributions to their own pensions paid by the taxpayer has been exposed. Echoing the Tom Cruise flick A Few Good Men, these teachers can’t handle the truth.

The Illinois Policy Institute issued a good report recently, titled “Playing Favorites,” that exposed the fact that some two thirds of our school districts have allowed teachers unions to put into contracts provisions that makes the school district pay part of all of the employee contribution to the pension. This means the teachers pay little or nothing at all into their own pension plans — even though they are supposed to be doing so.

So, taxpayers are not only paying these teacher’s salaries, but also footing the entire bill for their pensions even though the teachers are supposed to be contributing to them as well.

Remember in April of 2010 when Illinois teachers used state time to board busses that took them to our capital to mount protests? They said that since they pay taxes, too, their voice should be heard. They complained that taxes were too low and should be raised on everyone.Well, apparently and rather suddenly they seem to be making the lie to that claim by saying their paychecks are taxes, taxes taken from the people and paid to them in the form of their salary and they shouldn’t have to pay their fair share.

Naturally, as soon as its report came out, the long knives were unsheathed against the Illinois Policy Institute by the usual union thugs. Teachers unions across the state unleashed a campaign of distortion about what the Ill. Policy Inst. was proposing.

Says Ill. Policy chief John Tillman,

The big lesson for us is that advocates for the status quo will misrepresent our work to protect their financial interest. But nevertheless, we must be relentless in telling the truth. We’ve known this all along, of course, but the degree of disinformation, of press intimidation and cooperation between government, union officials and pundits and others is one of many reasons why reform is so hard. Just agreeing on the truth is a challenge for some.

The fact is that Illinois is being buried by its overly generous public employee pension plans. Something really has to be done before Illinois goes fully bankrupt. As it is the state is no longer paying its vendors and other debts. As the pension bomb continues its slow explosion, it will get worse.


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    Yes! You're full of great ideas. Let's break up the unions and pay teachers $7.00 an hour. This way we can save money, save education and stay competitive in a globalized economy.

    Or wait, even better...let's dismantle public education by privatizing it. Then we can boot out school principals and replace them with fat hedge fund managers. Now we're getting somewhere.

    Smell the Folgers people! Teachers aren't evil. Unions aren't evil. Public education is a gift from our democracy. Why hand it over to the rich? That is unless if that's your plan. Then by all means crush the middle class. Shit on teachers and their unions. Then we can all get jobs working as a greeters for Walmart. Let's put the poor in their place, Messiah!

  • In reply to Jeff:

    Jeff's blather is the sort of thuggish, nonsense we see from these unionistas everyday. Why if we DON'T bend over backwards and treat union thugs like kings, why we will destroy education, destroy our country, blah, blah, blah.

    And I love how this fool throws in his typical communist class warfare garbage. It's the eeeeeeevil rich that is at fault. Even as he claims anyone against unions are claiming that unions are evil that that, he says, is a bad thing, he turns around and demonizes those that he opposes.

    Well, Jeffy boy, your unions are un-American. They are anti-capitalist. They are anti-democratic. And they are plantation-makers. YOU are the evil one here. Go away and take your un-American unions with you.

  • I just wanted to mention that the unions didn't "put" the pension language into the contract. The districts get some tax benefits by, essentially calling compensation, pension payments. In CPS it clearly calls that money (salary) compensation. It doesn't really matter what it is called and there is nothing in any law that says the teachers are supposed to pay their pension dues. Also, the districts agree to these contracts. They aren't bullied by the union any more or less than the district bullies the union.
    I think all the above comments are bully and thug rhetoric. Both sides are a mess but no one really fixes anything.

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