Sunday, June 10, 2012

Oh Please, Not Another Teacher's Union Strike

Well, I don't know what's happening in your area, but I live out in California and we've had a tremendous number of teacher layoffs. Our state is in trouble, along with the counties and city governments. In fact we've had three cities file for bankruptcy this year, with perhaps more to follow. Nearly all the cities in California have legacy costs which are out of control, that is to say underfunded pensions, and promises and payments owed to retirees who no longer even work for the city.

In some cases these cities owe over 60% of all the money they take in in tax dollars to pay for people who are already retired. Why did all this happen you ask? It is due to public unions, demands, and public labor contracts. In California, CalPERS is a very powerful political organization, made up of retired school teachers, they have too much power. Much of the cost going to our schools is similar to the problem the cities have right now with their legacy costs. No, California is hardly alone in this problem with its teachers.

There was a rather troubling piece in the Associated Press published on September 4, 2012 titled "Chicago Teachers Threaten Strike Early in School Year" which seems to tell a problematic continuous tale of our degrading school systems across this land. Worse, things were supposed to have gotten better in Chicago with all the extra Federal aid and political juice they got due to it being Obama's hometown area.

Apparently, according to the article the union gave a 10-day strike notice, but what on Earth do you do with 400,000 students and no class? The teachers are complaining about the increased school day hours and a 4% demanded raise. I guess, any time our federal government bails anyone out something including the auto industry, or our schools, the money just goes to the unions. All the while the Obama Administration says that it is helping secure high-paying jobs for Americans.

Still, if we have to tax each individual citizen more so we can pay the labor unions what they demand, or they will stop working, then in essence our government is supporting extortion, and taking more money out of the pockets of middle-class America to run and in efficient and archaic system which isn't working.

The answer to the problem with our schools is not to throw more money at it, or to pay teachers any more money, nor is doing so going to fix the problem. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think about it as those teachers go on strike so they can get more cash and benefits.

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