I’m disgusted at how the teachers are behaving
To the Editor:
I am a parent of four children in Strongsville, and I am thoroughly disgusted with the actions of our school teachers by disrupting a school board meeting by chanting “fair contract.” They were chanting so loud outside that the people inside couldn’t hear the meeting or public comments. That is not a very good example to the community. I don’t understand what more they want. What is not fair?
They have jobs, which in this economy is a blessing. They get 100 percent of their pension paid for by the taxpayers. Do they want 200 percent or 300 percent? Are they working in unfair working conditions? I don’t think that could be it. Last I heard, the buildings still have lighting and heat. Are they being asked to work long hours? According to the ODE, regular work hours are 7.5 per day for 184 days per year. I don’t think that is unfair either, since private sector workers work eight hours per day, 260 days per year. I understand they put in more hours outside of work, but so does the private sector worker.
In the past, up until this past contract, they have also received a 2 to 4 percent pay increase automatically every year, plus any percentage pay increases that are negotiated into the contract. Is this what is not fair? Please show your contract proposal to the board so we can see how unfair things are. I have seen what has been put on the SEA Web site, and if these are sticking points I just don’t get it.
I have been in Strongsville for just over eight years, and in those eight years, if the employees of the school district had just paid for their own pensions and received a 2 percent salary increase instead, we would have saved over $65 million. What could that money have done for the district?
New textbooks, no pay-to-play, no school fee, field turf at Catan stadium so all the sports could play on one field, Smartboards in every classroom, the latest technology in the classrooms, building repairs, a new middle school, no new levies, pay raises for teachers and employees without hurting the district’s budget, funding for the school lunch program (which has been bankrupt for at least four years. That’s right: we can’t even afford to feed our kids without charging one of the highest prices in the state for school lunches and we’re still financially broke.) and smaller class sizes, because layoffs/retirements may have been avoided in some cases. Basically, the union let 140 school employees lose their jobs to keep the pension pick up.
I was under the impression that the students come first. When did our public school district become more about what the teachers get than what the students get? I don’t begrudge anyone a fair salary/contract, but when it comes to taking it from the children then I have a problem with it.