Teachers Thumb Their Noses at Taxpayers

Teachers Thumb Their Noses at Taxpayers

Contract negotiations between the Penn Hills School Board and district teachers have come to a halt. In light of the recession, the School Board is asking the teachers to take a pay freeze and increase contributions toward health care-proposals being flatly rejected by the union. This is yet another instance of a public sector union thumbing their noses at taxpayers who simply cannot afford the generous pay and benefits teachers are accustomed to receiving.

Penn Hills’ teachers have expressed doubts regarding financial problems the District is facing. As is often the case with public sector unions, they see the taxpayers as a never ending source of money and would support tax increases to cover their demands. Of course teachers see themselves as providing a vital service to the community and worth ever penny. While the Penn Hills teachers have not yet suggested a strike, it is likely they would stage a walkout to pressure the School Board to abandon its call for a pay freezes.

The District is asking the teachers’ union to agree to these demands for a two-year contract, after which, assuming the economy has rebounded, pay raises could resume. The teachers have counter proposed an extension of the current contract, with pay raises intact, or a new five-year deal with a six percent increase in salary

How is it that teachers have come to believe they are exempt from the economic realities faced by everyone else? At a time when employment levels in the region have fallen to ten year ago levels and incomes are down, teachers ought to be willing to offer some relief to District taxpayers, especially since District administrators have already agreed to the Board’s request to forego pay increases in the current school year.

And that pretty well sums up the problem with public sector unions in general. They believe their power, derived from misguided state law, bestows upon them privileges and standing far beyond those enjoyed by average hard working taxpayers.