In an April 20th letter, “Threat to pensions”, Jeffery Griffith moans about “teacher bashing”. Jeffery must be a teacher since he asserts that a citizen had no right to write her own letter, defending fiscal responsibility, if she isn’t in the teachers’ union.
Only a small but extremely vocal minority (less than 10%) actually belong to unions, especially public sector unions (about 30%). However, government records show that they are paid well above their private (i.e. productive) counterparts. Jeffery points to Wisconsin, New Jersey and other states where loud, self-centered unions mostly in the public sector, caused disruptions and damage as they demanded their huge share before any kind of budget reform. He might also point to Greece, Portugal, Britain, France and others, who are a few years further down the Socialist road, and had actual riots over their entitlements. They, too, called their special perks “rights”. It is interesting to note that both Liberal hero FDR and Labor icon George Meany were strongly against public sector unions, since they would be lobbying their own tax-paid legislator/employers for tax-paid wages and benefits.
Jeffery asks if voters would “approve banning the flag salute or prohibit property ownership”. If teachers themselves had not openly discouraged or banned the Pledge of Allegiance, disrespected the American flag in favor of foreign ones, submitted false “doctors notes” to defraud their schools out of sick pay while demonstrating, and coordinated with self-proclaimed Socialist (anti-private property) organizations, he might have a point. As it is, the average teacher is probably fairly decent, but their rich Union Bosses and thuggish behavior speaks against them. Perhaps, if the California Teachers’ Association did not appear to be planning a “State of Emergency” walkout of their classrooms and takeover of the Capital on May 9th -13th, to squeeze more taxes out of the rest of us.
On a related note, while most of our Firefighters and Police have recently adopted voluntary pay cuts or other “give backs” to help their City, County or the State, Jerry Brown is blithely giving away what’s left of the farm. He campaigned on his imaginary frugal, low-tax plans. He has refused to address the massive welfare and illegal alien costs to state and local governments. Most were confused when he the first thing he did was to try to force through a FIVE year extension of a TWO year tax increase. When the Legislature actually held the line for us, he made the usual threats of “laying off cops, firefighters and teachers”. As “Brown OKs contract” (Page 1) shows, he can still hand out freebies to big Unions. He just negotiated a contract with the State Correctional Officers’ (prison guard) Union (which donated heavily to his campaign), giving them unlimited vacation time. The average California guard makes (according to the Sacramento Bee) double the national average and already has 19 weeks of vacation on the books. This vacation must be cashed out at retirement (the most common source of government over-extension) at a cost of $600 million. Few big-government Democrats question the gift.
So, one wonders what kind of reception all those AWOL teachers will get when they take Wisconsin strong-arm tactics to Sacramento.
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