Guest Post by Brenda Lepick
Thank you for inviting me to guest post on your blog. My husband Jim and I have 7 relatives from Florida to New Jersey who are school teachers, all unionized. I guess you could say I have some compassion for school teachers.
Watching the democracy in action going on in Wisconsin is exciting, but the reasons for protesting and political games are wrong on so many levels. I wont pretend to know the numbers that are being spent in Wisconsin for education. But what I do know is that 46% of my homeowners taxes for the county I live in go to state and local education funding. Thats a pretty large chunk of the pie. I do not oppose the amount being funded to the education system, but when you think about education being the recipient of more tax dollars than any other government entity, and see the protests in Wisconsin by teachers wanting more benefits and salary, its kind of sickening.
They have every right to protest and assemble peacefully, but their reasons are misguided at best. Can you imagine if the school teachers in this country put that much effort into reforming education for the kids, how much better off our kids would be?
But the wrongful part is not just about salaries and benefits and negotiation rights. These teachers should be thankful that given the current economic woes THEY HAVE JOBS! At least 5 to 8% of the students sitting in their classes every day are going home at night to households where there is no income and when put into that perspective, it makes the teachers look like the spoiled employees that some folks believe they are. Dont get me wrong, I know there are teachers who have the cushy side of the job and then there are those who go to schools every day that are dangerous and miserable, where they get no respect and end up as glorified babysitters for students whose parents dont give a damn.
Oh! The politicians involved in this Wisconsin case? Beyond ridiculous on both sides. Any politician who runs and hides in another state when they were elected by the people to take a stand and be present for voting one way or another, should be fired, impeached, or fined. They took oaths, they made promises, and turn into cowards when the going gets tough.
In another economy, another time when the country is in better shape, the teachers might have a valid argument. But we are at war. Money is tight. Men and women of our military who make much less $$ than school teachers put their lives on the line every day for our right to protest. The Wisconsin activities just seem selfish and wrong at this time in history. Could you imagine what might happen if members of our military, fire departments, police forces, and any other low paying positions in this country just walked off their jobs?
Karla, in your current position - you serve your community. What would happen if you walked off your job tomorrow? No offense, I know you are special but they would probably replace you in a short period of time.
Brenda is a Recruiter/Sourcer/Staffing Consultant at Grimaldi Recruitment. You can follow her @Le_Brenda on Twitter.