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TACOMA: Call off the anti-teacher dogs

Letter by Thomas J. McCarthy, Tacoma on Aug. 31, 2011 at 12:38 pm with 35 Comments »
August 31, 2011 1:17 pm

The newspaper editorial (TNT, 8-31) on negotiations between outgoing superintendent Art Jarvis and the teachers’ organization proves once again that The News Tribune’s wisdom is a mile wide and an inch deep.

The editorial posits that if there is a strike, responsibility would lie “squarely on” the Tacoma Education Association. Ridiculous!

Everybody knows negotiation is a two-way street, so The News Tribune is simply demanding that teachers surrender. Obviously, elementary school teachers are not exactly the most militant of folks, and would only strike if truly provoked.

Unless we want to return to the days before education unions of blatant favoritism and teachers leaving education every year because of rock-bottom pay, no retirement or health benefits, then folks should consider supporting teachers.

Right now, education is obviously the favorite political football of newspapers and anti-union think tanks, but nobody does more advocating for public schools every day than teachers.

Example: Tacoma already has one of the worst student-to-teacher ratios in the state, and the district wants to crowd in two more per class. Tacoma teachers are fighting against that. Support them.

Leave a comment Comments → 35
  1. PumainTacoma says:

    You say: “Unless we want to return to the days before education unions of blatant favoritism and teachers leaving education every year because of rock-bottom pay, no retirement or health benefits, then folks should consider supporting teachers.”

    I can’t tell if that is a threat or warning? Many college and graduate degree professionals say leave the profession if your so miserable.

    Professionals who can’t be rated on their “professional” ability, effort and responsibility and want all the perks, TRI, time off, extra pay for extra work, longevity pay for seat time (hello?) and then complain about everything down to the wallpaper, should leave.

    Teachers are the last profession that actual get more than 2 weeks off a year, get paid for longevity, seniority, get extra pay for extra work, pay for TRI (time responsibility incentive) and get all the holidays and weekends off.

  2. Thomas, Please define rock bottom pay. In all the postings on this subject I’ve have not seen one person indicate they checked the pay scale charts on the Tacoma School District’s website. It is really easy to read. And, the salaries of each and every public school employee is listed on another website. It gives the district base pay, extra pay, employer costs for health and welfare.

    And please define “rock bottom pay.” I agree a graduate with a science, math and engineering degree will make more than a teacher, but, isn’t the union against giving such high demand professionals more pay than a history teacher? And, isn’t the union against the district hiring those talented people retiring from corporations, who want to teach math and sciences at the high school level?

  3. alindasue says:

    A321196 said, “And, isn’t the union against the district hiring those talented people retiring from corporations, who want to teach math and sciences at the high school level?”

    Where are you getting this idea from? Both I and my children have had teachers who are retired from other fields. I would expect that they have had some training in teaching too though…

  4. firemannotfirefighter says:

    Mr. Mcarthy,

    I think that maybe YOU need an education in state law (both RCW and Case law)…

    “Obviously, elementary school teachers are not exactly the most militant of folks, and would only strike if truly provoked.”

    You can’t strike. So says the RCW 41.56.120

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=41.56.120

    So says the Atg

    http://www.atg.wa.gov/AGOOpinions/Opinion.aspx?section=archive&id=5736

    Oh, and my FAVORITE so says the Snohomish Superior court, thereby making Teacher Strikes Illegal by CASE law

    http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/south_king/ken/news/57011047.html

    Strike and I can only hope the School Board moves forward with legal action and pursues fines for everyday you are on strike!

    Oh and the pay has already been debated. I am sure xring will be here shortly to cry about only being paid 10 months a year and not have those extra 2 months paid. I am sure he will argue that of course the JUDGE, the STATE and the ATG are ALL involved in a massive right wing conspiracy to do away with unions in Washington.

  5. alindasue- And I have retired professional friends who weren’t allowed to teach at public schools, but, allowed to teach at the college level. Oh, and maybe I should have prefaced the debate by stating the union will not allow the district to pay professionals what they are worth on the open market. It’s the same with not paying market rates for math, science and engineering majors. If I recall my son was taught math at the middle school level by a totally unprepared music teacher. And, the teacher recognized his shortcomings, but, hey, you gotta eat!

    With my former employer (a governmental agency) it recognized the needed expertise in certain fields and hired those persons at the prevailing market rates. Will the union allow a math teacher to be paid more than a history teacher with the same length of service? Will the union allow a new hire high demand professional be paid more or equal to a twenty-five year veteran history teacher? I think not! It wouldn’t be “fair” to the history teacher, who has limited demand in the world economy.

    I totally understand the position of the union and the needs of the employer. Being an independent thinker causes me to question both sides of the issue rather than just nodding to their ‘talking points.’

  6. alindasue says:

    A321196 said, “…by stating the union will not allow the district to pay professionals what they are worth on the open market”

    Ah. So there you have your answer. It’s not that they wouldn’t hire retired professionals, but rather that they expect those professionals to be paid like, well, teachers if they are going to teach.

  7. BigSwingingRichard says:

    Any animosity towards teachers and their union is caused by the etchers and their union.

  8. BigSwingingRichard says:

    Any animosity towards teachers and their union is caused by the teachers and their union.

  9. “Many college and graduate degree professionals say leave the profession if your so miserable”

    The irony is beyond humorous……

  10. ” I am sure xring will be here shortly to cry about only being paid 10 months a year”

    Sayeth the person who sleeps for 33% of his working hours

  11. alindasue- Yep, the union expects retired professionals to be paid like they are teachers. Of course, they would be teachers. The only problem is many well qualified professionals can earn higher salaries than teachers. Why are unions opposed to paying math and science teachers higher salaries than history teachers? It is supply and demand. Insufficient math teachers, so we have music teachers teaching math! Duh!

  12. Mr. McCarthy, you are absolutely correct. The deniers have no clue as to what the problems are and what the solutions are.
    Does anyone disparaging teachers know anything about poverty and its influence on children?
    How convenient it is to forget so that a false scapegoat can be found.

  13. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    The union goons deserve the dogs bite. The public has had it and will force this state to adopt a voucher law like Indiana just passed. Parents are flocking to private schools.

    For once someone out here gets real hope. A union free reality in real schools.

  14. A32,
    It is not the unions that are preventing districts from hiring talented retirees. It’s that state law that says a public school teacher must be certified.

    However no such law prevents college and private schools from hiring untrained teachers.

  15. Right wing education policy = Brave New World

  16. “It is not the unions that are preventing districts from hiring talented retirees. It’s that state law that says a public school teacher must be certified. ”

    And who do you think helped to make that rule?

    “I agree a graduate with a science, math and engineering degree will make more than a teacher, but, isn’t the union against giving such high demand professionals more pay than a history teacher? ”

    You make an excellent point, A321196 . We are paying over $70,000 a year for an elementary school teacher due to years of service, but significantly less for a math and science high school teacher with less years of service.

    That’s just ridiculous!

  17. Thomas, if the teachers go on an illegal strike, then they need to be fired and replaced permanently.

  18. ItalianSpring says:

    The fact that our schools have become factories for churning out politically correct, ignorant, christian hating, America hating, socialism loving, global warming believing, felons makes me not want the schools to get one red worthless cent anymore.

  19. KARDNOS says:

    noun, verb, “socialist”

  20. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Sue, love the teachers, just hate their unions.

    They are the one that keep school boards from firing bad teachers.. And there are a lot of them. I know, I go to my kids classrom and watch. Have complained and have been show what it takes to fire a teacher. Just too hard to fire slugs that belong to the union that protects them.

    Time for non union charter schools and school vouchers

  21. scott0962 says:

    Teachers are looking our for #1 just like the rest of us, no one can really fault them for that but neither do we have to agree with it since it’s our taxes that pay for their salary and benefits.

    I think what really rubs a lot of people the wrong way though is their self-serving claims that they’re doing it for the children’s benefit as if anyone who disagrees with them is incapable of taking that into consideration before speaking out. Yes, it is important that children get a good education but let’s face reality; if money were no object how many people would be sending their children to public schools instead of private ones?

  22. beerBoy says:

    Anyone who hasn’t accepted a reduction in pay – with an increase in work – without complaining really hasn’t earned the right to castigate teachers.

    btw……..The teachers voted against striking. Gee…..those greedy, lazy, selfish teachers who are whiners!

  23. The Washington State Board of Educaition, Not the Teachers Unions, set and
    enforces the cetififcation requiments for k-12 public schools.

    Vocher and Charter schools – neocon version of seperate but equal.

  24. commoncents says:

    You make an excellent point, A321196 . We are paying over $70,000 a year for an elementary school teacher due to years of service, but significantly less for a math and science high school teacher with less years of service.


    And who is it that you suppose teaches the basics that ALLOWS the math and sceince teachers to do their jobs! Holy mackeral….do you honeslty think the kids show up in high school knowing with all of the perquisite knowledge that they learned all on their own?

    And, for those who simply can’t see the forest through the trees…You can’t afford to pay the math grads the salaries that they are earning out in the public sector. HMMMMM….let’s see, I can make 200+k at my actuarial job or I can go listen to snot nosed little Johnny whine about why he couldn’t get his homework done and earn a whopping 100k. Because, Lord knows, you anti-teacher types are not going to stand for anyone earning more than 100k in the public sector.

  25. “separate but equal”

    An Idea thought of, implemented, and perfected into an art form by xring and other Democrats to keep black Americans in a permanent state of poverty. Nothing says Democrat like Jim Crow.

  26. camas – i guess you are maintaining that black folks are surely ignorant ‘cuz they keep on voting for the Dems……have ever since FDR…..and even more since LBJ.

  27. I’m with Gov. Christie on this one. Teachers know what they are signing up for as teachers. If you don’t want to teach school, go work somewhere where you’re evaluated every quarter and sent packing if you’re not doing your job…and you only get two weeks off a year, period.

  28. sue1234 says:

    These poor uneducated exploited idiot gopcult members shame every American past, present, and future. Soros…clearly the amount of time you actually spent in school was surely wasted. Just because you and your other gopcult members are not educated does not mean education is bad. In fact, each post from you or any other uneducated republican is proof positive education is the only way for a country to be great.

  29. You’ve lost what little mind you appeared to have left sue. While I will defend to the death your right to say what you will, I do so with this little gem in mind:

    “The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.” – Hubert H. Humphrey

    And please, you may insult me if you like, but calling me Soros is a low blow.

  30. beerBoy says: camas – i guess you are maintaining that black folks are surely ignorant ‘cuz they keep on voting for the Dems……have ever since FDR…..and even more since LBJ.

    Ignorant? Yes. They don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them. The good news is that not all blacks vote Dim.

    So tell us how successful LBJ’s war on poverty was. It was a trillion dollar failure that only succeed in destroying the black family and regulated black males pretty much out of the equation. Nice.

  31. beerBoy says:

    Well camas, it must be hard looking out for the well-being of an entire race all by yourself. What was it the British called it………oh yes…..the white man’s burden.

  32. KARDNOS says:

    “sozo says:
    September 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm
    I’m with Gov. Christie on this one. Teachers know what they are signing up for as teachers. If you don’t want to teach school, go work somewhere where you’re evaluated every quarter and sent packing if you’re not doing your job…and you only get two weeks off a year, period.”

    Interesting comment after years of feeding at the trough and now enjoying the fruits of others organized labor.

  33. KARDNOS says:

    “you may insult me if you like, but calling me Soros is a low blow.”

    Yeah…don’t ever equate someone to a successful businessman that immigrated to the United States and symbolizes the American dream.

  34. There’s far more to George Soros than the picture you attempt to paint here, Kardnos, but then it is our burden to bear that you refuse go look under the surface of this as you do with pretty much everything.

    Feeding at the trough? Enjoying the fruits of organized labor?

    Where did you go to school, the College of Cliche?

  35. xx98411 says:

    Test post…

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