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As promised I will bring up several issues and topics related to the recent events in Wisconsin. Keep in mind I have been following the events from the distance. I may not have all the facts straight, and if I don’t please correct me. I also have not done a ton of research on this and am going by reports of several trusted people, a colleague being one of them. This is my opinion all based on my limited knowledge of the situation. Disclaimer ended.
Encouraging Unions Lying Teachers & Sympathetic Doctors
It is a well established fact in this whole scenario that teachers are using their sick days as a method of political protest, as well as marching on the capital. Unions are also encouraging this behavior and doctors are writing fake sick notes to protect the teachers. This is lying and should not be an acceptable behavior of anyone, especially public unions that are providing an essential service to the community. Unions that encourage this behavior should lose their power to collectively bargain. Teachers who do this should be fired, in violation of the contract. Doctors who do this should lose their medical licenses. What are we teaching our students with this behavior, that its okay to lie for your own benefit?
A sick out is a recognized way of protesting and striking in a union. It is seen throughout U.S. history, but all of these were done by unions in private industry. The police, firemen, teachers and other government workers who are their to provide a vital service to the people do not have the right to do this. If education is a right that must be provided to the citizens by the state, then the people who provide that service have no right to strike unless their is a danger to their health or safety. If I was a citizen of Wisconsin and my students school was closed because teacher’s called in sick to protest, I would not side with the teachers. Its your job to provide this service. You are paid to be in the classroom teaching my children, not protesting at the capital.
Students as Political Props
The teachers who say they care about the education of their students are using them as political props. By refusing to go to work they are depriving them of their state provided right to a K-12 education. They are trying to make a point of their importance by refusing to do the job they were contracted and hired. They are using students are political props. Check out this link for a local story on student protests. You be the judge. Other schools have brought their students to the capital and the students have no idea of why they are there. If I could find the link I would post it.
Public Unions & Collective Bargaining
If a public union is going to collectively bargain it should be with the people who pay their paychecks, the citizens, not the politicians. These negotiations should be open to the public so the citizens can have input and a say in how their tax dollars are spent.
Fleeing Democrats & Uncompromising Parties
The Democrats who fled the state should be hunted down and compelled into attendance at the state capital. Just because you loose a vote does not mean you can just run away. What would the media have said if the Republican Representatives and Senators in the U.S. Congress had fled Washington, before the Health Care Reform vote? They pulled this crap in 1999 during the impeachment of Bill Clinton, too.
The union members are protesting but they have offered no alternative. The Democrats in the state also have not offered an alternative to this budget. I love how bipartisanship is out of the mouths of Democrats and Republicans only when they are in the minority, but when they are in the majority they push all this crap legislation down our throats. Both sides are guilty of this.
Loss of Benefits
The union teachers are not losing benefits. They are just being asked to contribute to the benefits they receive. Everyone in private industry must contribute to their health insurance and to their retirement, why should public employees be any different?
We are in the worst economic recession, hell lets call it what it is, depression since the great crash of 1929. Everyone needs to make sacrifices to survive. Families are cutting back because their losing wages or jobs. Governments are needing to cut back. Public employees need to cut back. We all have to share in the sacrifice for the common good. Expecting a pay raise every year for nothing more than surviving is not shared sacrifice.
Here is one problem in Wisconsin, only teachers are being asked to sacrifice. A colleague of mine told me that the only public unions that are being asked to contribute to their health insurance and retirement is the teachers. Why? Because the other public employees unions contributed to the current governor’s election campaign. That is not equal protection under the law or shared sacrifice.
Teacher Pay in Wisconsin
Over the last few years I have seen a disturbing trend. Since 2006, and election of Democratic Party majorities in the House, Senate and many state governments, we have moved steadily to the far left in how government works. This goes even as far back as the election of George W. Bush and the creation of No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D. The election of 2010 showed a dramatic shift in the politics moving back to the right. This is dangerous for both sides.
Like a pendulum, our politics sway back and forth. A pendulum that goes one direction, it will got just as far in the other. We swung to far to the left under the Democrats and we may have swung to far back to the right in 2010. We could easily swing just as far back to to left. The point is both sides must come together and compromise. That is the maxim and practice by which our Constitution was founded. This swinging back and forth will only continue to divide us, instead of doing what is in the best interest of the nation and for the individual.
I am sure I missed something in this posting. I know I didn’t deal with all the issues and points made on my Facebook posts. I dealt with only the pertinent issues I thought were at hand in this scenario. Also, I am not sure this makes any difference but I am card carrying, dues paying member of the Clark County Educators Association (CCEA). I don’t think all unions are bad, nor do I think all teachers are good. Their are better solutions than what the governor is asking for and the public employees are demanding.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Class dismissed