September 10, 2012 13 Comments
The teachers union in Chicago is on strike. The average teacher in Chicago earns $76,000 per year not including generous heath and pension benefits. By comparison, the average Chicagoan only earns $47,000 per year. Those in the private sector don’t get the lavish health and pension benefits, which bring the average Chicago teacher’s benefit package to well over $100,000. The teachers rejected a 16% increase in pay, totally more than $400 million. Chicago government school teachers have the highest salaries in the country and they want more. The pro-union press is very concerned about all the children which are “loose” in Chicago. As though those kids weren’t loose all summer long. I guess only in September are unleashed children a major concern.
The teachers unions will of course pretend like they have the best interest of children at heart. Nothing could be further from the truth. With the highest teacher salaries in the country and a 16% increase on the table (who in the private sector has gotten a 16% raise in the last four years?) the teachers said no, they want more money. These people already pay less than 3% towards their health and pension benefits, their compensation packages average well over $100,000. Yet they want more and they’ll lie about their concern for children in the process in order to garner sympathy from already overtaxed taxpayers. Keep in mind, Chicago has some of the highest tax rates in the country.
The Chicago government school strike illustrates everything Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was fighting for in Wisconsin. Government employee unions are completely out of control. Their members earn more than private sector employees, in the case of Chicago government school teachers earn nearly $30,000 a year more in salary. Chicago teachers also earn lavish healthcare benefits and pensions, lavish plans that no one in the private sector get anymore. Yet all you hear from the teachers is how difficult life is with the summers off and how hard their jobs are. Maybe no one told them that most jobs that earn more than $50,000 a year are difficult.
Taxpayers can’t afford this nonsense anymore. Especially when the government schools produce such poor results. Chicago government schools are among the 10 worst in the nation, yet the teachers want a 16% raise on their already #1 ranked salaries. If these people operated in a competitive environment, they’d be out of a job. Who would willingly send their kids to such awful schools and who in their right mind would pay such poor teachers so much money? Only in the public sector, which shields itself from competition, can this sort of nonsense take place. There’s a reason why parents in Chicago are flocking to charter schools, it’s because the public school teachers are fat and sassy with their $100k+ pay packages to the point that they don’t actually do a good job teaching.
Chicago is providing us with a good example of why we all need to follow Scott Walker’s lead. States need to restrict the power of government employee unions, for the good of taxpayers. Government employees aren’t altruistic, they don’t care about children or the public good. They care about themselves and milking taxpayers of every last dime. They get more pay on average than private sector employees, their benefit packages far exceed what most people get in the private sector. Yet they want us taxpayers to pay even more for even less service. It’s time to restrict these unions, it’s time for all of us to do what we can to make sure our city and state doesn’t become the next Chicago.
UPDATE: According to the Department of Education, 79% of Chicago government school students are not proficient in reading. It appears that the highest paid teachers in the country want a raise nearly equal to the amount of 8th graders who are actually capable of reading at an 8th grade level. Pathetic.