The Politically Incorrect Mom


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Fire Them

The Associated Press reported today that the school teachers in Gary, Indiana have gone on strike because they don't have a contract. School buses have refused to cross the picket lines, so the students have to be dropped off further from the school.

Here's the information we have...
The teachers have been working without a contract for a while. This is wrong...the district needs to get them into a contract - but here's the kicker... The teachers haven't been willing to agree on anything since December of 2004.

The average teacher salary in Gary, Indiana is $52,433 per year (**remember - they work 9 months each year**). This salary is about $5000 higher than the statewide average in Indiana. The school district has suffered because they've lost students over the past decade. I suspect part of the reason for that is because the test scores in this school district are among the lowest in the state of Indiana. I'd move my kids to another school, too.

The district is asking the teachers to accept a contract where they get a 2% pay increase (why on earth do they deserve an increase when they're turning out uneducated kids and already get paid more than any other teacher in the state???) and they've asked them to contribute 3% more toward their own health insurance - for a total contribution of 10%.

Don't even get me started on the health insurance!! Most Americans pay 33% of their total premium, with MANY people paying MORE. These people think 10% is too much? Not to mention that state health insurance benefits are ALWAYS better than that of private companies.

I've got a solution for the School District of Gary Indiana...
You either want to teach, or you don't.
Tell them if they want to teach kids - they MIGHT get a pay increase, but if they can't turn out kids smart enough to pass a state administered test - they get nothing!

In my occupation - pay increases are directly related to the work performed. If I couldn't train my team to do the job right - they would probably get rid of me, but at the very least - they wouldn't give me a pay increase until I was able to turn out a fully functioning, well trained team. Likewise, when I do an employees review and offer them a pay increase - I base it on what they've done for the organization over the past year. If they have not made a contribution (and I haven't fired them), they don't get a raise. I have, on several occasions, told employees to come back to me in 3 months and show me what they've done...if they have turned their job status around, we'll talk about a raise...if they haven't...we'll talk about severance pay.

WE pay for this stuff, people! It's time districts start standing up to these bully unions and tell them to do their job and stop churning out a bunch of dumb kids or hit the road.

I know a couple of young people... fresh out of college...who are absolutely ON FIRE to educate kids. My guess is that they would think $52,433 each year (with summers off!) is like winning the lottery.

Best course of action....FIRE THEM!


  • At 3:40 PM, August 24, 2006, Blogger Disgruntled Car Salesman said…

    If you lived in Wisconsin, you would see even WORSE than what you do in Gary, Indiana. WEAC(the teachers union here) has Jim Doyle (D-Al Quida, WEAC Towel Boy, BagMan Jimbo) in thier pocket. Whatever they want, they get. This includes pay raises, dirt cheap insurance, all of the other gov. bennies and no accountability to grades. Must be nice. You know what? I want a pay raise too. If I demanded that from my manager, he would kick me out of his office and tell me to sell more cars.

    What a joke.

  • At 6:27 PM, August 24, 2006, Anonymous Shocked Liberal said…

    Dear PI mom,

    I have to tell you that I think everything that you write on your blog is simplistic, fear-driven, unreflective, and often flat-out hateful. And it is for these reasons that I cannot believe what I am about to type.

    PI mom, I couldn't agree with you more on the issue of teachers unions. Now, before I go ahead and trash on teachers, I would like to say that my mother is a teacher and my sister is a teacher and they are both great women who are deeply dedicated to the lives of their students. And I think teachers unions are a great idea if each and every teacher is passionate about their jobs and successful in educating their students. Infact, if this were the case, I would be happy to pay teachers twice what they receive now.

    But the fact of the matter is that most people work better with incentives. And once teachers are in a union, they have no more incentive to work harder and get through to those tough-to-reach students. In fact, they don't have any reason to get through to any students. Well, maybe other then the fact that is they don't their job will be a living hell.

    I think you are right on with the fact that if a teacher cannot produce, that teacher has to go. Why is America not single mindedly ruthless about making sure our children are the most educated children in the world? Why do we put up with anything but the best? Right now we are failing our children because we are too afraid to get rid of the teachers that are letting them fail.

    Now, just so I can cover my liberal butt, I want to state clearly for the record that I do not believe that teachers unions are the primary reason for the abysmal failure of public schools in America. So many other factors come into play that teacher's unions barely scratch the surface. But, I do think that standing up to teachers unions is a small start in creating positive change in the public school system.

  • At 7:28 PM, August 24, 2006, Blogger P.I. Mom said…

    Dear SHOCKED Liberal - None of what you say surprises me. Particularly the part where you say I'm hateful. The truth is, I don't have a hateful bone in my body...but that's the liberal catch-phrase of the day, right? If someone dares express their freedom of speech in a way that doesn't fit into your politically correct box - we throw the "hater" card at them. It usually shuts people up and when it does - THAT is what you call fear-driven.
    I just can't figure out why anyone would read this blog if they hated it so much. Do you just enjoy being annoyed?

    And just for MY record - I have relatives and friends who are teachers as well and I don't hate teachers - particularly ones who are there to teach kids and not just for the benefits. BUT...teachers unions are a HUGE part of the problem - and don't just scratch the surface. Unions in general have outlived their usefulness. That happened right about the time they started abusing the employers who employ union workers.

  • At 8:37 PM, August 24, 2006, Blogger Disgruntled Car Salesman said…


  • At 11:34 PM, November 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The situation in Gary is surprising to me, from Evansville, the average salary for starting teachers is 23000/year and the cap is at 55000 if you have this degree and that and so many accredidations etc., but it is difficult to reach the cap, my numbers may also be a couple of years old. But contrary to popular belief, a true teacher doesn't just work 9 months a year. A really good teacher spend the three months that parents are pulling out their hair dealing with their children by going to classes and learning how to better teach and how to improve beyond the required course load, that is. Teachers unions have not outlived their usefullness any more than painters unions have theirs. Teaching is a professional job and is joked about as being a job people take for three months off or saying "those who can do, those who can't teach". I understand you may be angry about the pay they are getting, I was shocked as well, but in small communities, the unions are still necessary.


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