Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Striking, "For the Kids"

Nothing says "it's not about the money, it's about education" like marching with signs that read:

Hands off my benefits

Yet, you can always count on at least one striker making the asinine comment. This time, it was veteran teacher Audrey Gates:

"It's not about money in our pockets, it's about teaching these kid."

For the sake of the children, of course. Because, you know it really makes a difference to the students if your insurance co-pay goes up.

Articles are stressing that the teacher's want a 5% pay increase, which isn't exactly the case. They want complete protection of their benifits, and a 5% pay increase each year for the next three years. I went to Detroit public schools, but I think 5+5+5=15%.

You'd have to live on another planet to not know that Detroit is broke, and that health insurance costs have gone through the roof. Detroit schools have been bleeding students for years, resulting in a bloated system serving a diminishing student body.

Yet, the public employees believe they deserve more. Keep repeating that teacher's don't make enough, and some fool will believe it. Teacher's in Detroit with a Master's degree can make $70,046. Not exactly second-rate pay.

Perhaps unspoken is WHY they believe they deserve higher pay (because it certainly isn't for the superior product they turn out.) One striking teacher, though, let the honesty seep through after a fight broke out between two girls during registration:

"I need a raise at least as an incentive to come back to this," Dianne Brown-McDuell, an English teacher at Denby, said after witnessing the fight.

Maybe she's got a point. Could we earmark it as "hazard pay?"