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The Audacity of Teacher Unions — Souderton Edition September 15, 2008

Posted by papundit in Uncategorized.
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Souderton Area public school teachers are on strike, demanding a 30% increase in compensation over the next 4 years. Simon Campbell, President of Stop Teacher Strikes in Pennsylvania, does a fine job of castigating the laws that allow public employees to hold taxpayers hostage.

The union’s shameless arguments in this case are noteworthy:

  1. They have the lowest starting salaries in the county, and are the lowest paid for the first 14 years. Of course, somebody has to be the lowest. Besides, as we noted in our previous post on this topic: Unions set the pay schedule. So if they’re underpaid for the first 14 years, it’s probably because the union is overpaying senior teachers.
  2. The school board will be forcing us into a situation that will make Souderton Area Education Association and Souderton Area School District uncompetitive with other districts,” warned Bill Lukridge, the mob boss — er, union president. Is this really a problem? Apparently not: Not only do existing teachers seem content to stay in their jobs (see item #1), but the district also has plenty of applicants for new positions.

How did the school district wind up in this mess? Thanks to extraordinarily pro-teacher union laws every Pennsylvania taxpayer is ultimately at the mercy of public school teachers. However, like all predators, unions are more prone to strike when they detect an easy target: This school district mismanaged its budget by overtaxing residents and generating a $17MM surplus. Let that be a lesson to all Pennsylvania school districts: Be diligent in your budgeting and don’t tax more than is strictly required. Any surplus just provokes the insatiable predators of the public purse.

[Addendum: Don’t miss the comments here!]

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