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Walter’s Perspective: Teachers’ Wage Hike Demand Not Justified

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Walter Jacobson

Walter Jacobson (CBS)

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By WALTER JACOBSON
June 16, 2011

Since I began in this business 50 years ago, I have always been for the teachers. Always for the teachers, because in their hands are the lives of our children.

So, give the teachers what they need. It’s OK to gripe about what little they get. But on the 4 percent raise the union is demanding — on this one, this time -– count me out. It’s too much, too selfish, in hard economic times.

The beginning teacher salary in Chicago is about $50,000 a year; the average salary $70,000 a year, plus dental, medical and life insurance benefits. Plus three months’ paid vacation a year, plus automatic raises on top of the 4 percent they’re demanding.

Anybody else you know getting that kind of a raise? Nobody I know.

The demands the teachers are making are not for the children — they’re for the union, which will be just fine, thank you, without another victory to boast. 

I don’t say bust the union, just knock it down a peg.

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