In Sunday’s Register Star, Chuck Sweeny bemoans the REA’s “Mercedes-Benz” contract; he’s either unaware or disingenuous about how they arrived at it. To clarify the issue, for most of my 35 years in the district, educators agreed to a less than cost-of-living increase. Instead, we settled for holding on to pension and health-care benefits, so our families could benefit in the future, accepting the less-than-adequate salary increases (if any at all) offered by past boards. An ignorance of history never is justified, but that history is conveniently omitted by Sweeny in his latest, thinly-veiled scapegoating of educators.
Hey, Chuck, if you want our children to get a Mercedes-Benz quality education, treating those who provide it as if they were ’58 Edsels will result in inadequate educational mileage and result in irreparable damage to quality down the road. The children of District 205 deserve better.
Those who purchase the Register Star also deserve better. I would hope you at the Register Star take the lead and become public models of that spirit of sacrifice by voluntarily reducing your wages and benefits by whatever percentage you recommend should be taken from the educators. Please send what is taken from your wages to District 205, for the sake of the children.
And I’d also encourage District 205 downtown administrators and other economically comfortable civic-minded citizens and area businessmen to do the same, for the sake of the children. Then, we could actually see the balance sheet reflect a sacrifice on the part of the entire community instead of scapegoating the many fiscal problems of District #205 on the many dedicated teachers of District #205.
Chuck, set the process in motion. We anxiously await your lead. Thanks.
Teacher, District 205