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Chicago – “People without jobs are shaking their heads right now over how someone could risk their job to walk out for higher pay – 9% higher, just to start. Who in their right mind would risk their job in a stagnant job market with about 9% local unemployment?” asked Rae Ann McNeilly, executive director of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).
“But wait, Waukegan teachers, like all government teachers, don’t have any risk of losing their jobs do they? They don’t even have risk if they are a rotten teacher; why shouldn’t they strike?”
“We are now in the fourth week of the teachers’ strike in Waukegan and the latest news is that they have reached a tentative agreement. Illinois has some of the highest starting and average salaries in the nation and yet these teachers felt so abused by their employer – the taxpayers – that they had to shut down the schools for 3+ weeks.”
“It is unconscionable that these overpaid and underworked ‘civil servants’ can demand one more red cent from the taxpayers who employ them. Government teachers, who make more than private teachers, have nearly iron-clad job security, over 100 paid days off per year, and virtually no autonomy in the classroom, meaning they are told exactly what to teach and how, are clueless and could care less about the plight of the people they serve.”
“For every pay increase to a teacher, it is a pay decrease to the taxpayers who fund their salaries and lavish, gold-plated pensions. Teacher pay comes directly out of taxpayer pay, meaning every dollar more that they are paid is a dollar less for constituents to keep and use for their own food, housing, and transportation.”
“And let’s not forget the union thugs who negotiate on behalf of the teachers. How is it legal for a third party to hold the taxpayers of Waukegan hostage by using their children as pawns to negotiate more lavish benefits for their rank and file?”
“I am ashamed of my town right now,” stated Waukegan resident and parent, Kelly Hodge-Below. “My children are nothing but pawns in this game that the union, the board, and the administration are playing.”
“How many times have we heard, ‘it’s for the children’? In what way is this for the children”, added McNeilly
“I’ve got news for you, there are taxpayers in Waukegan who are at risk of losing their jobs because schools are closed and as working parents have no secondary long-term accommodations for their children, considering they pay so much in the form of property taxes for the schools.”
“When teachers are negotiating higher salaries and benefits, do they ever consider the kids, or the parents, or the thousands of others who are slaves to their property taxes? Do they discuss how many local people have lost their homes because they could no longer afford the ever-rising property taxes?”
“Government teachers deliver a substandard product than their counterparts in the private sector at a rate higher than their private counterparts, have Cadillac health care, gold-plated pensions starting as young as fifty-something, have over one hundred days of paid vacation, have no system of performance management, and demand more and more and more from their employers, the taxpayers.”
“It’s not for the kids and never has been. 80% of local taxes are used to pay government salaries and benefits. The pensions alone that teachers earn are phenomenal. There are currently 11,054 Illinois government pensioners collecting more than $100,000 per year and 78,526 pensioners collecting more than $50,000 a year between all five of the state pension funds.”