Monday, July 31, 2006

Showdown in Detroit

Detroit has issued an ultimatum to its teachers--they have to come up with 88 million in savings for the city and raises are out of the question. The teachers are standing firm and threatening a strike in September.

It would be easy for many to say "those greedy teachers" and condemn unionism for giving them the power to stand together. But New York teachers have heard this song before, and it doesn't play well with us.

We accepted zeroes from Giuliani in what turned out to be one of the biggest economic booms in the history of the city. The last contract we took, while Bloomberg was sitting on billions, included massive givebacks of time, perks, and rights, and failed to even meet the inflation rate. Bloomberg claimed the surplus would soon disappear. When it increased instead, he still gave DC37 less than cost of living.

Perhaps Detroit is different. But in New York, during rough times, public employees take one for the team. During good times, they simply take another.

Thanks to Schoolgal
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