Wednesday, March 16, 2011

PA Teachers' Union Asks Local Unions to Agree to a Wage-Freeze

Posted by: Noël Jones

In an article by Tony Rhodin today for the Express-Times, the Pennsylvania Teachers' Union is calling for a wage-freeze in school districts statewide in response to Governor Corbett's request when he announced major cuts to programs in the state's new budget.

Easton Area School District administrators announced last week that they were willing to agree to a wage-freeze for the sake of reducing the $14 million gap in our district's budget, and now it's time for the teachers union to do the same. If all school district employees agree to a wage-freeze, it will chop $7.4 million out of the budget gap. That still leaves us with $6.6 million to cut, but it's a great start, and will save most of the jobs of 160 teachers that the district threatened to fire recently.

This would be a great move on the part of the union, in terms of winning back waning public support, by agreeing to sacrifice in a show of solidarity with taxpayers.


Mitchell said...


Rumor within the district is that Mr. Deely has flatly refused to agree to a freeze. He states that he is waiting for a proposal from the District, but he was given one in September of 2010 and refused to even discuss it.

If the Easton teachers do not agree to a wage freeze AND significant contract concessions, there are going to be profound layoffs.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Mitchell. I believe that the teachers who were laid off last year have a credible case for damages against PSEA, EAEA and Deely himself for negotiating a contact that was not economically viable. These people knew, or should have know, that a contact of this magnitude could not be sustained.

noel jones said...

Mitchell--we try our best not to rely on rumor here--how are you coming by this information? Did Deely state publicly somewhere that he is waiting for a proposal? If so, please post the link to back it up. Was it ever announced to the public that an offer was extended to the union last September? That link would be helpful too--or, if you work within the district and are party to this information, please let us know that--thanks.

noel jones said...

Anon 6:12--interesting point. Does anyone out there know if members have the right to sue their union for damages if they feel a contract was negotiated in bad faith? If anyone knows or has this info, please post.

tachitup said...

You are to be commended, Noël, for trying to keep this truthful and verifiable. But, these are comments and are (in)famous for containing rumor, innuendo, and outright lies. No one should believe a thing I say until they verify it. Now, that said:
I believe everything Mitchell has said, just cuz it sounds right. Deely has always shown to take the UNION line according to Deelyistic principles.

I used to think that the union was for the common good of the members, but Deely would much rather sacrifice jobs than a few percent rise in salary. How does he get to keep his position? I doubt that our good teaching staff want to throw their peers under the bus as Deely advocates.

Can you imagine how difficult it was to delete all the vulgar profanities before I sent this?

Anonymous said...

Actually, the teachers union has already put a wage freeze on the table.

Anonymous said...

If the wage freeze is on the table, why hasn't the union made a public announcement that they have agreed to a wage freeze for one year with o strings attached?

Why? Because it is bullshit!

noel jones said...

Tachitup--yes, these are comments, and yes, everyone should remember this is a blog and not a newspaper--just the same, the regulars on this blog and myself have taken pride in regularly posting links or giving backstory to support comments made, so it is always appreciated here.

noel jones said...

If the union has already put a wage-freeze on the table, they would do well to come out and announce it publicly so as to garner public support, rather than suspicion. Sometimes I wonder if our unions realize just how tenuous public support for them is right now--if they do not connect with the public, they risk being caught up in the current wave of union-busting.

Clem said...

"I doubt that our good teaching staff want to throw their peers under the bus as Deely advocates."

Sadly, you are more wrong than right. Plenty of teachers in my extended family. All started out as idealists fighting for resources, more staff, etc.

Over the years, they watched their pension projection increase and made more money while their jobs became more difficult due to fewer teachers, larger class sizes, burgeoning bureaucracy that was the trade-off for their bounty.

Finally, they evolved and assumed the role of those they started out opposing: The long-tenured who say "Screw it, I don't want a better quality of professional life. I don't want new books. I don't want to be part of something greater than myself. I could care less if you layoff those other teachers. What're a few more students when I already have more than I want.

Now, go max my raise and percs, cuz in a few years, I'm outta here."

Last year in Easton was a perfect example. Deeley isn't God, and the members could have taken a stand. In the end, they threw their "brothers and sisters" under a double decker bus.

Kind of like Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery", where everyone is favor of stoning. Until, it's their turn...