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Unions Tell Taxpayers: “We have no confidence in you.”

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

All over the country, union leaders are demanding that communities cough up extra cash to help “make teachers whole.” And unions around the country are testing the waters with teachers by asking teachers in budget stricken districts to vote “no confidence” in the community to send a message to taxpayers to cough up cash or else.


The “or else?”


Never mind making communities whole; those communities can never be whole under Obama.

As cash-strapped municipalities deal with declining tax revenues and too-rosy assumptions made by administrators and union officials, teachers unions are stamping their feet, holding their breath and mouthing the political equivalent of “La, la, la, I can’t hear you.”

In Palm Beach County, the teachers union is demanding $70 million dollars in raises for teachers at a time when the district has to hire more new teachers just to comply with state-mandated classroom sizes.

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“There must be a plan in place to have a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Brian Phillips, the chief negotiator for the Classroom Teachers Association. “Is the board really interested in putting teachers back where they need to be?”

Perhaps they are. But the more vital question is can taxpayers afford it?

“It isn’t a lack of wanting to,” said the districts’ negotiator Van Ludy, “It’s a lack of being able to.”

And not just that either. For years public education has been in crisis in this county. Test scores are falling in the U.S. compared to other nations. At the K-12 level we are graduating fewer students ready for college. Around 77 percent of students who take ACT test aren’t “college ready” according to ACT. 


Yet in district after district, budgets are being busted by union benefits that have been bankrolled by union campaign contribution taken out of your tax dollars.

Since 1992, the American Federation of Teachers of has given $30 million in campaign contributions to Democrats, who essentially run the education bureaucracy in the country, while donating less than $300,000 to Republicans           

That’s why in Democrat-controlled Chicago, teachers went on strike after the district offered them a whopping 16 percent raise over four years. The union demanded 30 percent.   

Teachers in Chicago already make an average salary of $76,000, reports the CBS local news affiliate, while New York City teachers average $73,000.

“Working conditions are part of everyone’s job,” says Chicago Teachers Union attorney Robert Bloch told CBS2 Chicago, “we all think about working conditions.”

But apparently not test scores.

Only 21 percent of Chicago Public School 8th graders are proficient in reading and only 20 percent scored at grade level in mathematics, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Chicago lags the national public school average, which lags the international average of industrialized nations, 224 to 240 or 16 points on a 500 point scale. Even Washington DC’s disreputable school system out-performs Chicago in teaching math. The scores for the respective cities are tied for reading.    


In Chicago, the teachers strike was preceded, as it has been elsewhere, by a token “vote of no confidence” circulated by the Chicago Teachers Union, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.

I’m thinking where can I register a “vote of no confidence” in the union?

In districts all over the country unions are asking teachers to take “no confidence” votes in administrations already strapped by taxpayers, who in turn are already strapped by Obamanomics. The “no confidence” votes are meant to test teachers’ resolve to strike. 

The solution to the school funding issue is not asking property values to take a hit on higher taxes. Higher taxes mean not just an increased tax bill, but lower overall property values in the long run.

The solution for teachers, just like everyone else on Main Street, is a vibrant economy that produces lots of tax revenue at lower rates.  

We know that teachers in Chicago aren’t getting the job dome on reading and writing for students.

Perhaps they should brush up on economics too. 

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