IBJOpinion

Union backer has vested interest

January 22, 2011
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

The reason [Teresa] Meredith is so gung-ho regarding her union stance is she has so much to lose: 18 years into her profession, vice president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, her pension and benefits.

Meredith’s 10-point outline clearly focused on the real agenda. I counted her words and how she used them to convey her interests regarding teachers and their pay compensation/benefits. It defines why the children are “left behind.”

• Compensation, resources, pay, benefits, contract, benefits, negotiations, grievances, allowances, bargaining and compensation—11 mentions [combined].

• Teachers—9 mentions.

• Students—6 mentions.

This should make David Letterman’s  “top 3” “What is important under collective bargaining”:

• Money is mentioned nearly twice as much as the children.

• Teachers run a close second.

• Students rank last in this self-serving agenda.

How can Meredith honestly sell the notion “the students” will achieve more under the big hand of a union, when her outline focuses mainly on money and teachers?

Can Teresa explain why there has been and still is such a deluge of private schools (not unionized) over the past decades doing so well with academics? Conversely, public (government-run) education continues to decline, with alarming statistics, while sucking taxpayers dry and still needing more money.

Enough is enough. After 38 years of unionization of the school system, if they don’t have it together by now, it should cease to exist and we should not look back.

Hats off to the former lieutenant governor, president of Lilly Endowment and PSI Energy, who was quoted, “My vote for collective bargaining rights for teachers was a big mistake … a whopper.” Thanks to John Mutz for the integrity it took to admit this mistake. I think it would behoove Meredith to make a phone call to Mutz.

Kirby South
 

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  • Teachers want compensation like you-its life.
    When you go in for your annual review do you spend the time encouraging your boss to spend money on improving the company or are you interested in at least keeping up with inflation and getting a raise? Educators as a whole are one of the most educated groups of professionals that deal with a lot of very adverse conditions and make quick decisions on a "minutely" basis, not hourly. Its time their compensation reflects that. I've seen first hand how teachers motivate all kinds of students. Believe me, normally the struggling student is accompanied by "extra" struggles outside of school and little support at home. Our educators do a marvelous job when given their due and the needed resources.
  • It works both ways
    Regarding Kirby South's letter blasting Teresa Merfedith for defending collective bargaining, I think he misses the point. But that aside, if you replaced Teresa's name with the name Gov. Daniels, and replaced her letter and comments with his "Putting Students First" agenda, you would find a strong correlation regarding one fact---the governor's agenda simply doen't mention students very much. However, he does mention spending cuts, saving money, cost, etc. lots of times. Quite simply, for the governor students are way down the list of his priorities.

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