Friday, November 09, 2007

Fed up

You know how much I love my job? You should. I've been blabbing about it the last two days in a row. A few stats, if you will:

I moved to a city that has a cost of living three times as high as the one I left.

The cost of a house like ours, if we tried to buy it in Chicago, would be over a million dollars.

I went from paying $120 a week for daycare to $255. That's an extra $1350 per year.

It will likely cost us at least $5000 to put the Bear in a decent preschool next year. An almost equal amount for Tank, too.

Husband took a 5% pay cut when we moved.

I work for a wonderful school in a wonderful city, and I love what I do. I make $4000 more here than I did before we moved.

Full tuition at my fancy-pants private school is 40% of my annual salary.

My annual salary, before taxes, would buy me this car, and probably a tank of gas and a grande chai latte.

I'm okay with that. If I had wanted to make the big bucks, I never would have gone into education. I don't hang out with 12-year olds all day for the money, that's for sure!*

Recently, the news has been covering this story about Township School District 211 in Illinois (western suburbs, to be specific).** An hour and twenty minutes before the negotiations were set to expire, the teachers accepted a temporary contract and decided not to strike.

How magnanimous of them.

The average annual salary of a teacher in Township School District 211 in Illinois is $85,766. That's in USD, people. And they were going to strike. For more money.

Greed has taken over the human race. When over a thousand teachers, teaching in cushy white-bread suburban schools making nearly $100,000 per year want to strike to get more money, it's time for a revolution. And those fuckers better the the first against the wall when it comes.

I don't deny that teachers, like any other group of workers, have the right to collective bargaining to achieve the things that they need - I was almost part of a CPS strike four years ago over a number of factors, including a cap on class sizes (at 30!). That's fairly realistic, when you have a class of 36 and some kids have to sit on the floor for lack of space. Go on, hire more teachers. The current teachers don't want more money for themselves, they want more teachers and therefore more attention for their students. Good. I would walk a picket line for that. But for a raise over my $85,766 salary? To bring it to an even $90,000, for example? No. Staying in class with my kids is way more important. What kind of message does that send?

"I'm not here for you, I'm here so I can afford the payments on my McMansion."

"I don't care about your education, I care about my paycheck."

I'm ashamed to even be a part of a profession that spawns people like these. This man, John Braglia, the president of the Township School District 211 Teachers' Union, works in a *very* cushy white-bread suburban school, making at or above the $85,766 average salary (I would assume, based on his education and years of experience). He teaches four sessions of the same class (1 PREP, kids!), which only takes up half a day. That's it. He does union stuff and sits around his office for the rest of the day.

To all the teachers of District 211 - go fuck yourselves. I hope your children go to school and have teachers just like you. That's the worst (and most fitting) retribution I can think of. And especially you, John Braglia. I'm keying your Lexus with laser beams from my eyes.

*I'm really trying not to give out specific numbers or details. My mother always said it was vulgar to talk about money. I'm being intentionally vague here.

**These bastards don't deserve it, though. I don't care if I plaster their names all over here. I'd post mug shots, if I could.


Anonymous said...

FYI - John Braglia made $113,503 in 2006.

The contract finally agreed on allows for base+step increases of as much as 9% per year.

Jane said...

Oh, are you KIDDING me?! Thanks for the heads up, Anonymous. That only makes it all the more ridiculous.

Do you have a source for these numbers? I'd like to do a little more digging-