Deep Keel reproduces a California Math Teacter’s posting on Craigslist. The teacher writes:

I make $70,328 a year. I believe that I am being fairly compensated for what I do. I teach math and I do it spectacularly. I knew what the job paid when I applied for it, I entered an agreement to teach for that amount of money, and I go to work everyday and put forth my best effort. Well, I don’t go to work everyday. Oh I never miss a teaching day; it’s just that I have so much time off.

My contract shows a 183 day year and I work every one of them. It just seems that I always have so much time off. I have 2 weeks at Christmas, a week at Thanksgiving, a week in February (I think we actually call it Ski Week), Spring Break, MLK, Veterans Day, and of course, summer vacation when our students have to go help harvest the crops. I’m allotted 10 paid sick days but I never need them. Those days get “banked” for me and can be used later when my pretty darn nice retirement for life is calculated. I have unbelievably good health care, dental and vision coverage but they make me pay $5 for every prescription.

My first class starts at 8:10 and my last class ends at 2:44. But within these long hours I get 45 minutes for lunch and an 18 minute “nutrition break”. Because of our block scheduling, two days a week I’m done at 12:24. Yep. 12:24.

If I coach, I get paid extra. If I chaperone a dance I get paid extra. If I teach a Saturday class or proctor a PSAT outside of school hours, I get paid extra.

While UAW had monopoly power over auto labor and the Big Three auto companies had no competition, auto workers made out very well. Unfortunately for Detroit, these little Japanese companies with funny names like Honda and Toyota set up shop in the US with non-union labor and they have been chomping away at Detriot’s share of the market ever since. GM, Ford and Daimler-Chrysler are stuck with union contracts that have eroded their competitiveness.

GM is the most exposed since it has massive pension and health care liabilies for retirees, who greatly outnumber current employees.

The teachers unions in California and the rest of the US have benefits and conditions that no private employer could afford to provide. As ever, the unions want more and they use their political muscle and members’ dues to get more.

What the public schools need is a good dose of non-unionized competition. The teachers’ unions know it, too. That is why they fight tooth and nail to stop any competition, such as charter schools, publicly funded religious schools and home-schooling. The challenge for conservatives is to find more ways to introduce competition into the system. One way to start might be to publicize how little time teachers actually spend teaching compared to the pay and benefits they receive. Perhaps then, hard-working parents will look at their demands with a more critical view.

Me, I’d privatize the whole system and hire true professionals to teach; union hacks need not bother applying.

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