I doubt any of the municipalities will renew contracts with workers since they are unable to forecast their income & budgets anytime soon. The municipal workers are about to find themselves working without a contract for a long time and should be grateful they have jobs at all. In the alternative the contracts that can be cobbled together are going to be full of escape clauses allowing the municipalities to reduce wages and benefits as revenues fall.
If the unions actually decide to strike they will see their workers disposed of much as Reagan disposed of the air traffic controllers. They can all be replaced easily during a depression.
Where is the money going to come from? In Oakland nearly 20% of the homes with the highest tax base – those purchased in 2005 or near that time have been foreclosed.
In your own household budget, when the price of beef goes up, you cut expenses elsewhere or you buy less beef. A prudent person would not say, let’s just use the Mastercard.
In Oakland they are making the vast majority of the cuts in the district offices, they are going to have to have more students in each classroom – but there is no societal Mastercard with which to keep spending.
I’m all for a good march and a good rally. Heck, I think GOOD teachers deserve more money. I think if there is a way to pay staff (beginning with the least paid) more money, the District should do it.
But, we all have seen TOO MUCH deficit spending from the Feds on down to our neighbors. If raises aren’t possible without gutting the rest of the organization or deficit spending, they may have to wait. Also, what good is a raise this year if the state is going to be cutting back for the next three. Won’t the District just ask for concessions next year?
I feel blessed to be employed these days. I have plenty of friends, relatives and acquaintances that have been laid off, foreclosed and a few bankrupted. The stress alone is terrible. One way to give raises is to have fewer workers to pay. Wouldn’t that suck worse?
All of this sucks, but then again, that’s what my handle says.
I am willing to pay a parcel tax to give Oakland teachers a raise. San Francisco passed a parcel tax for teacher salaries. The tax covers teachers in district schools and in charter schools. The San Francisco teachers’ union SUPPORTED the parcel tax because they cared about representing their members’ interests well, and helping them get a raise.
Other funding is available to help us weather the recession. Oakland could be very competitive for Federal Stimulus money from the Race to the Top Program. Other cities that care about helping their children and schools make it through the recession are working hard to put together compelling proposals.
We need the Oakland Teachers union to take the hand being extended by the parcel tax committee, and also to sign off on a Race to the Top proposal. Working together we can give our teachers the raise they deserve, and preserve OUSD’s academic gains as the most improved school district in California for five years running. OEA has a long history of doing the right thing for kids and taking courageous stands, such as fighting for class size reduction. We really need OEA to find its inner angel and move with grace in this difficult time when so many people are hurting.