Backlash Grows Against Teacher Salaries

Maybe it’s the difficult economy and hardships many are feeling, but there seems to be a growing backlash against teachers who want big pay raises and small contributions to health care — a salary package that nobody else seems to be getting.

“I make a third of what they do and I pay what they do a year for a family plan, and I pay more than that a month,” says Tara Nowak of Bethel Park.

Some parents have taken to the picket line against teachers and school boards are getting an earful.

“It’s only prudent that the people that work for us and you as taxpayers get in line with what the residents in the area have,” Bryan Morrow of Moon told his school directors on Monday night.

But many school districts are still handing out 3 to 4 percent annual salary increases that are out-of-line with the real private sector world, say local economists.

“Wages are roughly flat and what we are seeing in Pittsburgh reflects the national trend,” says Prof. Robert Miller of CMU’s Tepper School of Business. “So of course, some people do get wage increases. Other people lose their jobs. On average – not a lot of movement.”

If you’re among the lucky with a job, you probably haven’t had much of a salary boost recently.

“Thirty-three percent of employers are expecting to have wage freezes,” notes Prof. Elaine Luther of Point Park University’s School of Business.

In 2008, wages jumped 3.6 percent, but last year that increase dropped to 1.9 percent. This year, the increase was around 2.2 percent.

Another sore point with taxpayers: teachers’ unwillingness to pay as much as most do for health care.

“Health care costs are going up, and everybody is going to have to contribute,” says Prof. Luther.

Teachers unions say it’s easy to bash teachers.

The good ones really do work hard and deserve pay raises just like anyone in the private sector.

But local taxpayers who foot the bill are questioning why teachers seem to be treated better than private sector employees.

That’s a question that only school board directors can answer.


One Comment

  1. pitt123 says:

    I continue to be amazed and embarrassed by the comments of so many people. Being responsible for educating every child in the this country is certainly a job that is worth compensating. What has happened to having respect for teachers? Has any one of you stepped inside a classroom to see what a teacher deals with on a daily basis? In my opinion good teachers are not being paid enough for all that they do and all that they have to put up with from both parents and children. They also pay taxes, contribute to social security, and pay into their own pension funds (mandatory 7.5%) which they may not even benefit from because they will not be around when some of the younger teachers are ready to retire. I just feel there are far more important things to be worried about in this country, than the salary of someone responsible for teaching and taking care of children daily. I also am NOT a teacher, but recognize the work that do everyday without much appreciation!

    1. cp says:

      I always notice that when there are stories that bash teachers, that teachers never reply with comments. Your know why? They are too busy teaching, grading papers, calling parents, dealing with discipline problems. You people need to get a life! Maybe you should become a teacher if you’re jealous.

      1. Moe says:

        It seems very immature for a teacher to tell others withan opinion on teacher strikes to “get a life,” or imply that people who disagree are at low level jobs.

        Do teachers realized that many of the people commentiing are educated, some with advanced degrees. Teachers need to look outside their bubble, and recognize that many of us have stressful jobs with long hours, and poor health benefits with high premimus.And most recently have had salary freezes since 2008. Teachers are protected quite well by their union, with yearly raises in their contract.

        I recognize that teachers are important and vital to our country. However, some are acting very spoiled, not showing sensitivity for the people in worse senarios than themselves. There are many jobs that are extremely stressful and demanding, and require mandatory overtime. Those of us who do them actually have to work 12 mos a year. Wouldn’t it be nice for everyone to get 3 mos a year off to relax, or earn extra money.

        atAs far a pension, what is that? We don’t all have the luxury.

        Get a grip teachers, and get back to work!

    2. Terik Ororke says:

      Yes, but do they need to live on $80,000 a year and expect a taxpayer to live on $17,000 and support their high style of living?

      1. less blather says:

        Maybe you should go back to school, Terik, and get an education from a good teacher, so you can make some more money. Thought about that?

      2. Megan says:

        Who the hell makes $80,000 a year as a teacher?? I’m a teacher in my 14th year and I make 1/2 of that – I will never make $80,000. Seriously – people have false information about teacher salaries. And as for my high style of living – I budget 50$ a week for groceries. The rest of my money goes for rent – my oh so living high on the hog one bedroom apartment, car loan and student loans. I shop at Goodwill not because I’m cheap, but because I don’t have any other option. Get your facts right before you start spreading lies about teachers.

      3. Pedro says:

        Yes we can make $80k or more as a teacher. I have 2 master degrees and will cap at $96k when I put my time in. An for those of you who complain I make more than you, go back to school. You made the decision on what you would do with your life. So you can’t complain because you are stuck in a low paying dead end job.

      4. Teacher says:

        I have a Masters degree in education, have 17 years of teaching experience and make $56K. Before you compare our jobs perhaps you can share your educational background and experience. I’m not slamming you for making $17K, but let’s make sure we are comparing apples to apples.

      5. mathilda says:

        @megan—you’re 14 years out of school and you’re still paying student loans?
        Everyone knows teachers make a ton of money and don’t want to pony up for the health insurance that everyone else on Earth pays for.
        If you make 40k per year, maybe you’re working in the wrong district.

      6. mathilda says:

        @Pedro. Because someone doesn’t make as much money as you do, you assume they are stuck in deadend jobs?

      7. R says:

        Our school district has several teachers making over $70K per year. Starting salaries for teachers around the area averaged about $30K a few years ago. My son is an EMT and makes $8.50 per hour. My wife teaches preschool and makes only $10.00 per hour. Our troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are making around $21K per year (and how many hours a day do they work?).

      8. R says:

        Teacher – your comment about going back to school shows the “don’t give a da%m” attitude of government employees in general. This will be adjusted in the near future. Many people stuck in “dead end jobs” can’t afford to go back to school. There is also lack of jobs. Several of my friends who held senior level programing jobs or were managers are now selling insurance, delivering mail, and working in toll booths on the Mass Turnpike. Get your heads out of the government cloud and join he rest of us in reality.

      9. jared says:

        @R, please stop refering to the military. I can tell by your post you never were in the military! 90% did not join for the money. We did it for love of our country. We all knew our life could be on the line. Your post makes you look stupid and sound the same way! Besides the base pay they are also collecting tax free pay, hazardous duty pay and overseas pay. That makes it more than 21k. Again though the money was not an issue. It is called love for country! Don’t speak on military behalf when you weren’t in the military and know nothing about the honor, courage and commitment that we were instilled with.

        As far as the teacher post is concerned, scroll down till you find my earlier post from today!

      10. StateTheFacts says:

        @R. You say “My son is an EMT and makes $8.50 per hour. My wife teaches preschool and makes only $10.00 per hour. You can get hired at Walmart for MORE than $8.50 starting out. What the heck does that have to do with teacher salaries? Your son & wife need to make some better choices, but don’t blame teachers.

      11. R says:

        Jarad: No, I did not join the military. My health precluded it. My contribution came from work on several systems that protect our troops and our country. However, my father and both brothers did join. My father shed his blood for this country and my older brother was killed while in service to this country. You say they made the decision to join the military out of love for country. You wound up in your position for the same reasons. Regardless of the reasons our troops signed up their pay is still ridiculous – not to mention the number of military families out there currently on food stamps. Your argument is total nonsense.

        StateTheFacts: Read the above response. Make better decisions? What could be more important that saving lives and educating our children at one of the most formative times in there lives? My son is also fire/rescue and is headed for the police academy in January. I am also an EMT. Think about the bad decisions we made when we have to put our lives in danger to save yours or you loved ones.

        None of you will ever state the facts. The arguments in this column show the selfishness and egotism of teachers. You are more important that anyone else an minimize others who really are having financial problems by saying they made bad decisions even though their goals are a noble as yours were when you first entered your profession.

        The people of this country (including yourselves) are already being taxed to death. So we’re supposed to raise school taxes to provide for your egos and selfishness? The times are changing – ask Congress. We’ll be taking back control of our schools too.

      12. R says:

        Jared. I will continue to speak for our military. In case you never read the Constitution of the U.S, I have that right. The military works for the people just like any government employee. However, teaching the Constitution and the real history of this country doesn’t seem to be high on the priority in school curriculum’s .Keep in mind he mess this country is in and also that the majority of the progressive (both left and right) idiots responsible for it went though our school system. What exactly are you teaching them these days.

    3. Matt Wilson says:

      Its about the “MONEY”. Given todays economy, taxpayers cannot be expected to foot the bill for the increase in teacher salaries and healthcare. Pay increases should be flat and contribiutions to healthcare and pensions inreased just as the private sector does. As if paying a teacher more and leaving their healthcare cost at a minimal contribution gives us a better teacher. Teachers are important, I agree. But we all have limits. This week I had to pick from two options for healthcare for my family. This resulted in an increase of monthly premiums equaling $80.00 per month and I have had no pay raise. So I have two options. Pay the increase and keep my job or quit and find something else. If the teachers do no like there current situation why not just quit and find something that they will like. Its really quite simple. Why should I pay more because they want more. I want more too, why shouldn’t they pay me as well.

      1. Teach178 says:

        What does what you do or don’t get have to do with what someone else should or shouldn’t get? Are you comparing apples to apples? Seems to me that YOU should be the one to quit & find something else! Do you say “Why should I pay more because they want more” to anyone that provides a service to your house, car, medical care for your children, etc & refuse to pay them?

      2. M. W. says:

        In this case it matters because I pay to support the raises that the teachers want. So until that changers “it matters what they get.” When you support me then it will matter to you I suppose. Also, I am completely happy and content with my job. My increased contributions and flat salary have been the same for years. Believe me I feel lucky to have a job and am completely thankful for it. Teachers just don’t get how good they have it, quit the complaning. If someone comes to my home and bids a service, “Yes”, if I feel it is to much, they in turn won’t be performing the service. Medical I would pay any amount if it meant life or death.

      3. blanche says:

        The point being that Matt Wilson doesn’t rely on taxpayer dollars to foot the bill for his medical care.

      4. StateTheFacts says:

        @Matt Wilson. The school boards are asking for more time…a lot more. 5 DAYS more in our case. They are also asking for $2500 MORE in health care contris. So should we just accept that with no raise? Because “everyone else is” (NOT!)? You all are not privy to what they (SB) are asking during negotiations…it’s under wraps. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!

      5. ik says:

        Mr Wilson, you have it right on. There is no reason for teacher salaries be as high as $80K for 9 months work while their supporting public earns, on average, far less for 12 months work. The teachers union not only promotes their salaries but also denies the public, or administration, the opportunity to judge their capability or efficacy.

        Maybe as a start teachers should on get 9 months of health coverage and pay full premiums for the rest of the year.

    4. Chris says:

      “I continue to be amazed and embarrassed by the comments of so many people. Being responsible for educating every child in the this country is certainly a job that is worth compensating. What has happened to having respect for teachers?”

      These are obfuscations. No one said this job is “not worth compensating,” and having respect for teaching in no way requires that teachers be granted whatever they want without anyone questioning it.

      Try a simple thought experiment: would it be fair if teachers made $15 million a year? No, it wouldn’t. That’d be ridiculous. Now that we’ve agreed that it’s possible for teachers to be paid too much, we should be able to have a conversation about how much is too much without red herrings about “respecting” them being tossed around. They make no argument and have nothing to do with this issue. Teachers CAN be paid too much, the question is how much is too much. That’s a question you haven’t even attempted to answer. You’re just angry people are even asking it, which is ridiculous.

      1. pitt123 says:

        This only happens to teachers. That was my point. What gives you the right to question someone elses salary? There are plenty of people who make too much money, but noone criticizes them. How about a football player that makes $15 million a year for tossing a ball around? I get you pay school taxes…but how about complaining about these fitness facilities and new football stadiums that keep popping up in local high schools that are nicer than some college stadiums. Nobody would dare fight that in Western PA.

        Why shouldn’t it be ok to ask for a raise? The teachers shouldn’t have to take a pay cut just because their neighbor has a lower paying job and pays more for health insurance. That is ridiculous! In that case, everyone should just get the same salary. It’s so easy to blame teachers. The teachers are not the reason your healthcare went up. Why not direct your bitterness towards who really is to blame for lack of pay increases and increased healthcare.

      2. Teach178 says:

        Incorrect Chris. People on here HAVE said no respect, don’t do anything, cake job, sit on their collective butts & collect a check, sex with students, etc. People have said we’re paid too much no matter what the truth about our jobs may be (and they’ve thrown around quite a few lies to “support” their “argument”). Where do you get the idea that we should be granted whatever we want? No one even knows what each side is asking because both sides remain quiet about what is being discussed until there is a finished contract proposal. Sometimes things get leaked or stated.

      3. mathilda says:

        @Pitt123. Football players who make 15 million a year are not being supported by taxpayer dollars.

    5. Teach178 says:

      You are a very sick person.

      1. Teach178 says:

        This comment of “a sick person” referred originally to the whacko that said “teachers just have sex with students”. It’s been knocked so far down from the original comment I was replying to that I wanted to clarify it was not meant for Joecool1 or any of the other posters

      2. tm says:

        What are the specifics to your salary, your benefits, your sick, personal, and vacation days, your percent of your salary increases and what you pay into your health care and retirement? Just wondering, since your very one sided report seemed to focus only on bashing teachers. Let’s look at other professions that bring in way more money, have way more perks, bonus pays, company cars, etc…. You must not think that teaching is a very important career choice, if you are reporting that teachers should not expect to be compensated for their hard work and efforts. After listening to your report, I am sure the barasitas at Starbucks will treated with way more respect than teachers. Way to go John, class act journalism.

    6. tired says:

      I have no issues with what they make… I agree with you as far as a good teacher goes… But the health care needs to stop. I have to pay for my own healthcare, i don’t think that i should have to pay for theirs AND their families. Enough is enough!!

      1. StateThe Facts says:

        @Mathilda – Yes, the football player making $15 million a year IS being supported by taxpayer $. It’s called taxpayer funded stadiums!

    7. Susan Pittsburgh says:

      pitt123, you ask how many of us have stepped inside of a classroom to see what Teachers go through, so I’ll ask you, how many Teachers have stepped into the shoes of Nurses? Janitors? Coal Miners? Customer Service? Fast Food? I could go on, but people work hard in most jobs they do with much less compensation. It’s too bad, but many of us are making sacrifices, it’s time for Teachers to join the rest of us and tighten their belts.

      1. pitt123 says:

        Susan – nowhere did I say that other people do not make sacrifices. I understand that everyone works hard, it is just that teachers are the only ones that get criticized.

        And the argument that you pay for their salaries is a bit far-fetched. Let’s pick an average for property taxes ($2000) and if you make ($30,000) a year you pay $300 for local taxes. That is about $200 a month, which goes to more than just teachers. Half of that goes to the townships for roads, etc… People are also forgetting the teachers are paying that as well, plus they do pay for their healthcare though many of you seem to think that they do not. Most of the comments on here are jealous in nature. My whole point is…start complaining about things that are really the reason healthcare and your salaries are not increasing. It certainly is not a teacher’s fault.

      2. StateTheFacts says:

        @Susan. No one here is ripping on nurses, janitors, coal miners, customer service, fast food, etc. Teachers are being bashed. We simply ask that teacher bashing on this site should stop. No one here bashing teachers has their facts straight. No one here knows who the substandard teachers are, how many, etc. No one here has a real grip on teacher pay, pensions, qualifications, on & on. Tax funding has created a mood of uninformed histeria! Try to be objective & look at the facts. If you want to look at “time off”, then fine. Also look at the true amount of “time on” that goes into teaching & the challenges teachers face dealing with kids from all walks of life in society. Criticize, but be REASONABLE in that criticism as far as the facts are concerned.

    8. Jim says:

      Do you understand what the teachers retirement is like in PA? They will make the average their last three years. So a teacher who gets a job at 22 and works till 52 will get a salary around $90K right now till they die. If that teacher lives till 82, which is not unheard of, they will have worked thirty years for 30 years of retirement pay. They also get their benefits paid for in retirement. How are local school districts expected to forecast for that long? That is not fair to the taxpayers at all. For all that money spent on teachers do you think they educating your students any better than a teacher making $30K less??? I doubt it. Pay the teachers fair market value, but when you get 500 resumes for ever job posting I assume you can find replacements for less that easily are just as good. By the way my wife is a teacher in the North Allegheny School District.

      1. StateTheFacts says:

        We pay into our own retirement – 7.5%. Schools this year pay 5.something %. It’s the biggest chunk out of my paycheck.Only tax$ insofar as the 5%. Most companies match retirement contris for professionals. Incorrect about getting $90K the rest of their lives. Years of service times 2.5. So if you worked 30 years you would get 75%, not 100%. Only if there’s an early retirement incentive. Otherwise you get a penalty reduction of 3% per year early. Full retirement is 35 years. Bennies not paid after retirement by all districts & in ours currently until age 65 – medicare. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!!!

    9. ScottDuncan says:

      THANK YOU!!! Well said,

    10. Concerned says:

      @pitt123 – Bethel Park teachers are on the high end of the pay scale and are lucky to get a pension; most employers don’t offer it anymore or cut it out because of the economy, and our raises are frozen and the cost of everything keeps rising.
      Also, you ask what has happened to having respect for teachers. I have no respect for teachers that selfishly picket over minor health care costs they pay and a salary increase when the rest of America pays A LOT more for health care and has had a wage freeze for the past 3 years (again Bethel Park teachers salaries are over $60k a year)
      MOST IMPORTANTLY, if these teachers care so much about the children, why are they not in school teaching them, but keeping them OUT of school possibly until December 6. Please explain to me HOW THIS IS GOOD FOR THE STUDENTS………HOW? Not to mention the added cost for parents to find babysitters/daycare, etc. No, the teachers aren’t selfish; they’re ignorant.

      1. StateTheFacts says:

        @Concerned “lucky”, “most employers don’t offer it [pensions] anymore”, everyone’s “raises frozen”? Where do you get your information in order to make such false generalizations? If what you say is true about “most” not having pensions or cuts in pensions then this generation is DOOMED! Social security won’t even be around to fall back on. Just stick to facts please. This article states 33% of the employees had wages frozen, not over 50%

        “Selfishly picket” over “minor health care costs”? “The rest of America”. Do you know what the rest of us don’t know about what the school board is actually offering? Do you really know what the rest of America is experiencing or are you just tossing out such inflammatory comments to make a specious argument?

        Now we seem to have the crux of the problem exposed at last! Your babysitters are on strike & it’s costing you more. Damn, why didn’t the unions just hire high school kids with nothing else to do during the strike & pay them with these exhorbitant union dues to gain public favor for even higher salaries? What is that sound Homer Simpson makes?

        Oh how DARE they fight for something?! Many employees have benefits today thanks to unions. There were excesses in some cases, for sure. But our country & economy grew & became better off than most due to union activity. Then unions lost favor during the recession of the 1980s & employees throughout the country let the right to fight slip away. Now there seems to be a monsterous jealousy complex amongst those that don’t “have as much”.

        Remove your blinders, get the facts, & fight FOR something, not against just because of the “I don’t have it so why should they?” complex.

    11. R says:

      Teachers and ALL government employees work for US – he people. As such the salaries the receive should be in line with OURS. The average government employee is making about $20 – $30K more that somebody in the private sector. Add the a benefits package that hardly anybody in the private sector gets! This is helping to bankrupt our country, The government works for the people not the other way around! You want to talk about salaries versus the hard work? Most of our soldiers are making about $21K per year to possibly DIE for our country. How DARE any other government employee claim they should be making more because their job is so hard!!!!

      1. Jared says:

        Now your comparing Soldiers salaries to teachers salaries? Really? I spent 5 years on active duty and another 4 in the reserves for my country and never once complained about what I got paid. I did it for the love of my country!!!! Yes, we know we could die for our country but you know what? I knew that going into the military. Every soldier does and if they dont they are a fool. If you have never been a soldier, DON’T SPEAK FOR US!!!!!

        To people that say try working in the fast food industry, I’ve been there done that. I know what it is like. It is rough dealing with bad customers. I didn’t like it. So guess what I did? I joined the military, got lucky to get into a field I could use in the real world.

        I haven’t had a pay raise in over a year (nope, not complaining). I’m lucky and blessed to have a job. I made it through a round of layoffs and I hope if there is another one I make it through that too. I did lose any contributions to my 401k that my employer was matching to what I put in.

        My wife is a teacher and so is my neighbor. I hear their horror stories of problematic children being disrespectful, vulgar, ignorant. Too large of classroom sizes making it difficult to teach. Some teachers don’t agree with striking but they do anyway because the union makes them. Yes my wife gets 2 1/2 months off each summer. It is not a vacation for her though as then she becomes a stay at home mom. We pay childcare during the school year too. We have bills, car payments, ect. just like everyone else does.

        My wife went to college, made a smart choice, and got her elementary degree with a second degree in spanish. She deserves every cent she makes and in my book more than that. Do i complain she gets payraises and I don’t? NOPE! Do I complain that I am at work all summer long while she is home? NOPE! Do I complain she makes more money than me? NOPE!

        We have a running joke in our family (btw, my mother in law is a teacher too!) The joke is that we all make choices! They made very good ones to become teachers! Teachers get paid because most of them are good at what they do. They put up with good children, bad children, good parents, bad parents. They also get paid good because there is a nation wide shortage on teachers (especially male teachers). If you don’t like it, maybe you could go back to school and become a teacher too.

        While we are all at it, lets be honest with ourselves! If your boss came to you and offered you a 5% pay increase, there is not one of us that would turn it down. whether we were offered it or stiked to get it!

        Don’t be jealous people! if you don’t like your life or your job, go change it!
        The problem with people today is people want everything for nothing! They don’t want to work for what they earn. I know because I am a supervisor. I see it everyday! People say there are no jobs! Not true! There are jobs, just not what THEY want!

        Don’t bash teachers! They teach our children, who by the way, will someday be the bosses of companies, CEOs, VP’s, our military, Presidents and so on! Damn, people are so blind anymore!!!! WAKE UP EVERYONE!!!! Our children are our future!

  2. expittsburgh says:

    Respect for teachers? Try asking them about respect for our children. They sold that for $50 of insurance contributions. Take your misguided guilt somewhere else.

    1. Not a teacher but... says:

      How about asking for some respect TO the teachers FROM the children? Be careful of what you read in the media, it seems to be always leaning to the districts side of things.

      1. StateTheFacts says:

        @Not a teacher but…So true. Thank you! So many kids come in with lack of respect for each other AND authority. Then we see why when there’s a parent meeting. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree is the most relative saying. Yet we deal with it & other good kids suffer because we spend a lot of time dealing with the unruly kids when we should be teaching. Private schools don’t have to deal with this. If they’re unruly, they’re GONE!

  3. expittsburgh says:

    You say “they also pay taxes”. But your missing the point. I also am paying taxes AND my own insurance at a cost of 10 times what they aren’t willing to pay. And yes, there are some good teachers. And those teachers should also want the unions gone so that they can be compensated for performance…like the rest of us are faced with.

    1. pitt123 says:

      Sounds like you are a bit jealous. Gee I’m sorry…do government employees get compensated for performance? Do bank CEO’s get compensated for performance? Hmmm…last I checked I don’t believe that they do. Pretty sure they are still getting raises regardless of what is happening in the country. My advice for you is….if you don’t like your financial situation, then do something to change it. It’s easy to sit back and criticize.

      1. moe says:


        Yes maybe get back to school a year or so, and apply for one of the striking teachers jobs….sounds like a plan. So you are saying once we become teachers, we won’t have to worry about the quality of our work, because we would have protection from the union?

      2. Jim says:

        You must be a teacher?

    2. StateTheFacts says:

      Just because you have a bad situation as far as health insurance goes should not reflect on what others get, taxpayer funded or not. Most professionals have a very good package. Jealousy is a vice, not a virtue.

  4. expittsburgh says:

    Jealous? No, it’s called speaking of for the money that’s trying to be extorted from us. And please, you’re making me laugh…they’re too busy grading papers? Wow, didn’t realize they did that while they were striking.

    1. Clocks running says:

      But you have no problems with School districts dropping millions of dollars to upgrade sporting facilities?

      I see priorities are of no concern to you

      1. Jim says:

        Facilities are for the kids. Last time I checked school is for educating and molding our kids into productive adults not to make sure everybody’s buddy gets a teaching job where they can’t get fired and you need to be related to or know someone who is on the school board.

    2. StateTheFacts says:

      @expittsburgh – Enough with the “extortion” remarks. Inflammatory & counterproductive. No one said “while they were striking” either, so stop with the sarcastic, caustic remarks. Please add something meaningful to the dialogue here. For some reason you are extremely bitter & it serves no purpose.

      1. Mom of 4 in BP says:

        StateTheFacts, If you go to, the Board outlines exactly what they are asking the teachers to agree to with this contract. And I don’t want to hear that they are not being truthful, because if it wasn’t factual the union would be out there talking about it. Enough! The teachers in Bethel Park have a very tight contract. They do not do anything that isn’t “required” of them in that contract. They do not do after hours activities, they do not attend PTO meetings, except perhaps a select few, and they rarely pick up the phone to call and let you know if there is a problem with your child. and I know from experience. I asked teachers to please let me know if my child stop turning in work, and I was told that they can’t guarantee they can let me know more often than the required Edline post every 2 weeks. If they want salaries above and beyond what private sector jobs are getting, perhaps they should provide services above and beyond private sector. If the teachers had stood up and said, Hey we did vote to strike, but we are going to stay in the classroom during negotiations because we care about the kids, then people would be more supportive. Teachers, unlike public sector workers are paid with our tax money. They are absolutely ridiculous if they think that we are going to continue rewarding this behavior. Striking 6 times in 30 years is outrageous! They make wages higher than most teachers, and way higher than other states. They should be grateful to have such gainful employment and stop using our kids as pawns. When they walked out on our kids, they made it our business.

      2. StateTheFacts says:

        @ Mom of 4 in BP. It seems that the BP website states both sides agreed not to discuss details during negotiations but provided some info about negotiations prior to the strike. The SB wants 1/2 hour more per day PLUS 2 more days. That is the equivalent of 13 days more work over the course of a school year! 180 x 1/2 hr =90hrs + 16 hrs =106 hrs/8 hrs = 13.25

        On top of that they want the teachers to contribute 1.5-3% MORE toward health care ins., depending upon single or family plan. For a family that can be just under $2K INCREASE! On top of a 13 day increase in time worked, are you KIDDING ME?!!! Whatever YOUR situation, who in their right mind would accept that? And locked in for 5 years to boot! Wow! I’d be striking too!

  5. expittsburgh says:

    And most (nearly all?) of these posts are not bashing “teachers” or the profession. It’s a call-out to the union arrogance of expecting us, the tax payers, to provide better benefits than the private sector gets…at the expense of the private sector, while most of the private sector is worried about jobs, dealing with pay freezes/cuts and nearly 10% unemployment.

    1. Misery loves company says:

      Complain to the stockholders on Wall Street…. they are the reason for your lowered income– ever increasing demands on profitability. Insist your CEO take a paycut– not your neighbor. You have it backwards.

  6. Uppercase says:

    I have stepped inside classrooms and have seen first hand how some teachers treat students and it is appalling. If the teacher does not show respect for the student, how could they possibly be a good role model? There are professionals in all walks of life who work hard and sacrifice for their families. Teachers, however, somehow believe that they are “entitled” to be compensated by the rest of society.

    1. Pedro says:

      You are going to have jerks in every profession and as a teacher, trust me we hate those jerks too. Not all of us are like that. What do you do for a living? I bet you all suck because a few bad seeds make you all suck.

  7. expittsburgh says:

    In response to the comment that the teachers pay into their pension. Here’s an article talking about the fact that they certainly don’t contribute enough for the payout that they (most) receive.

    1. StateTheFacts says:

      @expittsburgh You MISREPRESENT what they article stated.It SAYS NOTHING about teachers not contributing enough for what they receive. It talks about surpluses before the crash of 2008, ALL state employees got a raised benefit in terms of the service multiplier (didn’t mention the exact benefit, but those of us in PSERS know that is what it was. It also didn’t mention the increased contribution rate -ours- from 5% to 7.5% along with that – but NO increase in employer contributions. That’s where the “time bomb” is. Then it talks about the jump in employer contris in 2013 IF they happen in order to make up for the shortfall). Seems to me it saya a lot of the surpluses went up in smoke from stock market losses. Bad investments by the state, not teacher unions. Add in the baby boomers…well there you go. More misrepresentations on you part, expittsburgh. What dulled your ax so much that you feel you have to grind & grind?

  8. Lori Smalls says:

    I am a high school teacher and I marvel at the hostility of Americans. Teachers on average make $45,000-$55,000 for 16-17 YEARS before reaching a salary of $65-75,000 per year. Your teachers that you hate so much are also your coaches, band directors, drama directors and so on.So after spending 7hours and 45 minutes teaching, they then move on to job #2. When your children win championships, scholarships, first place and so on, who do you think got them there? If you want babysitters, then pay a babysitter wage. If you want quality, then pay for it. Afterall, it wiil be the generation we are educating now who’ll pay YOUR social security. If you really want to make a difference– we need to insist that our government REDUCE mandates. We need to reduce people’s ability to SUE school districts, we need to STOP all the burdensome regulation. Hating teachers who daily invest in our children and our community is truly misguided. And if you think strikes are only about contributions to healthcare– you have no idea what you’re talking about. One last thing– how many of you choose the worst educated doctor? lawyer?financial planner? Why would anyone want to go into American education where the public villifies, attacks and demoralizes all their teachers all the time.

    1. Uppercase says:

      Teachers are not the only ones who move on to job number 2 at the end of the day. Again, we hear about your constant contributions to your chosen profession. Your contributions are no more or less important than the contributions of professionals in the private sector. The public is finally taking a stand and being heard after years of being held hostage by the PA teacher unions. This is what you categorize as vilification.

      1. StateTheFacts says:

        @Lori, well said. @Uppercase, no one said teachers were the only ones. Teacher unions haven’t held anyone hostage. Teacher unions don’t even have the full right to strike that others do. So you’re ant-union. Fine. Move on to something productive to discuss. Villification does no good.

    2. west PA says:

      Seems concerning to me that teachers take this issue on as an attack on them from an individual by individual standpoint. There are some really logical points to be made:
      1. The private sector hasn’t been able to compare to the negatiated contracts of the teachers union for years. It comes down to economics….not feelings or deserves. Sure teachers work hard. Let’s not pretend that they work harder than everyone else.
      2. If the teachers union would follow the private sector, then they’s agree to reduce their workforce dramatically, freeze their salaries, require them to contribute to their health care and loose their pension. Teachers union doesn’t seem to be dealing in reality. They’ve simply gotten away with it for practically two decades.

      Teachers need to understand that the money comes from somewhere, it isn’t fabricated out of the thin air. The well is drying up on available money.

      Do teachers perform a very important job, absolutely. Do they deserve to be paid fairly, certainly. Have a better wage, pension and health care package than anyone in the private sector? Is there a teacher out there that would agree that they do?

      1. anonymous says:

        Classrooms already have 20+ students in them. If we reduce the workforce dramatically we will have close to, if not more than, 30 children in a classroom. How is your child going to get a quality education with that many students in a class?

      2. west PA says:

        The point that I was hoping to make is that private sector employees deal with taking on two or more job responsibilities now more than ever. I’m not suggesting that we should reduce the teacher to child ratio. To achieve the “financial needs” of the teachers union, they should consider that option. It would be one of the real economic options. Not one that I would personally be in favor of.

        Didn’t teachers become teachers because of passion for education? That certainly ins’t what I am seeing on this post. In fact, some of the cmments made by a few teachers are reason to consider that maybe the children and the eductational system would be better off without those choice few that seem to feel they are saving the united states. All teachers on this post should find that co-worker and suggest they drive a cab for a living.

      3. Misery loves company says:

        “Loose” is like a loose cannon. “Lose” is what you’re suggesting for teacher’s pensions.

      4. west PA says:

        Thanks for the typing correction. You are absolutely correct regarding the “oo” I typed for lose.

      5. StateTheFacts says:

        @ me – StateTheFacts It is vilification, not villi, I know.

    3. Mom of 4 in BP says:

      Lori, You should teach here in Bethel Park, they make over $90K the last 15 yrs they work here. Anyone who makes that much money for 194 days of work should not walk off the job in this economy. It is definitely a case of bad timing to say the least, but they seem to do it every 5 yrs. People are getting tired of the striking every 5 yrs. If the job is that hard, and they are so poorly compensated, then they are welcome to look for employment elsewhere, just like those of us in the private sector. I know that there are hundreds of teachers willing to come in and work for what they have, and they could try a little more compassion for all the students and families that they are displacing due to this strike. We, the taxpayers, are tired of it. US Steel took pay cuts and no bonuses this year, social security has not increased in 2 years, Veterans Benefits have not increased. The Teacher’s Union needs to open their eyes to the current economic conditions. They are not entitled to everything they want just because they are teachers. Yes, we have some great teachers, and i wish they could be compensated based on performance, not just because they can stick with the job and not do anything to get fired. They are completely protected by the Union, but no one is representing the kids. We have every right to speak up for our children, and for where our tax money is going.

      1. StateTheFacts says:

        @Mom of 4 in BP. You directed us to the BP school board link. What did I see? Not the LATEST negotiations update…but I did see a lot of accolades posted by the district regarding the school district. It seems you must be getting your money’s worth from the teachers according to what I read.

  9. als says:

    Lori- you took the words out of my mouth! I was about to post a very similar comment when I saw this. Thanks- I totally agree. Except I was going to add that a lot of teachers start at $30,000/yr- and have to supplement their income with a second job so that they can pay for student loans and the 24 graduate credits they need to maintain their teaching certificate! Unions do a lot more than what you see when there is a teacher’s strike! They are there to make sure teachers aren’t used and abused more than they already are. Without unions our teachers would be burnt out, unhappy, and unprepared for what comes through the classroom door each day.

  10. pitt123 says:

    Very well said Lori. Please know that some people do respect teachers and the work that they do.

  11. intelligent from BP despite the strikes says:

    Aawww, boo hoo Bethel Park teachers. You aren’t getting your way so you decide to do the only thing you know how to – strike. Won’t be too long before a teacher is throwing himself across the hood of a carload of students crossing the picket line to go to football practice.
    I lived through 3 of your lengthy strikes and feel no sympathy for you when you can’t look around you and see the reality of this economy. I’m not getting a raise this year, many people I know are not. So what gives you the sense of entitlement to say you deserve it? We all deserve it if we go to work and do our job respectably day in and day out. It’s not a commentary on how hard your job may or may not be. It’s a budgetary and realistic expectation issue. There’s no more budget and you are completely unrealistic in refusing to believe it.
    I deserve a nice week away in Hawaii, but realistically it is not in the budget. Regular people make do with what is in the budget. You all seem to think you’re not regular people and do not have to stick to a budget. And this is the reason we can expect a teacher’s strike in Bethel Park like clockwork.
    Keepin’ it classy, Bethel Park teachers. We’re so proud.

    1. Pedro says:

      Wow someone is suffering from small pp syndrome. You need to grow up and start showing some respect for the people that hold our countries future in their hands. If they fail to educate then our country is doomed. If they don’t have your support or respect then why should they care.

      1. Intelligent fron BP despite the strikes says:

        wow – you’re pretty hostile – must be a BP teacher.
        People need to earn respect, not expect it.

      2. west PA says:

        Sounds like you must be highly un-educated Pedro. I have to say that if the fate of the United State future is in your hands… may already be doomed. I’m not sure how anyone can have respect for a teacher that is going out of theiir way to inflame others in the private sector. Teachers are important. I’m sorry to tell you that “you” aren’t carrying the weight of the United States future on “your” shoulders.

    2. Weary of the "strike" in Bethel Park says:

      This whole ordeal is harming the children who have no recourse. At this point, it appears as though the union, not the individual teachers, has painted themselves into a corner that they can not get out of. If there is a strike everytime the contracts expire, maybe the wrong people are bargaining. I do not understand how this one group of teachers is involved with the AFL-CIO, a laborers union when there is the NEA, or educators union. When I was a child, my father was a Union worker and strikes meant no pay for no work. As I understand it, the teachers continue to receive their regular pay while “on strike” and will receive retroactive pay for the time they were on strike if and when a decision is made.

      The union in this instance appears to have cried wolf one to many times and the community is tired and reeling from the economy. I do not believe that the working conditions and benefits are so poor that a strike is warranted 6 times in 30 years. Everyone needs to step back a pace, and come to the table with honest intentions to secure fair benefits for a fair day’s work.

  12. Sharon says:

    First, let me state that both my husband and I have Master’s degrees so we know the value of education. Our school district’s teachers are well paid – this information is publicly available, so I am not “making anything up.” Additionally, the teachers have over 2 months off in the summer to supplement their income, or take vacations, or just sit around the pool as I see so many of them doing. I don’t know of ANY other profession which has this option. I truly appreciate the majoity of our teachers but my son comes home early one day a week so that the teachers can hold a weekly meeting. What other profession doesn’t put in extra hours? My husband works out of town, usually puts in a 10-12+ day, prepares for meetings on the weekends, plus has over 16 hours a week in travel time (more with the usual airline delays) in order to maintain his job. He also has had to cut employees, and make a huge amount of sacrifices in order for his company to remain in business. Just because someone does a valuable job doesn’t necessarily equate to perks that no one else seems to be getting. And did I mention that we pay a huge amount per month for health insurance for a family of 4 and if I have to go to the emergency room there is a $250 co-pay? Med-Express has a $150 co-pay. Teachers need to realize what the rest of society is paying – I don’t like it either but that’s the way it is!!!
    By the way, our average school administrator makes over $80,000. If I were a teacher, I would be interested in how that’s justified!

    1. teach178 says:

      If teachers are so well paid & your health insurance sucks, then you need to get a teaching job for the better health insurance at the very least. Otherwise you’re not doing right by your family. There’s that “no one else seems to get” again…where the HELL do yinz get all your information? I don’t believe you can prove that “the rest of society” is in the same boat you are. Teachers aren’t the only professionals with these types of benefits…unless you’re privy to a survey the rest of us know nothing about.

      1. PGHCHICK says:

        Yinz-now that’s an educated word. Hope you’re not teaching my children.
        Others who carry “these types of benefits” are not supported by taxypayer money,so who cares?

      2. Jim says:

        You need to be related to someone to get a job at PA school. Typical union stuff. By the way I know what unions are like, my father and grandfather were union reps.

      3. Teach178 says:

        @PGHCHICK Yinz was a literary device used to make a point. I never say it & can’t stand to hear some of these people with heavy “Pittsburghese” accents say it, along with “I seen” “n’at”. Do you have something to add to the discussion or are you just here for the sport of teacher bashing?

  13. Rael Aerosol says:

    Don’t you all just love how teachers constantly remind us that they are the only ones in the world that have tough jobs?
    Sorry, but I find it insulting when teachers feel the need to tell me that their chosen career is somehow more important than any other career. I also find it insulting to think that they believe that they deserve unaffordable and unearned raises when many of us work (year-round) for companies that currently cannot afford to give raises.
    Teachers need to wake up and look outside into the real world for once and see that the rest of us are struggling just as they are. Also, it’s not as if their salaries suddenly took a nose dive AFTER they chose their career path. They knew exactly what they were getting into. If they were/are so concerned about money and paying student loans (oh, which, btw, alot of us non-teachers also have) then they should have picked a different career path.
    I’m also tired of hearing how teachers are the only ones that apparently have work to do once they go home at night. I guess non of us non-teachers have jobs that require after hours work, middle of the night phone calls, middle of the night drives back into work to fix problems, weekend work tasks that we get called in for and of course calls during our vacations too (all of which most teachers would whine and file yet another money wasting grievance if it occurred).
    So please teachers, quit your whining. Times are tough for all of us. Alot of us think we should make more than we do. You are not special.

    1. Intelligent from BP despite the strikes says:

      Sooooo true. Some teachers believe they have the toughest job out there. How about nurses? No weekends, no holidays guaranteed off. Now there’s a group who deserves more pay. (I am not a nurse btw).

      1. Anonymous says:

        Nurses chose their profession just like teachers did. Nurses knew going in they would not have guaranteed weekends or holidays. That is why I chose not to become a nurse. While I am not a striking teacher, I am a teacher none the less and I chose to be one not for the money and not for the summers off, but to change the life of a child. Try our job for a week before you complain about our attitudes.

    2. Teach178 says:

      No, we do not claim to have the toughest job. Yes, we chose our career paths & some did take a nose dive.. Most of us did NOT, however, see the vicious, vindictive, pointless, baseless accusations against the fair compensation for our services. If education was funded without taxes then 90% of the bile towards teachers would go away. I’m very tired of hearing/seeing posts about the “real world” as if we’re somehow detached. The problem is that education doesn’t fit a business model as so many feel it does. Therefore your comments seem juvenile, naive, & assinine.

      1. Uppercase says:

        You may be tired about seeing posts about the “real world,” but your comments only further confirms teachers’ detachment and inability to see any point of view other than their own when you use words such as “juvenile, naive, assine” which point directly back at yourself.

      2. Bucky Cashdollar says:

        The problem with education is that there is no choice; you live in a district you go to that district’s public school, unless you are fortunate enough to have the funds to send you children to a private scool. Let’s open up education to a little healthy competition, let’s give all parents an education voucher so they can send their children to whatever scool they choose. I know you union protected public school teachers will flame me for this comment because you all know none of us would choose you over a better, more accountable teacher in the private sector. Face it teachers, unless you really suck at your job you can’t be fired. As long as you uphold the minimum standards you are safe. If parents had a choice of a public school education vs. a higher quality private education where do you think the money would go? That’s how the real world works, if my company sucks people will find better service elsewhere. If my prices are too high, customers will find better prices elsewhere.

    3. Think before you speak says:

      If times are so tough for school districts and they dont want to pay teachers, why are many school districts putting millions of dollars into their athletic facilities?

    4. Teach178 says:

      Where in this thread did anyone claim that teachers have the toughest jobs?

  14. Top says:

    Born 1950, I was taught respect by my parents and if I behaved badly it was dealt with on the spot or soon after I got home. I can tell you it didn’t happen again.
    My point is that teachers now are the parents in many cases. Being a parent to teenagers and young adults and guiding them down the right path is worth alot more than they are making. The teachers deserve whatever they make.

  15. respectful too says:

    Born 1968, same here re: respect and dealing with it at home. But why do teachers act like their job is SO tough they deserve a raise? I have sympathy for some of the things they deal with, but really…the toughest job? I think not.
    I’m a manager for a non profit who works with grown adults all day long. Some of them act like the worst behaved children ever. Do I DEMAND a raise? When I get one (and it has been a while), I am thankful and appreciate it rather than act like an obnoxious entitled tween waiting for the next contract dispute.

  16. Scott says:

    Here is the thing I don’t get. If you are upset about your salary and how much you contribute to your health care, then is that not an issue that you need to take up with your employer? I’m guessing that many of you are not lucky enough to belong to a union or to have any way to fight for your rights as workers including your own economic fair treatment, and that is sad really. Employers mistreat employees when they know that those employees are powerless. Perhaps instead of getting so enraged about what teachers make and get benefits wise you should find ways to advocate for yourself. The point is that most workers deserve better pay and benefits, not that teachers deserve less.

    1. Rael Aerosol says:

      Sorry Scott, but why would I want to pay an extortionist for the ‘right to work’ for a company? Why should I have to pay hard earned money to a Union Boss? And why should my hard earned money be given to a Union who most likely will use part of it to pay off politicians that I don’t support?

      People who need a Union are people who can EASILY be replaced. The auto, steel and tire industries proved this years ago. If these teachers were fired today (as they should be) there would be plenty of people willing to take their place.

      Us non-union people like the fact that we get paid based on our performance so that lazy co-workers don’t get paid the same as performing workers. We also like the fact that it’s easy to get rid of non-performing workers in order to keep our companies profitable.

      I have more pride knowing that I’m with my company because they see me as a performing worker and not as a member of a group of extortionists. The US just needs to wake up and realize that unions are what hinders schools from getting better.

      Sure, most workers deserve more, but private companies don’t have the option of extorting their cities when they don’t bring in enough profits to cover possible raises for DESERVING employees. Schools should work the same way, bring in more revenue by attracting more people to the community or else.

    2. Jim says:

      How about we replace all the teachers. You guys are not irreplaceable. Not sure if you are aware, but their are at least 8 major schools in the western PA that produce more qualified teachers every year. Teaching is in the Pennsylvania is the only place where competition does not set the wages. At least 500 and some times 1000 resumes for every opening…. why? Because of all the college and universities spitting out teachers.

      1. StateTheFacts says:

        @Jim This is why there are contracts, steps, tenure, etc. Jim would throw kids under the bus by sacrificing experience & know-how for the almighty tax $. Believe it or not, teachers do get better with age & experience. We mentor the younger teachers. Many of the teacher bashers on this comment board speak from their experiences as a student 10, 20, 30 years ago. You were juveniles, you saw only one side – a side you tended to dislike because you were made to work. Therefore I believe this is why so many comments bashing teachers here are quite juvenile. Some of you harassed teachers when you were in school & made learning for the others more difficult. Yet your teachers soldiered on trying to better your life & all the others in the room. They made a difference despite the obstacles.

  17. FedUp says:


  18. calstudent says:

    Teachers fail to educate when all they care about is themselves and that is all a strike shows..It does nothing for the KIDS who have to deal with the fallout of a strike. as a future teacher I understand that putting kids before ME is my job. It drives me crazy that these selfish people are sitting here on picket lines begging for more money when there are people in our military making half as much and still put themselves in danger for us, Yes teachers have tough jobs but if your a good enough teacher you deal.

    1. anonymous says:

      In 5-7 years when you have been teaching for a few years I would like to see if you still feel the same way.

  19. My Turn says:

    I don’t hear teachers claiming to have the “toughest” jobs. It’s just useless to compare education to the corporate world. The two are completely different. The importance of educating young people is just obvious. That’s not bragging or taking away from what anyone else decides to pursue as a career, Has anyone considered the responsibility of the local school boards for these strikes? Teachers know that we are in tough economic times, and that sacrifices will be made. I know many of you don’t want to believe this, but it is true. One more thing. Since both sides of our two local districts on strike have agreed to keep negotiations private, nobody really knows the details. Negotiations always start with each side proposing their ideal. Then, they negotiate and hopefully meet somewhere in the middle. It seems to me that people are just making up a lot of arguments about teacher “demands” that are not based in reality.

  20. j says:

    Teachers provide a valuable service, however, they forget that they work for the residents of any given community. As such, that community has a right to set their salary, and if they don’t like it, they are free to look for employment elsewhere.

    There is no other job that I know of where union employees attain tenure and can never be fired, no matter how terrible they are, and can strike without consequence. Hey, they go on strike, and at the end of the year, they make up the time and still get paid for it.

    I can say that I am a little sick of having to teach my children core subjects like math, after having an in depth probe of where their deficiencies lie, and then start at that level. My kids are “A” students, but I am not impressed with the education they are getting.

    Teachers live in a world unlike that of the majority of the educated work force. They attend high school, college, and then go right back into the school system as a union employee, counting the years until tenure. They don’t have to contend with the same issues that other professional workers do, pertaining to raises, layoffs, etc.

    Personally, I’ve had enough. IF the parents of the Moon students can hold strong, I commend the school board for their stand. Teachers leverage the impact their strike will have on the students. Let them find more suitable employment elsewhere…

  21. WOW says:

    WOW, how about everyone put in the time, patience and guidance into their children instead of typing all this wasted “opinion?”

    BE THERE for your children, BE there PARENTS…get off the computer and GET TO WORK!!!!

  22. Moon Parent says:

    Megan – and others who say teachers don’t get paid enough. You should come to Moon. They start at 45K with NO experience. They turned down a nearly 3% raise for 1 year because they didn’t want to have to ‘start over’ with their negotiations. Many of them say how they don’t want to be on strike. Well then why not accept a standard raise and get the children back in class?

    1. Teach178 says:

      Do you think $45,000 is reasonable for a job with as many education requirements & testing requirements that teachers must pass is somehow “good”? After $50,000-$80,000 college education/debt? “No experience”? What do you call student teaching & in most cases a few years of subbing? Or will you rip on that to in order to make a baseless point?

      1. Moon Parent says:

        My point was that a number of people on here say teachers don’t get paid enough. 45K with no experience is pretty darn good if you ask me. And yes – I do not count student teaching as it is a requirement to get your degree – just as my degree required an internship. These teachers I am referring to are straight out of college, and in fact one of them took 4 times to pass her testing requirements, but she got her job because of nepotism. I also think over 90K to teach TYPEWRITING for 9 months out of the year is a bit much. Also nearly 65K for teaching 1/2 day Kindergarten (only morning) is a bit crazy. Especially when daycare workers – some of which I know personally who have college educations but can only sub because of the market and tenure at schools – are lucky to make 20K a year.

    2. StateTheFacts says:

      @Moon Parent Let’s say that what you have stated is true. Would YOU want to go through this again? You & several others here want teachers to be altruistic, yet you don’t hesitate to criticize ad nauseum – some with very hate-filled comments. Stop the bashing, get the facts straight, & please, $45,000 is not great for a professional even at 1st year. I know many former students starting out much higher in professions other than teaching. Compare apples to apples & yes I’m talking the Pittsburgh market. The state median income is $49,829 (US Census, 2009). That includes ALL jobs, not just teachers. Be reasonable in your comparisons, please.

      1. StateTheFacts says:

        @ Moon Parent It’s 10 months, not 9 & Kindergarten teachers do the morning & afternoon sessions. A full, not 1/2 day. If you think teaching Kindergarten is so easy, then follow the old adage. Do it yourself! By looking at all of your posts I’d say you have a vendetta against a teacher or 2. Is that true?

  23. Tim says:

    Okay, people who are defending these people are clearly out of touch or are teachers themselves. My best friend, sister, and cousin are teachers, so I have a clue about what I am talking about.

    Not only did teachers have it easy in college, (they did, often times there HW was coloring, not joking) they get three months off. Then once they teach for 3 years, they get tenure, meaning it becomes extremely difficult to get fired. So my buddy has been teaching at a school for two years now, by the time he is 25 he will have tenure and will never have to worry about losing his job. His HC is great and he gets paid over 40 a year and has the summer off.

    My sister works at a private school, she doesn’t make much and has to work weekends and the summer to get by. However, I can guarantee her school’s students will outperform students from BP and Moon.

    My cousin makes pretty good money and also has 3 months off and won’t have to worry about losing her job.

    All 3 of these people got a ‘discount’ on their student loans just b/c they are teachers. I make less than my cousin and best friend but I have to pay back my student loan in full. Teachers don’t have it as bad as they used to, they have to get back to work and join the real world.

    1. T says:

      You just sounf stupid

    2. T says:

      You just sound stupid

  24. CRB says:

    I worked for 25+ years in banking, was one step below an AVP, and never made more than $40,000(retired in 2002). Our local teachers here just signed a 5 year contract, with a 4.5% increase per year. I should have been a teacher(like my parents were) before teacher salaries became exorbitant! What amazes me most is how little teachers pay towards health coverage. In 2011, my wife and I will pay $5,688(Medicare and Medigap insurance). Show me a teacher that pays anything close to that. Nine months work plus most have summer incomes, etc., etc., etc. Plus in PA they have the right to strike and their pensions also include tax monies which will throw PA even further in debt than it is now. Something has to give!

    1. Teach178 says:

      You didn’t have to get the level of education we have to get – bachelors (4 years@$21,000 per year at Pitt =minimum $84,000, plus 24 more credit once teaching begins, plus 6 credits worth of continuing ed every 5 years), the minimum amount towards health care makes up for the low pay, it’s not 9 months, get your facts straight – 2 months & 1 week, not by choice & money is held back to pay us during summer in order to avoid unemployment claims as in other seasonal jobs. Our “summers off are times we’re unemployed & MUST work extra to make up for the low pay. I’ve been teaching for 24 years now & am only at $54,000. Yeah, right, we’re overpaid. Come into a classroom for just a week & your eyes will be opened to the reality of a teacher’s world. I love my jobs but hate these whining, uninformed taxpayer comments.

      1. Moon Parent says:

        24 years experience – if you were in Moon you’d be over 90K. It all depends on your district and Moon does not think they get enough. I’ve been told by a number of teachers themselves that they are looking for a 7-8% raise – EACH YEAR.

      2. taxpayer Bob says:

        The teachers complain because they feel the tax payers don’t want to compensate them properly. Good teachers deserve good pay but those that are inferior should be fired from the public payroll. If all these teachers are so good, why do they need a union? The answer to that is a union has to protect all members regardless of how good or bad each one may be. The good teachers don’t need a union. but they won’t complain. so the unions are in a win win situation. If your so good Teach178, why do you personally need a union?

      3. Gina says:

        Why don’t you quit teaching and do something else then?
        Oh,yeah,because you would have to pay more for your own health care.
        A WHINING,UNINFORMED TAXPAYER—-who pays for YOUR healthcare.

  25. Learn Something says:

    Keep two things in mind:
    1) Individual teachers do not get to choose when to strike, or what items to ask for in contract terms.
    2) Teachers on strike do not get paid while on strike, yet their work year is extended.

    1. Frustrated mom says:

      they will get paid for their full work year when they go back to work…they may go without pay during their strike, but they will still make up those days and get a paycheck…it’s not like a strike affects their yearly salary.

  26. Disappointed says:

    Teachers you can strike all you want to fight for what you feel you are entitled to, but nothing excuses the way these kids are being treated. When they are finally back in the classroom you will have to start from square one, deal with a loss of respect and face unmotivated students. Your PSSA scores will reflect all of this too, so I wouldn’t be so sure to make AYP this year. I work for a school district (not as a teacher) and the teachers in BP are being offered a pretty nice deal in regards to salary and benefits…teach in the city for a year and you’ll run screaming back to what you now have and are being offered. If you truly got into teaching for the good of the students then get back to teaching them and do your negotiating on someone else’s time.

    1. Teach178 says:

      No, not square one. If there’s a loss of respect, then it’s due to misinformation. No one but the 2 negotiating teams know exactly what is in any offer. Many students have been unmovitivated preceding the strike. Parents let them on Facebook, Xbox, cell phones, sports, jobs, hanging out on streets, etc far too much in all school districts.

      1. Moe says:

        Teach178….If you were worth your salt, you would be able to motivate your students. Maybe while you are striking you can come up with some innovative ideas on how to be an inspirational, motivating teacher.

        Do you not realize that other educated professionals have spent as much, or more as you have on education. I have to maintain an expensive medical license, malpractice insurance, and pay for continuing education credits.
        And like you after about 25 yrs of service I make about $2,000 more a yr than you

        I’ll come to your class room. and you come to my ICU, and we will see where the greatest stress occurs.

        Most everyone has stress at their job, and are required additional education or training to keep their skills sharp. Yet, most have had their wages frozen, and are paying exoribant amts for their healthcare

        You sound like a spoiled, whinny brat. Not a good role model for our youth.

        Getv a grip, and look outside or you own bubble!!!

  27. Learn Something says:

    You are wrong! If you don’t know something, don’t speak about it. Lost salary is that LOST!

    1. Rael Aerosol says:

      @Learn Something: No, you are wrong, teachers go without pay during the strike but THEY DO get the money back after they return. The Penn Hills teachers had 2 lost paychecks during their strike in February and the money was added back into their paychecks once they returned.

      1. Teach178 says:

        Because they work the days by law no matter what.

  28. Oakland Johnny says:

    I say if they (the teachers strike) fire them and hire new people.All we do is pay high school taxes and as far as I feel we are not getting are moneys worth.Come to think of it I may get some more education and become a over/paid teacher

    1. Teach178 says:

      Forget about it, Johnny. You can’t even put together a grammatically correct 2 1/2 sentence post. “Moneys worth”? “a over/paid teacher”? You should’ve been a little more attentive in English class to get “your money’s worth”.

      1. Oakland Johnny says:

        I am thrilled that you read my comment and liked my verbage !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now that we have addressed that and the fact that I feel that teachers are over paid .what else can you offer for the POOR property owners that have to bear the cost !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. Teach178 says:

        Yes Johnny, I read it. It seems that you think all property owners are poor as well. But you must pay for what you get. It’s the capitalist system, sir. The districts that pay well get the best & reap the benefits. I know Mt. Lebanon residents personally & they complain a lot about the taxes, but… they choose to stay & so many more are moving in, even in today’s economy. I wonder why?

  29. Confused says:

    Who decides when the negotiating session take place? I see that the Moon teachers/district seem to negotiate every day whereas BP wait at least 5 days in between sessions. Wouldn’t it make sense to meet every day to hammer it out that much sooner?

  30. BPRES says:

    Go on to and download the teacher salaries for BP and tell me that they are underpaid. How many are making 90k or above (over 100) and how many are due to make that much in the near future ? Combine that with the low cost health insurance and they are living the good life.

    This is also a joke from the teachers web site ( :

    “We know, too, that students learn best in classrooms with highly-qualified teachers. The Bethel Park Federation of Teachers stands united for a fair and quick resolution to the current difficult negotiations, so we can get back to school and back to work. Please stand with us as we strive towards this goal.
    We are standing tall for quality public schools. We are standing tall for Bethel Park’s children because they deserve the best future we can deliver.”

    Yeah, you’ll deliver a quality education after you get what you want from the district and the taxpayers. Until then you’ll whine like first graders about your salary and benefits.

    1. Teach178 says:

      And you’ll whine about paying taxes no matter what.

  31. Lynnette says:

    The problem isn’t the teachers or their contracts, it is the school boards. They really skirt any responsibilities, letting the parents & teachers look like the problems. These board members are elected, few probably are truly qualified, few voters probably pay attention to their credentials. Many just use neighborhood ties to get elected. Yet, they really pull the strings. It is so much easier for them to just raise taxes, give raises, etc. because there is little anyone can do to them once they are in. Communities need to wise up & see what the board intends to do once elected. They make bad decisions, wreak havoc for the schools, students, parents & communities, & little is done. How many stories have we seen of meetings where the audience is reeling against the school board, but someone elected them. Pay attention to them before they are elected.

  32. Gabriel M says:

    When we have mandatory teacher testing every 2 years, a minimum IQ requirement of at least 115, mandatory “real job” experience (yes real job experience with the big boys and girls), no more than one of the stupid person stories per class/per semester (my kid clogged my toilet/my hubby burned the stakes/my sister is an alcoholic/my neighbor broke my window/I bought the best shoes at Macy’s/George Bush is an idiot -just a sample of some of the “teaching” my children have endured (usually taking at least 3/4 of the class time)). If this rediculous “public education” system should survive we need real oversight by nonteachers. Oh hell, get rid of the damn public schools and let parents send their kids to schools where the teachers want to teach, where the schools maintain ongoing standards, and where the kids will actually learn something!!!

    1. Teach178 says:

      And you were there to record that it took 3/4 of the class time? And this is all the time? You want minimum IQ requirements & then spell it “rediculous public education system”? Too funny!!!

  33. Mr Hop says:

    Will someone please publish the real info about this strike? Why are you attacking our teachers?

  34. Gabriel M says:

    TEACH178 – Seriously? SERIOUSLY? You think your doing your cause any good? I am going to go to bed praying tonight that you are not one of my children’s teachers. Oh dear God! You truly give truth to the disgust felt by so many parents. BTW your caustic one liners and dismissive tone toward parents is proof enough that you are one of the by products of the public school system. And if you ever do get back to work – keep your assinine stories about how cold it was standing on the picket line and how much you all really wanted to be teaching instead – to yourself/s. I heard all that from my children the last time you went on strike. SICK OF IT!!!

    1. Teach178 says:

      Hey Gabriel, get your facts straight. I have no stories “about how cold it was standing on the picket line and how much you all really wanted to be teaching instead” because I’m not on strike. I’m responding to the whiners & haters such as yourself to get your facts right. Apparently you don’t like my “caustic one liners” because they hit too close to home for you. And what in the HELL could you be so appalled by in any of my posts? SERIOUSLY! Seriously? Like it or not, we really would rather be teaching. We’re willing to fight for what is right & until you know the facts & realities of what is involved, you reaaly should remain silent. Many of the posters here wish they could fight but gave up on unions long ago. Now they’re sorry – and jealous.

      1. oakland Johnny says:

        You need to spend about a year in the trenches getting shot at like some of us did. I say fire them all . I offer no support for the teachers

      2. Moe says:

        Gooooo Johnny Oakland! Teach178, is probably too whimpy and whinny to have fought for our country. He/she was probably a bully in school, and got into teaching so he can bully students.

        Now he is an online adult bully.

        He talks about Mt Lebanon, knowing the quality of the education there, but he would never be hired there.

  35. Just Sayin' says:

    Hey “Anonyous:” You say you’re a teacher? Please tell me where so I don’t send my kids to a school to be “educated” by a teacher who spells it “none the less” instead of “nonetheless.”

    1. Teach178 says:

      @Moe Very immature posts. Feel better about yourself? YOU are what’s wrong with education…having to deal with kids like you distracts from the learning of the rest of the students. Grow up! Didn’t you say you’re in the medical field? That’s scary!

  36. Susan Mahoney says:

    Why does everyone assume that the issues are money issues? Why does everyone assume that ALL teachers get paid the highest levels? Why does everyone assume that the teachers like being on the picket line? Why do we never see the teachers side of this on KDKA? Why do people move to Bethel Park to get the best teachers then complain when they go on strike? I could go on and on, but everyone seems to have all the answers even though all they have done is assume……

  37. T says:

    Let’s put things into perspective, Yes there are some bad teachers and then there are teachers who really do care about giving your child a good education. My company did not give a pay raise in the past two years but I am lucky to have a job. If you are not happy paying your property tax (School Tax) then don’t, send your child or children 2,3,4, or more of them to a private school it will only cost you at most $3,000 per child, most of you people complaining pay around $2,500 in property tax a year if that. Look at it htis way, if you pay $3,000 a year you are paying $400 a month for 10 months 7 hours a day. Try paying for child care $400 a month with an education for your child, I forgot you need to clean and remove your snow, light and pave your own streets yourself also, that’s what you get when you pay tax’s also and not just a teachers pay, see how much that will cost you. I am not a teacher or township worker.
    Some of us do not have it as good as others but remeber you can do something about what you don’t have. Stop complaining about what people have and get it yourself. Other people don’t owe you anything.

  38. seeingred says:

    It used to be that teachers and others who decided to work in the public sector did so with the knowledge that they would receive less than those in the private sector. The trade-off was job security and a guaranteed pension. That is no longer the case. Now, they get the best of both worlds.
    The issue is not whether or not teachers are worth more. The issue is whether or not we can afford it. The answer is “NO”.
    If Ford would suddenly decide to pay all of their assembly line people $200K per year, they would have to get $60,000 for a new mid-size car to cover the cost. If that happened, most people could (and definitely would) go to one of their competitors’ dealerships and by a similar and possibly superior model for about $25,000. Nobody has that option as far as the schools are concerned. That cost is confiscated from our paychecks and….guess what? Even if you want to send your child to a competing private school you are still on the hook!
    Open schools up to the free market and then pay the teachers whatever you believe is appropriate.

    1. Teach178 says:

      On the other hand if a plumber comes to your house & charges $500 to fix you leaky pipes, clogged toilet, etc. do you tell him you won’t pay because you can’t afford it? I agree with the part about still having to pay for private school. Teachers don’t control that, lawmakers do. On the other hand, not all people could afford educating their kids in the free market. The system we have, problems & all, at least affords all the opportunity. Fix it, but don’t excoriate teachers just because we’re paid from tax money. We do the work & deserve the pay in a capitalist system.

  39. seeingred says:

    I can shop around for a plumber who will do the job for a price I can afford. Also, if you do not feel that you are adequately paid as a teacher, you are certainly free to pursue opportunities in the private sector.

    1. Teach178 says:

      You will get what you pay for – more leaky pipes. You avoided the point because I didn’t use an endless post to lay out the scenario. No one was less than $500. Respond to that & stick to the point.

  40. Chris says:

    seeingred nailed it: the plumber analogy is way off, because you have more choice. You can express your dissatisfaction by not paying that particular plumber. The only way to be heard when it comes to teachers is to do exactly what this article describes — speak out against it. That and vote for people who might reform the system.

    Also, saying “we deserve the pay” in no way demonstrates that you, in fact, deserve the pay. Seeing as how the entire debate is about whether or not that’s true, I’m not sure why you think it’d be persuasive to simply insist that you do.

    We’re seeing a ton of logical fallacies here, which would be disturbing enough if a lot of them weren’t coming from the same people teaching our children. Good grief.

  41. How do you live?! says:

    Teachers only make 40-50K a year? WHAT?! OH NO! HOW HORRIBLE! AAAAHHHHHHH! How do they live on such a paltry salary?! Oh my goodness, I think I’d drink bleach if I ONLY made 40-50K a year!

    Or I could just be grateful that I pulled in a middle class salary myself. These very educated teachers have taken sociology, am I correct? Can they get a clear perspective on how lucky they are to have what they have?

    1. Teach178 says:

      You think $40-50K is great? The PA state median income in 2000 (US Census) was $40K & in 2010 that’s great for a job in which a college education can cost $80K at a good university? You do want the best, right? Try posting something a little less juvenile, please!

    2. Teach178 says:

      @How do you live?! We’re not lucky. We’ve earned it. We earned our degrees, we’ve earned respect for what we do & how we do it, & we deserve the pay. If you don’t like the taxes, then move somewhere else. We didn’t create the way the system is funded. Stop the bashing & post something meaningful, please.

  42. Ms. Italian Queen says:

    My husband is a teacher…special education teacher, as well as Math and Science, Highly Qualified teacher Status.
    He has his Master’s Degree and he barley makes 46K a year.
    His pay raise next year will be eaten up by his healthcare cost increase – so no
    income raise next year.
    I wish he made 80k and with his credentials he should…too bad Bethel is too far away from us.

    He comes home every night and spends his time making up
    lessons and papers for his students, which takes away from us having time
    together as a family.

    1. seeingred says:

      MS Italian Queen – I work in the banking industry. I have a master’s degree and 15 years’ experience. I make about $60K with bonus. That is a private sector management level job. I live OK on that salary in Pittsburgh. That is just part of the economy of this area.

      My brother is a high school math teacher in the area. He is very intelligent and he could definitely make more money somewhere else, but he is doing what he enjoys and he understands the limitations of his profession salary-wise. He has told me that the biggest union agitators at his school are the least competent teachers among them.
      I don’t know how long your husband has been teaching, but when he reaches top scale (I think it’s usually about 15 years) he will be making more money than me for sure.

      1. Teach178 says:

        Dude, you have nothing like what we deal with on a regular basis. Our liability for the responsibility of the safety & welfare of our students alone exceeds your risk of being robbed. There are school assaults, threats, & unfortunately shootings long before Columbine. We have to be trained & prepared for it all. Let’s not even get into the social ills we must deal with. Get a grip on reality, people! Top of the scale here is 17 & most places I know of.

      2. StateTheFacts says:

        @seeinred – I often wonder how everyone knows how everyone does at their job when they don’t see it for themselves. How do you know what I actually do, how do I know what you actually do, etc? How does your brother know what the “union agitators” actually do in their classrooms? How does he know they’re the “least competent”? Why shouldn’t Ms Italian Queen’s husband make more than you? Why should anyone be jealous of anyone else. Jealousy is not a virtue.

  43. Killer Bees says:

    School Board stay strong! Don’t cave into the whimsical demands of these small minded union wannabes. Let them come back in December and hope the incoming legislature has the fortitude to outlaw teacher strikes, once and for all. Too bad someone can’t do what the greatest president did to the air traffic controllers!

  44. Toby says:

    I have a PhD and I can’t imagine working for $96k with a lucrative pension and a minimal contribution to health care. If a private sector workforce goes on strike, they lose money, while teachers who strike are guaranteed 180 days and no loss of pay. More to the point is the fact that teachers are accountable to no one! Under performers in the private sector get fired. Substandard teachers get raises! Pennsylvania has some of the highest property tax rates in the nation and its all due to public school teachers and their monopoly unions. Competition is the key to reforming this process, and Pennsylvania needs to wake up to this fact.

    1. Teach178 says:

      Lucrative pension? We pay for it & have no choice. Get the facts, Jack! Guaranteed pay because we have to work the days no matter what. Strike now, work later into the year. That’s why strikes are a very weak tool nowadays. There are no free days in our 180, moron! I doubt that you have a PHD. Teachers accountable to no one? Where do some of you get such drivel? We get evaluated yearly & can be fired even with tenure. Get your facts straight! Go back to school & get it right this time!

      1. Jim says:

        What relative got you your job Teach178?

      2. Teach178 says:

        No relative, Jim. More ASSumptions & criticism istead of staying on point. Do you feel better having posted that? I know, I’m just being cranky & defensive. Sorry.

    2. StateTheFacts says:

      Lucrative pension, how so? WE PAY LARGE SUMS OF OUR OWN INTO IT! It’s our $ with a certain contri by school districts, but no more than most professionals get from their employers. We can’t borrow against it like others can, but yes we don’t lose value like 401Ks. Why should you be against someone with a good pension? Why the jealousy?

      We go longer in the year to get the 180 days. 180 is 180. No more pay, no less. No freebies. The private sector has the right to strike longer & yes, lose pay. How can you say there are substandard teachers? Why did administators & school boards hire them & keep them past 3 years if they were substandard? There are NUMEROUS evaluations of teachers, especially in the 1st 3 years. If they are rated “unsatisfactory” 2 years in a row they’re gone, tenured or not. It is not impossible to fire a tenured teacher. Many are forced to resign & it doesn’t show up in a statistic. 2 this year at the HS in my district. Tenured, resigned. Please GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!

  45. Chris says:

    I’m stunned at how almost all of the pro-teacher arguments here are either “teachers deserve to be respected!” (which is not an argument at all) or “teachers deserve X amount.” In other words, it’s either a non-sequitur or a simple assertion. Don’t people teach logic at schools any more?

    To anyone defending teacher salaries by saying they “should” be making this or that: says who? Not the market. What job are you comparing teaching to? Do you think teachers are the only ones who rack up student loans and then take awhile to pay them off? Have you seen what the job market is like?

    Fact is, everyone secrently thinks they deserve more than they probably do. How much money you THINK you should make is a terrible way of determining how much you’re really worth. Also, citing how much college costs is not an argument for teacher’s salaries being higher, it’s an argument that college costs have gotten far too high.

    One more argument while I’m at it: salary isn’t the only issue. You can’t put a price on job security, and thanks to many teacher unions, a lot of teachers enjoy an incredible amount of job security. A $45,000 a year job is pretty good in and of itself, but knowing you almost certainly have it as long as you want it? That’s far, far more valuable than higher paying positions which are subject to termination at any time.

    1. Moon Parent says:

      Well said, Chris. Teachers are not the only ones who have high costs of education. Everyone is expected these days to do more and earn the same or less. I am an engineer with 17 years experience (making 60K myself) – I wish my college education only cost 84K, and I am always working at the office and well into the evenings myself. However I chose my profession. These teachers chose theirs. Why they feel they are entitled to so much (I have been told that Moon is looking for a 7-8% raise each year) in this economy is absolutely ridiculous in my opinion. I am not saying that some teachers are underpaid and I am all for giving raises, but REALISTIC ones.

      1. Teach178 says:

        7-8%? Heresay! I will bet my entire paycheck it’s not in any formal proposal. I truly believe it’s made up by some board members to help their position in the public.

    2. Teach178 says:

      If you want to lament logic then include some yourself. States like PA REQUIRE certain levels of Education, evels of education once teaching begins, & continuing education. To say that shouldn’t be figured in to compensation is illogical, whether free market or GOVERNMENT controlled (not teacher controlled) ositions. EVERYTHING about public ed is government controlled, so stop your”real world”, “business morld” comparisons & accept that fact that people do a very difficult job for less than what they would get if it were free market. Just because it comes from taxpayers $ doesn’t absolve the public from paying fairly. You can have your opinion about what is fair but in truth it must be based upon fact, not fallacy. Job security due to tenure? Do you have any clue with regards to lawsuits & dismissal despite tenure? Do you have facts or innuendo?

      1. Chris says:

        “If you want to lament logic then include some yourself. States like PA REQUIRE certain levels of Education, evels of education once teaching begins, & continuing education. To say that shouldn’t be figured in to compensation is illogical, whether free market or GOVERNMENT controlled (not teacher controlled) ositions.”

        “Certain levels.” Let’s try specifics. How many people go beyond it? My response, as you may remember, was aimed at the woman who enumerated her husband’s qualifications (he had a Masters, if I recall correctly) and then claimed that he deserved a higher salary.

        Also: they are factored in. We all know a certain level of education is required. Listing all the things a teacher has to do would be like negotiating for a higher salary by listing all the things in your budget. Someone above actually started listing the various taxes they have to pay, as if they were unique to teachers! They’re lamenting economic challenges that we all face, not hardships specific to this profession.

        “EVERYTHING about public ed is government controlled, so stop your”real world”, “business morld” comparisons & accept that fact that people do a very difficult job for less than what they would get if it were free market.”

        This is a non-sequitur. The fact that education is government-controlled is not a reason to disregard these comparisons. Frankly, it’s the exact opposite: the best way to demonstrate how inefficient it is is to compare it to a system where there is more accountability.

        If teachers get paid far less for a similarly difficult job in the free market, as you suggest, it inevitably means one of two things: 1) this is compensated for in other ways, such as benefits, job security, or lack of accountability. Or 2) the teachers we have are heavily underqualified, because qualified candidates are fleeing to the private sector. It’s got to be one of these, or a mix of the two, and both are cause for complaint and concern. Pick your poison: neither is helpful to teachers insisting on higher and higher salaries.

        “Just because it comes from taxpayers $ doesn’t absolve the public from paying fairly.”

        Er, nobody’s suggesting otherwise. What it DOES mean is that the public has every right to protest when they think their money is being used poorly, and has every right to demand accountability.

        Really, sentences like this are beyond pointless, because you’re using the word “fairly” to describe something different than the people actually footing the bill. The idea that teachers should be the judges of their own quality and worth is absurd on its face, so why waste anyone’s time by just tossing around words like “fair” when you know quite well they assume the very thing being argued about?

        “Job security due to tenure? Do you have any clue with regards to lawsuits & dismissal despite tenure? Do you have facts or innuendo?”

        In Pennsylvania, one-third of one-percent of “experienced” teachers are fired. It’s 30 times that in the private sector, nationally. You probably don’t want to get into a discussion about facts; almost none of them reflect well on Pennsylvania’s teacher unions.

        Pointing out that SOME teachers can still be dismissed is not a counterargument, because a profession where it’s LITERALLY impossible to fire people would be ridiculous. But it’s VERY rare, and the “tenure” you mention takes a grand total of — wait for it — 3 friggin’ years to achieve.

        Teacher job security is far, far greater in public schools than even in private ones, let alone other jobs outside of education.

    3. Teach 178 says:

      Once again, who said we are the onlyprofession to rack up huge student loans? We have only said that you can’t legitimately say $45K is great for a job that requires high levels of training, 24 more college credits after beginning, constant continuing ed? The points were made because so mant posters act like it’s nothing to become a teacher.

      1. Moon Parent says:

        I understand that it is very hard work to become a teacher (along with many other professions that require high levels of training and additional credits – such as my engineering). However, 45K to START with no teaching experience though straight out of college (and I am not counting the student teaching and subbing) here in Moon is pretty darn great if you ask me.

      2. Moon Parent says:

        Let me add, 45K after numerous years in the field is not great. I fully understand that many teachers are underpaid, but after seeing the teacher salaries here in Moon they are pretty well off.

  46. calstudent says:

    Hey “Anonyous:” If you are a teacher, I feel bad for you because you have the worst attitude for it. I bet you are one of those teachers that thinks that most kids are bad and there is not anything you can do about it which makes you have a bad attitude as a teacher. Learn to teach on their level instead of complaining about your oh so hard job and maybe things will get easier for you.

    1. Teach178 says:

      You need to get out of ed while you still can because you are living in a fantasy land.

      1. calstudent says:

        No actually, I am not. You are just too blinded by your own greed to open your eyes and learn your own kids. I have sat and observed teachers like you and it frustrates me to see how little you actually care about them, Get off the computer, go back to WORK, like every over professional does, and teach your kids.

    2. jacie says:

      we can tell who went to cal u and cant spell

  47. west PA says:

    Moon Parent / Chris: Thank you both for your comments. I made a statement earlier that the teacher posts are all based on entitlement. Do the teachers truly believe that they work harder and deserve more than everyone else in the private sector? I do have a feeling that this problem will solve itself very soon. It is hard to pay money out where money doesn’t exist. We in the private sector forget that we are dealing with government spending in this case. I’m sure the government will mortgate our childrens futures to pay the teachers what they deserve. I say that sarcasitcally and somewhat in beilief……it’s already happening. Not just with teachers but with all government regulated and managed operations.

    Teachers…..I’m not against you. I am counting on you for our childrens’ educations. You are treated fairly or better. It is time to get back to work.

  48. Dan Bertoni says:

    Teachers, listen up. I taught for seven years and I left the field to work in the private sector. By the way I pay 236.00 per month for health care. I am happy that is all I have to pay.I don’t like school boards because the majority of them have know clue about education. some members do not even have college degrees . I was raised on a farm for 37 years of my 47. Try working a 12 hours a day 7 days a week . No 3 month vacation here. Try telling a farmer you work hard.or any contractor or anyone that busts their butt 51 weeks out of a year. Some people are lucky to get one week vacation .Be happy with what you have. There are many good teachers out there that would love to have your job.

    1. Teach178 says:

      If you were a teacher then you wouldn’t make the assinine 3 month comment. It’s a week over 2 months & forced, not voluntary. To add insult to injury they withhold pay to pay through the summer to prevent unemployment claims as with other seasonal work. A farmer works hard in a different way & has control over what he/she does & to a certain extent what they get paid. We have to rely on a finicky, whiny, antagonistic school board.

      1. Moon Parent says:

        Teach178- By the tone of your messages if you are as miserable in your low paying job the way it certainly seems, then that is your problem. You chose to do work there and in that field, just the way all of us decide our own career paths. You obviously do not work in Moon Township (at that pay rate for 24 years experience) so remember you are comparing apples to oranges. If you want to talk facts, then you need to know what you are talking about. Where you teach is obviously different from the district where I live.

        And as for the 7-8% raise, yes, it is heresay, but I was told it by 4 teachers from different schools. Is it in their formal proposal? I have no idea. However I think I can take it at face value if I am hearing it the same thing from different sources.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Hey “CalUStudent” I am a special education teacher. I do teach at each childs individual level. When I made the comment I was not talking about working with the children. It is all the other “bs” we get from the administrators. I am in my 7th year of teaching and used to have an attitude like yours. When I am in my classroom from 8-3 I absolutely love my job. The paperwork and the administrators are the reasons why teahcers “complain” so much. You will see when you are told that you have to teach a certain way or use certain materials.

    1. calstudent says:

      Anonymous, If that is the case then why are you not striking over that instead of striking over pay and health care. I agree that it would be frustrating for an administration to tell me what and how to teach when they themselves have no experience in the classroom.

  50. Rael Aerosol says:

    What they won’t tell you is that the PSEA turns down even reasonable raise offers since they now require more ACCOUNTABILITY from the teachers.

    And here’s the funny part. The teachers are lied to by the union. The union withholds information (including proposed contracts from the district) from their members. The union bosses continue to get their pockets filled during the strike and the clueless teachers who pay due to them like lemmings get to sit out in the cold while the district withholds pay from them during the strike.

    It must be wonderful to have a Union protect you. You get the satisfaction of giving them your hard earned money and in return they let you go without pay while they take their good old time begging for ridiculous demands.

  51. s.i. says:

    I think it is funny that there are people on here that a.) don’t live in Bethel Park or Moon Township, b.) make close to six figures in their thirties, and c.) only work four days per week. (208 days/year before you factor in holidays and vacations.)

    Most teachers don’t hit the top of their pay scale until they’ve worked 17 and 1/2 years. It is at this time when most contracts have a “jump-step” or “bump” of about $15,000/year. Up until that point most teachers are only receiving a couple of hundred dollars raise each year. This is why 3-4% raises sound like so much- the average is skewed.

    Getting back to the number of work days (since summers off seems to be a hot topic here), most teachers contracts require the teachers to work approximately 200 days. A typical job (5 days/week, 52 weeks/year) would be 260 days, minus holidays and vacation. This would bring that number very close to 200.

    1. Moon Parent says:

      s.i. I am curiouse as to know what industry you work in. My job gives me 260 days a year, plus weekends and evenings as necessary (I am salary so I do not get overtime, but this career is my choice). I get 10 days vacation a year, plus 10 holidays during the year. I do get unlimited sick time but you need to have a doctors excuse if you are out more than 1 day. That is 240 days a year, which in my book is not close to 200. I’m also 40 and make 60K a year and I do work 5 days a week. As for your comment about how ‘most teachers don’t hit the top of their pay scale until they’ve worked 17 1/2 years. that could be true but after seeing the posted salaries of Moon tachers it does not appear that Moon teachers are in that loop. A number of people on here are saying how teachers are not paid enough. The president of the Moon Area Education Association has gone on record saying that they do not get paid enough. From the sounds of it on here they are one of the better paid school districts.

      1. s.i. says:

        I was referring to one person on here, in particular, who posted their actual name.

        I am a teacher and proud of it.

  52. Stacey says:

    People: Let me remind you that the children are the ones hurting not us….Teachers be thoughtful in your process during strike. What is more important than giving a student a good education ? Money is the route of all evil!

  53. seeingred says:

    s.i. – I don’t see why it is relevant that some of us do not live in Bethel or Moon. Every neighborhood is subject to the same issues with their public school taxes. In fact, one could argue that the districts play a game where they “leapfrog” each other as their contracts come due for negotiation. Therefore, if Bethel Park decides to pay their teachers X number of dollars and I live in Mt. Lebanon or Upper St. Clair these negotiations would have an impact on my wallet at some future date.
    As far as the 17 and 1/2 year “bump is concerned…. that seems to be the end result of the more experienced teachers’ decision to throw the newer teachers under the bus for their own benefit. I sympatize with the plight of the less experienced teachers, but their beef should be with the union and not with the public at large.

  54. Concerned BP parent says:

    In my opinion, the best comment in this thread was from Chris (14th comment from top). Thank you for your thoughtful response while avoiding personal attacks. It really is simple economics, not disrespect for teachers, that drives the community’s lack of suport for the strike. Most parents value teachers, support them throughout the year, and want them to be well compensated. However, as Chris points out, how much is too much? Why can’t we start the conversation there? Everyone I know who takes pride in their job works more hours for less compensation and contributes more for their healthcare than in the past. That is the reality of today.

    I see posts pointing out that the rasies are necessary because teachers make such small income for the first 16 years. That, to me, seems to be one of the biggest problems. The message to teachers is, hang in there for 16 years and then you will be compensated fairly, which adds to this baffling sense of entitlement we are seeing. We should be changing that formula to be more in line with today’s economy–compensation based on merit, not seniority. The hard-working, talented teachers we’ve heard from here should be all for it since it would weed out those who are not pulling their weight. It won’t be easy to develop such a system, obviously, but that doesn’t mean it can’t, or shouldn’t, be done.

  55. BPmomof3 says:

    When I chose to have children, I commited my life to becoming a teacher. I have a college degree in Journalism and at any given time I could and still can chose to pursue a teaching degree. Reasons why I didn’t/don’t: the politics in teaching that unions foster. I don’t agree with or believe in unions in this day and age and because of this, I could never make a career where I must answer to and under-perform based on union regulations. To me, teaching is a calling just as medicine, ministry, and volunteering are callings. First and foremost you should chose these paths to help others. If money, work hours, challenging children and dealing with parents cloud your calling then shame on you. You should look into a career change. Yes, teaching is a stressful job just as parenthood is…but it’s a choice. I love being a mom, I wouldn’t trade it for ANYTHING. If you love working with kids, you shouldn’t/wouldn’t trade it for ANYTHING!

  56. AnneFedUpInBethel says:

    Union teachers-union dues-higher wages-more money to influence elections to allow ill educated and underperforming teachers to keep jobs that private sector businesses could fill better, with more qualified personnel, higher quality control standards and better results. Teacher’s need to wake up. They work 3/4 of a year for a decent salary-better than most people. Paid holidays. Paid sick days. Paid personnel days. If you don’t like teaching for the high wages and great benefits you ARE getting now, then please find a new job and don’t teach my children. Right off the bat, you are not expousing the same ideals in the schools that we do in our home. And talking about “what other teachers” get is a falacious argument. What BP teacher are earning is the only thing I really care about. And they are paid darn good! Check out the teachers salaries @

    When you see a low number – look at what percent of their actual pay ie it may say they make $25,000 for their classroom job, but it also notes that that is only 30% of their actual pay. The “I only make 25K for teaching is a false argument. They are making far more than that from the school district.

    1. Teach178 says:

      @Anne – What the HELL are you babbling about? More lies, falsehoods? I make $54K & nothing more unless I coach, do homebound instruction, other extra duties that might net $1-2K a year, depending. I’m not talking Football here. Oh, ya’ll will pay for that without question. You have too much time on your hands & are not using it for good purposes, that’s for sure!

  57. Gabriel M says:

    Wow, I wasn’t going to go here, but SERIOUSLY!! I can’t resist:

    “If you were a teacher then you wouldn’t make the assinine 3 month comment…..”

    I am sure you know the word is spelled “asinine” Right?

    1. Teach178 says:

      Gabriel M – This is too funny!!! Look back at your post reply to me when you said “Seriously? Seriously?” You spelled it “assinine” & then I replied to you misspelling it the same way. Don’t let that egg on your face drip on the keyboard! Out of all the words I’ved typed I misspelled that one word. Of all people to call me out on that, it had to be you. Someone that did the same thing – FIRST!

  58. union no says:

    NO i agree its crazy look at what teachers in other states make compared to ours and the union polluted system we have. These folks need to come back to earth and realize its not the economy or world it once was, They work cake 8 hour days and get off ALL holidays and Summers to boot. So your telling me that someone that sits on their collective buts 3 months out of a year deserves full years pay? THere are some great ones out there such as special ed and they dont even make what the district teachers do. How many of us know the old tenured teacher doing the least possible waiting to retire wiht that great pension?? Do not brag about degrees plenty of people with masters and mbas dont make near what teachers do. so yeah theres somethign wrong with that

    1. Teach178 says:

      Learning support (special ed) teachers make the same as all other teachers in a district that are on the same experience level.

  59. Chris says:

    Here’s another fact, Teach: 60% of teacher strikers from 2000-2007 were in Pennsylvania. Sixty. Percent. Of the ENTIRE nation’s strikes. We average one a month!

    So, either the teachers’ unions in Pennsylvania are way, way ahead of the curve (and the rest of the nation is still catching up to their horrible plight), or else the unions in Pennsylvania are bloated monstrosities doing everything they can to wrestle as much money as possible for their members.

    It’s worth repeating: 60%. Out of all the strikes in the nation. In this one state. Does that sound like a group of people just fighting for “fair” pay?

    1. Teach178 says:

      Chris, did you purposely leave something out in your statistic or was it a lack of research, analysis, knowledge, whatever? 60% huh? Does that stat include the 22 “right to work” states that prohibit strikes? I taught in one for 9 years. No Union, no right to strike. Seems to me that would skew your stat to a great extent. False, misleading information.

  60. give me 2 months off says:

    I would gladly have my employer withhold some of my pay every month so I could sit around for 2 months and 1 week every summer and not have to do anything. Those who MUST get a job during the summer simply need to learn to budget better. I tightly budget my $33,000/year in my chosen profession for a non profit because I love what I do. But if I could have my monthly salary divided up over 12 months and get to sit at home for 2 of those months, HELL YEAH!
    Teach 178 – you are VERY defensive and unable to see other pooints of view. I hope you don’t teach something like world perspectives or civics.

    1. Rael Aerosol says:

      At my job we are able to ‘buy’ extra weeks of vacation. So just for fun I calculated what my pay would be if I took the same amount of time off that teachers get off for their breaks.
      Not surprisingly, the pay is roughly equal, actually less since I also still have to pay for higher medical premiums though.

      1. Teach178 says:

        Your job is not the same. Compare apples to apples please.

    2. Teach178 says:

      Yes I am defensive. This was a one-sided article & the posts have been full of teacher bashing, lies, false information, misinformation, misguided jealousy, “we can’t pay, but you work anyway & be happy with what you have”, blah, blah, blah. My parents & grandparents taught me to be a fighter. FIGHT FOR WHAT’S RIGHT. And “Give me”…most anti-teacher posters on here are unable to see other points of view. Why call only me out?

  61. give me 2 months off says:

    and yes, I had over $70,000 in student loans when I finished my Master’s degree. So let’s stop actiing like teacher’s are the only ones with educational requirements and student loans to repay.

    1. Teach178 says:

      No one said only. Stick to the point. You want well-trained? You have to pay for it.

  62. BPTaxpayer says:

    I just wonder if we were back in the 60s and 70s when teachers weren’t compensated like they are today, how many of these whiners would have chosen to TEACH.

    1. s.i. says:

      What, you mean when kids came to school fed, clean, with their homework done, and we were supported by parents? Heck yeah!

  63. anonymous says:

    “calustudent” I am not a striking teacher. I am in a district that is working hard to teach their kids each and everday. Don’t assume that I am not working just because I am supporting all teachers. While the strikes and these comments aren’t necessarily meant for me, I do take them personally. Especially when I am one of the “younger” teachers who make less then the median teacher salary, oh and is going to grad school to further my education. I would probably be a little mad too if my future kids were not in school because of a teacher strike but until some of the parents truly see what goes on in a school building then I will continue to side with my fellow teachers. I am not discrediting their jobs or saying they do not work hard however, I think some people misinterpret exactly what teachers do or deal with on a daily basis.

  64. calustudent says:

    anonymous I am sorry that you take my comments personally. What really upsets me is the teachers unions, not teachers specifically. I was once told that if I crossed a picket line to teach my kids while my school was striking that I would be fired. Fired for doing the job I am fighting to stay in college for, that is what is so upsetting and annoying to see these unions in certain schools ranting over what should not really be important. I would understand if they were speaking out about the administration’s control over how they teach and what they use to teach but they do not and I do not want to be apart of it. I am starting to lose hope in working for a school in which their union was not so political.

    1. Teach178 says:

      Calustudent – you are lying. No union can fire a teacher. PERIOD!

      1. calustudent says:

        teach178-Actually I am not. That is what I was told and from what I have seen from these ridiculous unions. And from how defensive and narrow minded you are I would believe it because that’s how some of these unions are. You are the very opposite of what a teacher should be.

  65. brian says:

    In my school district they certainly do make a very nice wage topping out at nearly 90k per year. Work hard – I have two neighbors that are teachers, one making 75k with 15 years experience and they are home by 4. And no they say they don’t bring work home as they have scheduled study periods every day. PA teachers average salary is in the top five in the country accounting for cost of living and that is solely due to the union’s presence. Education wise school achievement ranking in PA is not as high as pay nationwide so there is not a direct relationship with pay and quality education. PA teachers are enjoying the good life due to the union presence that other states do not have. Just look at your property tax bill, the majority is for the school district, 75% of which is teachers salaries.

  66. Teach178 says:

    So you claim they have no work to bring home & use it to claim what? All of us don’t? I doubt the validity of your claim & I know for a fact you are misguided if you think this is the way of the vast majority of teachers.

    1. taxpayer Bob says:

      The teachers complain because they feel the tax payers don’t want to compensate them properly. Good teachers deserve good pay but those that are inferior should be fired from the public payroll. If all these teachers are so good, why do they need a union? The answer to that is a union has to protect all members regardless of how good or bad each one may be. The good teachers don’t need a union. but they won’t complain. so the unions are in a win win situation. If your so good Teach178, why do you personally need a union?

  67. WOW says:

    How about the teachers in the Catholic schools? Those teachers have been there an average of 20 years and CHOOSE to stay for the love of the school and its students. Talk to them about pay…I am sure it would be an

  68. Joecool1 says:

    If we are going to compare the private to public sector, let’s make an apple to apple comparison in terms of salary. Teachers in Pennsylvania are required to have a bachelor’s degree plus 24 graduate credits within six years of college graduation. 24 graduate credits is basically equivalent to 2/3 of a master’s degree. The average salary for all workers with an education more than a bachelor’s degree but less than a master’s degree is over $80,000 a year. Teachers do not average over $80,000 a year. If one factors in the time a teacher is required to work as compared to a worker with the equivalent education (more highly-educated workers tend to have more time off as compared to others), teachers should average $64,000 a year. Teachers should not be compared to the “average” worker because the reuqirements for the job are not “average.” Very few occupations require the educational background, testing, and background checks as is demanded of teachers. Finally, most private sector jobs are not as crucial to the health of society as is teaching. In fact, very few jobs are as important as teaching and very few of those jobs are in the private sector.

  69. BPRES says:

    Teach178 – you are calling us all liars and teacher haters ? Not true. Actually the parents in the BP school district are pro-student. That means the teachers and the students need to actually co-exist in the CLASSROOM. There is absolutely no justification or rationalization you can give for tossing these school children out of class rooms. If South Fayette and other school districts can work out a contract so that everyone is happy, then so should Bethel. Nobody is begrudging you your right to make more money or seek better benefits etc., but the union should not be doing it at the expense of school children. If you don’t like your working conditions, you are free to work somewhere else. We as parents are not concerned with the teacher’s beef with the school board, leave the kids out of it for God’s sakes.

    I’d like to also know exactly how you quantify a “great” teacher ? My kids have all gone through the district at various schools, and honestly I have yet to see any teacher that is anything more than just average. Are you saying that we should just take the person’s word for it that they are superior based on their education and experience ? “You want the best teachers, you have to pay for them” . Where is your evidence, are we talking about PSSA scores or overall student achievement ?

    1. Teach178 says:

      @BPRES – You’ve actually evaluated all teachers your kids ever had from firsthand classroom experience? Each & every day? WOW! How can you legitimately make such a sweeping generalization?

      1. sylvia says:

        A non-answer to some legitimate questions.
        You’re so angry because everyone isn’t jumping on your bandwagon.
        So parents can’t judge a teachers ability because they’re not in the classroom everyday? Whatever.
        I’m sure you’re the greatest teacher to ever grace a classroom. I just hope my kids don’t ever have to have you for a teacher.

    2. pitt123 says:

      PSSA scores are a complete joke and should not be used to justify whether a teacher is superior. How many students do you actually think really care about those PSSA scores or try their best when all they do is test. Yes there are students who do well on them and try their best, but there are also students who complete them as fast as they can to get finished. We are testing kids way too much. Basing a teachers pay on student achievement would be a huge mistake. You could have the greatest teacher in the world in a room with a bunch of students who just don’t care….are you going to get rid of that teacher if they don’t all achieve?? Come on…you cannot make anyone do something that they don’t want to do.

  70. AnneFedUpInBethel says:

    Teach 178 I really hope you don’t teach in Bethel Park. I really feel sick to my stomach to think that you may ever have some sort of influence over my children. You are a dimwit with a loud mouth. That is clear from your petty, tripe postings and bromidic sermons. If you can, take early retirement.

    Can parents get tax breaks for home schooling? Does anyone know? What are our alternatives for educating our children? Pay public school teachers AND pay for any other option, even if we choose not to educate through the public school systems? Can we please start voting for representatives – no matter what party – that will finally, once and for all, endorse a parents right to educate their child the why they choose and allow vouchers to be a permanent option!

    1. Teach178 says:

      Anne – “Sick to my stomach”? That’s rather extreme considering I haven’t bashed & ridiculed parents here, yet it’s a sport to bash & ridicule teachers here in these posts. Some of you have jumped the gun a bit…next week is “Bash a Teacher Week”. Ooops, I mean American Education Week. Mighty mature of some of you flippin’ the finger to the striking teachers as you drive by. I state facts & get called a “dimwit & loud mouth” by the likes of Anne. I hope the father of your children is more level-headed & mature. No matter what, we will continue to work with your kids to prepare them for whatever life throws at them.

  71. Gabriel M says:

    Hey Teach – I read your post from last night. Are you that cranky old man that drives around in the beat up blue K car covered with Obama stickers? Your loutish ways will not silence me or the hundreds of other parents that feel the way I do. And for all who do read this not from the Bethel area, you should know that Bethel Park teachers are in the throws of a GIANT TEMPER TANTRUM. They are so upset that the community built a new school and they aren’t getting any of the pie. That is the bottom line and I personally heard teachers complaining earlier this year that “if Bethel can spend THAT much money on a new school, they can afford to pay me more.” Teach, personally, if it were in my power, I wouldn’t pay you a dime. You are a ripe example of why tenure should be illegal. Oh, by the way Teach – I am responding on a “smart” phone. Not always the easiest to type or review. As for education, I have two BS degrees from Pitt and a Graduate Degree from Ohio State. I wake up everyday unemployed because I choose the challenge of self employment. I employ four other people who’s families depend everyday on my making the correct business decisions. So, the next time you think you can preach about “SPELLING” or finances – maybe you should take your own advise and shut up. And lets leave of the inine…your just an ass.

    1. Teach178 says:

      @Gabriel M – You’re still smarting from calling me out on a SPELLING error YOU made before I did & now you blame it on your smart phone?! Ha! Now who is throwing a tantrum? You resort to name calling. And it’s off, not of & you’re just an ass, not your…oh, sorry. It’s your phone’s fault. You should ask for a refund from Pitt & Ohio State. Read your own post & tell me… now who’s the cranky lout? Tsk, tsk.

  72. richardw says:

    I was sort of leaning toward the teachers side of this until I read all of the comments from Teach178. Funny how 1 person can change you view on something, I guess you are a pretty good teacher.

    1. pitt123 says:

      Richard – how terrible it would be to let one teacher influence your thoughts. Not all teachers are the same, too much generalization on these comments.

  73. Shawn from Sharon says:

    If you want to complain about someone being overpaid you should complain about your local Senator or Congressman (starting pay is about $174k), especially since they promise to their constituents to do this and that and then not do what they promised. Or, what about professional athletes. Ultimately, our teachers have a huge impact on the future of our country and deserve to be compensated better.

  74. CommonSense says:

    I am not a teacher but I have a few thoughts to share. Any teacher that is in the profession for the right reason wants to make a difference in the lives of all students with which they are blessed to meet and have the opportunity to teach. You would be hard pressed to find an effective teacher who is in it for the money or the vacations. Are there teachers like that out there? Yes. Is it fair to generalize all teachers as having such characteristics? I’ll answer that question with another question…would you want your child’s teacher to generalize your child as having certain characteristics that other students in his or her class have without truly getting to know the child? I doubt it.

    Remember when using certain language such as “you teachers” or “the teachers”, that is precisely what is being said. Would you be where you are today without the kindness and selflessness of at least one of your childhood teachers? We all need to respect and support one another and our respective professions. With all the “bashing” and negativity, what valuable lessons can we possibly be teaching our children?

    1. pitt123 says:

      Well said CommonSense…finally! I for one can name multiple teachers who made me the person that I am today and I am forever thankful for them.

  75. 2taxed2care says:

    This is a video of what teachers say about the general public behind closed doors.

    3 months vacation, AFLAC ‘pay you for a hangnail’ med coverage, and fat retirement bennies aren’t enough…

    Cough up more you taxpayers so they can brainwash your kids. Such a deal!

    1. joecool1 says:

      You do realize this video was made by the dirtbag James O’Keefe, who made the phony Planned Parenthood and ACORN videos, as well as trying to entrap a CNN reporter in some perverse sex sting? Please investigate your sources before you state something as fact. James O’Keefe is one of the biggest dirtbags in this nation, as well as being a convicted criminal.

      You really look like a fool for posting a video made by James O’Keefe.

    2. Teach178 says:

      3 months vacation,,,false. AFLAC…false. Fat retirement bennies…opinion & we pay our own. Biggest chunk out of my paycheck. Forced, no alternative, no 401K. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!!!

  76. fed up says:

    Based on the athlete’s/senior’s comments on the Bethel Park School District facebook page and Stop the Insanity facebook page – athletic programs should NEVER be allowed to continue during a strike. If they are representative of the parenting/teaching/coaching/school district abilities – I want no part of any of them. Why is the school district even attempting to help them out by teaching seniors so they can graduate on time?

  77. Local Blogger says:

    Until the country gets back to work things are not going to improve. Unfortunately this is going on everywhere. The state of California is now facing a 25.4 billion dollar budget deficit. In other words, California needs 25.4 billion dollars & it will still be broke. Keep the faith Pittsburg & keep fighting!

    stop by for a few….

  78. Jim says:

    Teach178. Apparently you must be a gym teacher, otherwise you would understand the return that teachers get on their contribution is unbelievable. If you contributed the 7.5% mandated by state law into a 401K. That would leave you making about 50% of your salary…if you have a great market. You should be thankful your relative got you a job.

    1. Teach178 says:

      Well let’s try this. My FORCED contributions through 14 years of teaching in PA are $51K according to the PSERS statement I received last month. Just MY contri, not the school’s matching contri. That’s almost 100% of my current $54K salary. (I got no credit on the pay scale for 10 previous years in another state because that’s what school boards do – take it or we’ll hire a new teacher at step 1 because there is no real concern for quality & experience, only $, unless your a good head football coach they want BADLY!) I took it anyway because it was a good district. They got a bargain, but I’m still better off than the district I used to teach in. Now crunch the numbers for me, please. No viciousness, crankiness, just straight talk here.

  79. I Hate Sports says:

    For those of you who THINK, The ball players are supported by the public!!!! Who paid for the ballparks? Who is still paying for the ballparks? Didn’t the new ballparks lose in the vote? AND WE STILL GOT THEM

  80. joecool1 says:
    People need to compare teaching salary to other equivalent professions, not ALL workers. If one compares teachers to other professionals, not just ALL workers, one will know how underpaid teachers are to other college-educated professionals.
    Teachers cannot receive full retirement benefits until 35 years of service. Teachers cannot receive any retirement be nefits until age 54.
    Instead of complaining about how others, like teachers, are trying to better their wages, benefits, and working conditions, the critics on here should be working to better their lives. Criticizing others does NOTHING to improve YOUR life. Tearing others down does not bring you up, it only tears others down.
    If you want to improve your situation in life, get off your butt, off of the computer, stop criticizing teachers,and START working to improve your lot in life. Being greedy by claiming others are being greedy only makes you look bad.

    1. kjs says:

      Teachers in Pennsylvania make more money than their counterparts in other states. How do I know this, my mom and mother-in-law retired from teaching recently, in Wisconsin, both had masters degrees, both had 20 plus years service, and both were making in the mid-50’s for a salary when they retired. In addition, academics at the university level make on average the same salary as teachers, but they have much more education and do not get pensions when they retire. They also often work through the summer on their research without being paid. I realize teaching is important, my husband is a professor, but we need to be realistic about salaries and pensions. The cost is getting prohibitively expensive.

      1. StateTheFacts says:

        @kjs PA & Wisconsin are not apples to apples in comparison as far as economies go & ” In addition, academics at the university level make on average the same salary as teachers, but they have much more education and do not get pensions when they retire.” Depends upon public, private, which private universities, etc. Too much of a range to make any valid comparison & in many cases PA teachers DO have as much education, much of it required. PA teachers pay the vast majority of their own retirement. A professor’s workload is also much lighter than that of a public school teacher & they often have grad assistants. Let’s be fair here.

  81. Joecool1 says:

    Google just gave ALL of it’s employees a $1000 bonus plus a 10% raise. What about the bonuses in the financial sector? The garbage that people keep spewing about the private sector cutting back is that, just garbage. If you do not like your wages and benefits, fight for better. If you do not want to fight for it, get another job.

  82. Claudia says:

    I have a BSEd and am a RN. The teachers think they work so much harder than the rest of the population Having done both I can honestly say that the RN work much harder and have much more responsibility dealing with life and death issues. We work all year with two weeks vacation. My hospital has quit contributing to our 403B because of the decrease in insurance reimbursement, I pay $350 per month for health insurance.

    They need a reality check to see what the rest of the working world has to deal with.

    1. StateTheFacts says:

      No teacher ever said they work so much harder Claudia. Kudos to you for the work that you do, but please stick to the facts. Teachers that have posted here simply have stated that they work more than some of the immature & misinformed posters have said they work. It is ironic however that those in the healthcare profession have seen large increases in their health insurance. One would think they should be able to contol health insurance costs better than the average employer .

  83. Anonymous says:

    “ik” and the others criticizing teachers for working only 9 months out of the year, we the teachers do not make that rule. Why should I only get my health insurance paid for 9 months? I do not make up my schedule. When I was a teacher in early intervention I worked year round and now being back in school age I can honestly say that I for one support a longer school year. Teachers do not make their schedule so please do not criticize us for working 9 months out of the year, speak to our governor or President about that.

    1. R says:

      In the past teachers have been able to opt to have their pay spread over 12 months. In this case do you not get insurance coverage? If this is the case then yes I agree teachers should have insurance coverage during the summer.

      1. StateTheFacts says:

        @R I don’t know of any school district where it is an option to have it spread out. It is a requirement. Once upon a time we had the option to get the July & August pay at the end of June but they did away with that in the last contract.

  84. C says:

    As an early childhood educator, I am appalled at the demands of educators. I have worked in this field for 25 years and currently make $10.00 per hour without any health benefits. I chose this field because of my love of children and teaching them. I suppose I could go to McDonald’s and flip hamburgers and make the same amount of money, but I love my job and believe that if any educator has the right to complain, it should be the early childhood educator. We are expected to obtain higher education degrees in order to keep our job, but receive no compensation to cover that expense. Every day our parents thanks us for the wonderful job that we do and ask how do we do this every day. I love teaching children, but I’m not going to be able to drive a BMW doing this line of work. Also, I don’t get summers off. Yes I am an educator and I love my job.

  85. Concerned parent says:

    It is easy for the public to critize and blame the teachers. Let’s face it, you elected the School Boards of your communities and you want to believe that they are doing right by you. That is not always the case. Our school district is in the middle of non-binding arbitration and it is tearing our community apart. Parents verbally bashing and abusing the same teachers that spend 7 hours a day with their children. It is crazy! I understand that as a taxpayer, you have a voice as to where your tax money goes, that is only right and fair. Would you as a taxpayer pay someone $400 a day to oversee a job that already has a job foreman hired by the company that you are already paying to do the job? I don’t think so. Yet, this is the stuff that School Board do and then they put all the financial burden back on the teachers. Put the money in your childs education!

  86. Concerned Parent says:

    Spoken very well Joecool 1.

  87. expittsburgh says:

    @StateTheFacts. Extortion: the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one’s office. So my use of the word stands as they are using their position in a govt union job to take more of my money at the expense of withholding my child’s education. I’m all for merit pay. Deunionize and let each teacher stand on his/her own merit and what the market is willing to pay…just like the rest of us. As per the link, the Superintendent stated that our taxes will need to be raised to meet the teachers’ pension plans. I pay 100% for my own and should not be paying for someone elses. And that’s the crux of my “axe to grind.” Pay your OWN way, don’t ask/insist that I do.

    1. StateTheFacts says:

      @expittsburgh What part of we pay our own did you not understand? Many private sector employers match contributions or even do a 2 or 3 to 1 match. The current 5% school board contri vs our 7.5% contri is not a match. It will have to go up IF something isn’t done to fix the expected shortfall.

      Your use of “extortion” is specious & inflammatory. A strike is a legal tool that you are obviously very much against, but please stick to the facts & lay your cards out on the table. You are vehemently anti-union – it’s your right. Just don’t lie or make false accusations.

      You pay for someone else’s pension every time you buy a product or use the services of companies that offer pension plans to their employers. Sprint, Comcast, Columbia Gas, Giant Eagle Management, , many in the health care profession DO have pension plans, etc.

      Our 7.5% contri is MANDATED by PA law. It’s PROJECTED to have a shortfall due to stock market investment losses & Baby Boomer retirements coming at t time of being underfunded, not taxpayer funded.

  88. expittsburgh says:

    @JoeCool. The private sector (as a whole) has been cutting back. Yes there is always exceptions to the rule, but most companies are not awarding 10% bonuses. But I do agree, don’t like your pay, then try for more elsewhere.

  89. expittsburgh says:

    @JoeCool: Private sector has indeed been cutting back…quite a bit in the last three years. Yes, you can find contradictions, but as a whole the 9.x% of unemployment speaks for itself. And I can list many companies that have frozen pay increases/cut salaries across the board.

    1. Joecool1 says:

      Google gave all of its employees a 10% pay increase. The financial sector has been giving its employess nice, fat pay raises and bonuses. Medicine continues to be a lucrative field. Pro athletes seem to be doing pretty well. There are many fields in the private sector which are doing quite well.
      Plenty of recession proof jobs in the private sector.
      I can list many companies that are giving out pay raises and bonuses.

      1. R says:

        Ah, medicine is doing quite well? UPMC froze our wages in 2008. We finally got SMALL increase the summer. We also laid of 10% of our employees in 2008.

  90. Joecool1 says:

    Does the private sector pay for their own roads and bridges? Does the private sector pay for their own police to patrol their own roads and bridges? Does the private sector pay for their own infrastructure, such as water and sewage lines/? Does the private sector who ship goods overseas pay for their own navy? Does the private sector pay for their own FDIC to protect their money at banks? The answer is obviously NO for each of those questions. Even the private sector takes advantage of OTHER PEOPLE’S TAX DOLLARS to make money. There is not one private sector job that does not take advantage of other people’s tax dollars in one form or another. Whenever the private sector is totally independent of other people’s tax dollars, maybe they can stop complaining.

  91. expittsburgh says:

    @Statethefacts. You claim “teachers pay the vast majority of their own retirement”. Please provide a link to back that up. And more importantly, how does the percentage of money they contribute compare to the amount of money that most private sector people are expected to contribute.towards their own retirement.

  92. expittsburgh says:

    Again JoeCool…9.6% unemployment. That shows the the private sector has been cutting back. Not sure how bridges relates to “Backlash Grows against teacher salaries” other than as a strawman argument. Do you really believe otherwise? If so, then you must believe there is no recession.

  93. expittsburgh says:

    @StateTheFacts. I found a link: Teachers pay (averaging) 6.75% of their salary. Taxpayers pay 4.76% of the teachers’ salaries. And there is a law that mandates their retirement benefits (why there is a law is beyond words.) And the link shows again that the benefits fund is in serious trouble (read “unless taxpayers pay more.”). I don’t know of many jobs (non gvt/unionized jobs) where a retirement fund is guaranteed. So excuse me if I express displeasure in being ‘asked’ to give yet more money.

    1. StateTheFacts says:

      @expittsburgh. No Sir/Ma’am. The 6.75% is the social security contri. That’s for everyone, not just teachers. 7.5% by law for PSERS. My links are my PSERS statement, newsletter & website. Same for the school board contri. I am fairly certain the latest update we received said school boards contribute 5 point something %. In any case the mistaken figures you used still show we pay the majority & school boards do less than a match as I’ve stated. Many companies do at least a match. All state employees belong, not just teachers. We have no choice. Not complaining, just saying – the facts, please!

  94. Objective Reporting says:

    Dear John Delano, I was just wondering if this “report” was supposed to be on some op-ed page? Seems to me it is subjective & one-sided.

    For starters “a salary package that nobody else seems to be getting.” SEEMS? NOBODY? “But many school districts are still handing out 3 to 4 percent annual salary increases”. HANDING OUT?! Are you referring to some sort of welfare payments here? Is there an editor there at Not to make light of the fact that there are people hurting, but “If you’re among the lucky with a job” – 91% EMployment & you’re “lucky” to have a job?.

    “Thirty-three percent of employers are expecting to have wage freezes”. Expecting, or have? What about the other 67%? Teachers shouldn’t be among the 67% getting raises? Especially with school boards demanding extra DAYS at little or no extra pay – even overall cuts in pay?

    ““Health care costs are going up, and everybody is going to have to contribute”. Most Allegheny County schools belong to a health consortium. Did you bother to check on whether or not costs have gone up, & if so how much?

    “But local taxpayers who foot the bill are questioning why teachers seem to be treated better than private sector employees. There’s that word again – “seems”. Any proof to back it up?

    “Seems” there are some jealousy factors at play here based upon some loose, misleading, or downright false “facts”. A better job of reporting is in order here, John.

  95. rsa says:

    My question to the teachers & administration…why have BP teachers gone on strike 6 times in the last 30 yrs? Every 5 yrs there is a strike!!! Does anyone understand that if this ridiculous strike lasts any longer, there are people ready to move out of this district because the public is fed up with this. I’m not saying that every teacher here makes $90k a year (those with masters degrees do). How about if you want a raise every 5 yrs + pay hardly anything for healthcare, then I think every 5 yrs teachers should be tested by an outside source to see if they are still capable of doing the job. The union would never go for that would they? I have a family member who is a teacher in another district and they are so burned out, but they are hanging on to the 35 & out plan.

    The biggest problem here is the union, it is too strong and I think it’s leading the teachers down the wrong path. There are so many other school employees not able to work during this strike & they aren’t getting paid at all. I have talked to some who had to go and get a job at Macy’, Kohls, & so on, so they could have some money for Christmas.

    An extra 1/2 hour of work a day is too much? Really?? Summer’s off with pay! I understand that there are times the job is very hard & hopefully worthwhile, but that works for everyone! You are public servants, if you don’t like hearing what the public has to say…..change professions & GET BACK TO WORK!!

    1. Teach178 says:

      @rsa. It’s not “summers off with pay”. Our money is forcibly withheld to pay us through the summer to avoid unemployment claims. Get the facts.

  96. Concerned tax payer says:

    People always mention how much athletes and movie stars make, Well guess what, the taxpayers dont pay their salaries. They work for multi billion dollar companies. As a teacher you are a public servant. You work for the tax payers. Your salary, healthcare, and pension come from the tax payers. And dont say you contribute 7.2 percent to your pension because that7.2 percent is tax payers money. Teaching is a good job, you have all weekends off, 3 months vacation, you keep accruing sick leave year after year. Its a good job, the teachers are ruining it themselves. They already have bankrupted their pension!!!! You are public servants, enjoy your perks of being a teacher, cap your salaries and pension so you can keep both of them at a decent level and not bankrupt yourselves. Take it easy on the tax payers.

    1. Teach178 says:

      @Concerned Taxpayer. It’s 7.5% & it’s our money, dimwit! Weekends off? 3 months off? What the heck is wrong with you? 3 months vacation? Try 2 & it’s unemployed time, not vacation. If you don’t like the schedule that the state has set then vote to change it. You couldn’t afford us year round if you wanted it. Please make mature comments out of reason, not rage.

      1. Uppercase says:

        It is YOU and those like you who make comments out of rage and arrogance.

  97. BPRES says:

    Bethel Park teacher’s worst nightmare – be glad he is not your governor. Of course Corbett might do something similar. Be glad you live in PA.

  98. @Jo – You refer to an captivating feature there. Not everyone has the capability to ensure these things are undertaken in the proper manner and useful tips such as those you have provided will help promote the problems to a much larger degree than it is currently.

  99. DDBB says:

    Not all teachers make a lot of money. When I was hired I was shown a pay schedule. Not all unions have contracts. This is the thrid year we don’t have a contract- therefore it is the third year with no raise. Less money means less money to spend in my classroom. I have not recceived one pack of paper and maybe a total of 25 pencils to use in my room. Crayons, colored pencils, construction paper, glue and science lab activity supplies come out of my personal pocket. I always wanted tp be a teacher and I love it, but I am seriously considering the possibility of making a career change, halfway through what I thought would be my life’s work because I can’t afford it. In addition, how come no one is complaining about MRI techs that make 75K a year on a 2 year degree? Or complaining about the fact that some garbage men, without even a high school diploma are making 60K a year? I don’t think I want all that much considering what I do, especially all of the hours outside of school that are just expected. We don’t get paid for spending a Saturday morning grading papers or trying to come up with cool ways to teach kids what they need to know. To all the people who complain about how easiy it is to be a teacher, I echo the sentiment of our President in the SOU Address= be a teacher, your country needs you. At this point in time with all the bashing and negativity aimed at hard working men and women trying to make sure we have an educated citizenry I can’t imagine why anyone would become a teacher. That is really sad… Having said that I truly believe that the people who own this country (you know the ones who make 500 million dollars a year tax free for throwing enough money at politicians to get them elected= did you you think your vote really counts? want an educated population. Educated people ask questions and speak up instead of just taking what is dished out to them. They ask why we spend a million dollars each on bombs that we have an unending supply of when the money from 3 of them would run a middle school for an entire year. Uneducated people are like sheep. The people that truly own and run this country can’t allow the people to be educated or they wouldn’t have a job.

    1. Teach 178 says:

      Well said DDBB. There are too many people filled with envy, jealousy, & resentment & they don’t even realized why beyond their own selfishness & ignorance.

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