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.

  • pitt123

    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!

    • Susan Pittsburgh

      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.

      • pitt123

        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.

      • StateTheFacts

        @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.

    • Terik Ororke

      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?

      • Pedro

        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.

      • Megan

        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.

      • less blather

        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?

      • jared

        @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!

      • Teacher

        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.

      • mathilda

        @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.

      • mathilda

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

      • R

        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?).

      • R

        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.

      • StateTheFacts

        @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.

      • R

        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.

      • R

        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.

    • cp

      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.

      • Moe

        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!

    • Matt Wilson

      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.

      • Teach178

        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?

      • M. W.

        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.

      • blanche

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

      • StateTheFacts

        @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!

      • ik

        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.

    • Chris

      “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.

      • Teach178

        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.

      • pitt123

        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.

      • mathilda

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

    • Teach178

      You are a very sick person.

      • Teach178

        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

      • tm

        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.

    • tired

      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!!

      • StateThe Facts

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

    • Jim

      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.

      • StateTheFacts

        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!!!

    • ScottDuncan

      THANK YOU!!! Well said,

    • Concerned

      @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.

      • StateTheFacts

        @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.

    • R

      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!!!!

      • Jared

        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!

  • expittsburgh

    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.

    • Not a teacher but...

      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.

      • StateTheFacts

        @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!

  • expittsburgh

    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.

    • pitt123

      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.

      • moe


        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?

      • Jim

        You must be a teacher?

    • StateTheFacts

      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.

  • expittsburgh

    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.

    • Clocks running

      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

      • Jim

        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.

    • StateTheFacts

      @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.

      • Mom of 4 in BP

        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.

      • StateTheFacts

        @ 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!

  • expittsburgh

    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.

    • Misery loves company

      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.

  • Uppercase

    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.

    • Pedro

      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.

  • expittsburgh

    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.

    • StateTheFacts

      @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?

  • Lori Smalls

    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.

    • Uppercase

      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.

      • StateTheFacts

        @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.

    • west PA

      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?

      • anonymous

        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?

      • west PA

        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.

      • Misery loves company

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

      • west PA

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

      • StateTheFacts

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

    • Mom of 4 in BP

      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.

      • StateTheFacts

        @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.

  • als

    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.

  • pitt123

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

  • intelligent from BP despite the strikes

    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.

    • Pedro

      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.

      • Intelligent fron BP despite the strikes

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

      • west PA

        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.

    • Weary of the "strike" in Bethel Park

      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.

  • Sharon

    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!

    • teach178

      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.

      • Teach178

        @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?

      • PGHCHICK

        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?

      • Jim

        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.

  • Rael Aerosol

    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.

    • Teach178

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

    • Intelligent from BP despite the strikes

      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).

      • Anonymous

        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.

    • Teach178

      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.

      • Uppercase

        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.

      • Bucky Cashdollar

        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.

    • Think before you speak

      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?

  • Top

    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.

  • respectful too

    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.

  • Scott

    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.

    • Rael Aerosol

      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.

    • Jim

      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.

      • StateTheFacts

        @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.

  • FedUp


  • calstudent

    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.

    • anonymous

      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.

  • My Turn

    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.

  • j

    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…

  • WOW

    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!!!!

  • Moon Parent

    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?

    • Teach178

      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?

      • Moon Parent

        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.

    • StateTheFacts

      @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.

      • StateTheFacts

        @ 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?

  • Tim

    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.

    • T

      You just sounf stupid

    • T

      You just sound stupid

  • CRB

    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!

    • Teach178

      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.

      • Moon Parent

        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.

      • taxpayer Bob

        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?

      • Gina

        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.

  • Learn Something

    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.

    • Frustrated mom

      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.

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