The Illinois Education Association can’t do math

A colleague brought to my attention a blog post from the Illinois Education Association website that was good for a laugh. Evidently, members of the education blob have just about had it with the Chicago Tribune actually reporting on teacher compensation excesses.

It’s been happening for several years now. The press is finally waking up to the problems with public sector unionism just as the business model for most newspapers comes crashing down. Reporters are realizing that the outmoded public school system is insulated from the real world by buying off state legislators.

As long as all those millions of dollars in teacher union money find their way into the campaign coffers of politicians, certified public school employees are able to escape the kind of financial common sense the rest of the working world is subjected to.

The IEA hates the fact that public disclosure has blown up the myth that teachers are underpaid and that the money is “for the children.”

If posting the salaries wasn’t bad enough, now Bill Zettler has been completely destroying the myths surrounding the public school pension scam.

It’s not our fault that too few teachers can do math – or can even use a calculator. If enough of them had, they would’ve realized a long time ago that teachers were retiring too soon, being paid too much, and not contributing enough into their own pension plans if they ever hoped to rake in the dough their locally made contracts had over-promised them.

Late last week, Tom Nordeen, who is the Chairman of the Mid-America Bargaining Association, issued a couple of statements regarding the current strike by the union construction Laborers and Operating Engineers. His comments apply perfectly to those living in the financial wonderland of the taxpayer funded government-run school system:

“The unions have continued to demand a nearly 14 percent increase in wages and benefits over three years-their last offer was 4.55 percent per year for three years.”

Anyone reading the news these days is aware of the impact that this current financial recession is having on government revenues – including the school districts. Tom Nordeen’s words, again, apply nicely:

“For everyone to get back to work, the unions are going to have to step out of the bubble they’ve been living in for the last few years that has shielded them from the harsh realities of this recession.

Over the last 10 years, the Laborers have enjoyed a 77 percent increase in their combined wages and benefits package, outpacing cost of living by nearly 50 percent. In that same period, the Operating Engineers’ wages and benefits increased by 75 percent – 45 percent over the decade’s cost of living increase.

Almost every American has had to make some adjustments to their lifestyle in this economic climate. People have lost their jobs, their homes and their pensions. It’s unrealistic and unfair for the unions to demand unreasonable increases to their wages and benefits when non-union employees in all sectors of the economy are making tremendous sacrifices just to stay afloat.”

©2010 John Francis Biver