April 11, 2005

Selfish Focus of Teachers Unions: Everything But What Is Good For Our Kids

I received an email today from someone, who wrote:

...how shockingly demanding the unions are at this point. I feel like they are outting themselves as the unreasonably greedy private concerns that they are.

This posting is about yet another Rhode Island case study of unreasonable greed by public sector unions.

A ProJo article today reported on additional negative reactions to the Warwick teachers union's request last week of lifetime health insurance for teachers and their families:

School Committee member Robert A. Cushman, calling the Warwick Teachers Union's latest contract proposal "a slap in the face," has urged that the board call an end to negotiations.

Cushman, interviewed Thursday by WPRO radio talk show host Dan Yorke, Cushman said the School Committee should participate only in arbitration -- the painstaking discussions facilitated by a neutral arbitration panel.

Further negotiations, he said, would be "a total waste of time."

Union negotiators unveiled a new contract offer last Monday that calls for lifetime health insurance coverage for retirees and their families. Employees who have worked at least 30 years now receive individual health insurance until age 65.

School officials relentlessly criticized that demand. They were joined by Tim Duffy, executive director of the Rhode Island Association of School Committees, who told talk-show host Yorke that lifelong health coverage is rarely, if ever, provided in Rhode Island teachers contracts.

Mary M. Pendergast, president of the Warwick Teachers Union...defended the union's contract offer, noting that it came after the School Committee proposed that teachers to start paying 5 percent of their insurance premiums this year and 10 percent in each of the remaining two years of a three-year contract.

The union's latest offer rejected the contribution demand and introduced the lifetime health coverage proposal...

Negotiations begn nearly two years ago on a contract to replace the one that expired in August 2003.

Only a teachers union would counter a request for a 5-10% co-payment on health insurance premiums with a demand of lifetime health insurance for teachers and their families! What planet are these foolish people from?

This is all about power and money, i.e., using their power to take your money. Remember this moment (and these moments here and here) the next time a teachers union tries to suggest how the education of our children is their top priority.


The public dispute continues over school budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.