Teachers in the Downingtown School District in affluent Chester County are walking the picket line today, forcing 12,000 students to miss school.
The teachers, who make an average salary of $59,000 a year for nine months of work, rejected pay increases of 4.4, 4.5, 4.5 and 4.6 percent over the next four years. The current top salary for Downingtown teachers is $81,815.
The teachers' union said the pay raises are an insult. The pay hikes show that the school board doesn't respect the teachers, according to union leaders.
If that's the case, where do I get in line for a similar insult? Is there a worker out there would wouldn't jump up and down to an offer of an 18 percent pay raise over the next four years?
The strike has forced parents of 5,000 kindergarten through fifth grade students to scramble to find day care for their children.
The teachers will eventually be forced back to work under Pennsylvania law, but the 21 days that they can legally strike will be made up over the summer. The teachers will get paid regardless. Parents who miss work or those who have to pay for day care will never get that money back.
The West Chester Daily Local News puts the whole thing into perspective in an editorial today.
The losers are the students, the parents and the taxpayers. Find out more about why Pennsylvania leads the nation in teacher strikes at Stop Teacher Strikes in Pennsylvania.