Sunday, August 30, 2015

Budget woes a pretext for war on teachers, unions

The leader of the nation's big-city teachers' union on Monday said Republican governors and lawmakers were using "the pretext of budget problems to basically take away peoples' voices."

Budget woes a pretext for war on teachers, unions

0 comments
AFT president Randi Weingarten spoke to the Inquirer Editorial Board (Russell Cooke/Inquirer staff)
AFT president Randi Weingarten spoke to the Inquirer Editorial Board (Russell Cooke/Inquirer staff)

The leader of the nation's big-city teachers' union on Monday said Republican governors and lawmakers were using "the pretext of budget problems to basically take away peoples' voices."

Meeting with the Inquirer Editorial Board, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten said teachers in a number of major cities had already offered to accept contract terms that helped save millions of dollars. She decried Gov. Corbett's plan to cut education funding by $1 billion.

Weingarten said it was ironic that, amid the assault on collective-bargaining rights to cut spending in states such as Wisconsin and Ohio, some of the states that are doing even worse financially already bar labor unions from negotiating for public workers. She named Arizona, Texas, and Nevada, among others.

Here to address students at Temple University, Weingarten said "people are starting to say 'Don't turn back the clock' " on both bargaining rights and education funding. She said teachers are willing to do their share to contain costs. She was accompanied by Philadelphia PFT president Jerry Jordan, who noted that city teachers are working under an existing wage freeze but have not broached the subject of extending the freeze.

Weingarten is known for her moderate tone of engagement with education management - a style that seems even more appealing in contrast to the confrontational tactics of elected officials such as Gov. Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. The question is whether moderate public-sector union leaders will be able to win over taxpayers who really do want to see government spending reduced.

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

The Inquirer Editorial Board's Say What? opinion blog showcases the work of the editors and writers who produce the newspaper's daily and Sunday opinion pages.

Find out more about The Inquirer's Editorial Board here.

The Inquirer Editorial Board
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter