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School Taxes, Town Taxes and the Chicago Teachers Strike

Taxes and pay: One going up while the other is going down.

The debate the last few years perhaps caused mainly by the real estate bubble bursting is how can we stop home taxes from rising.

When homes were increasing in value, perhaps $50,000 to $100,000 per year, no one really went off the deep end about an 8 percent increase in their tax bill. But that has changed now that home values have mostly dipped while the tax bill for them continues to rise.

The state of New York put in its 2% cap, which means two things, lower tax increases but with reduced town services (which cost more sometimes than the tax increase.)

In the past the school budgets always seemed to be sacred cows, the idea of sacrificing for the children. But with the demographics changing and the lion's share of the population and wealth concentrated in folks over 55, school boards are facing more resistance then ever.

So now we have the Chicago teachers striking perhaps after watching next door Wisconsin Gov. Scott Wilson take teachers and there tenured salaries to the woodshed. They are going in another direction. Along with their average $76,000 base salary, the union is demanding 29 percent increase over the next two years. So of course there is a strike.

The mess is unbelievable with a few hundred thousand kids not going to school, but floating about in an under supervised out of control situation.

Could the police and fire departments be next?

I personally don't know what to think, when I was younger everyone received pay increases regularly.

No one was against folks getting pay increases, workers were neighbors, friends, real people. Now workers are listed as costs to corporate bottom lines that prevent middle management and upper management bonuses if not kept in check. So lately salaries/wages seem to be frozen with underlings thankful to have jobs.

I remember when GM and Ford where failing their executives were criticized for flying private jets to testify before Congress. Yet today the president, vice president, first lady, speaker of the House, and numerous cabinet post members, along with certain senators fly in government planes as if the country was flourishing and not without a balanced budget. Not to mention, the cars with paid drivers they all seem to get. Sort of like rock stars, except lately rock stars are now driving themselves.

The last point for today is the Chicago mayor is not an extreme right wing Republican as the governor of Wisconsin is so portrayed, but a liberal ally of the president who has strong teachers union support.

Very ugly situation of who gets what where and how. What do you think? Please comment.

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Stinker September 12, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Its not that you don't know what to think, its that you are too chicken to lay it out here on the Patch. if you think asking for a 32% increase for a 9 month/year job and then turning down a 16% raise reflects frozen wages and another exploitation of workers then you are bonkers. Why on earth would you mention some fictional corporate cost and middle manager nonsense and ignore the very topic on which you have decided to write an article. Do you really think that teachers in Chicago have watched what happen in Wisconsin? Because the two states are both next to each other? Jeeeezuschrist man.
T.J. Clemente September 12, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Yes "Stinker" I believe all public workers watched Wisconsin in horror, but I ask east enders what will they choose to do as the money needed for the Town Government's just isn't there for business as usual. Ask for give backs, fire people and cut benefits. It's tough because some of these folks are neighbors and friends.
Preliator September 13, 2012 at 10:45 AM
And I bet you horrified even more that Governor Walker's leadership is working in Wisconsin while states like California, dominated by liberals, are sliding into insolvency. But hey, Obama bailed out GM, why not the idiots on the left coast too.
Wonder girl September 13, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Those neighbors and friends have been in a collective bargaining unit for their entire life. That collective bargaining unit has bargained for above average benefits, pay, days off, smoking breaks, company cars, fun touchy-feelie trips to the cabin for team building and on and on and on. Who have they negotiated against in this bargaining unit? The taxpayers, these same neighbors, friends, family members and you and I. My shoulder is unavailable for your tears.
Paul Harvey September 13, 2012 at 12:28 PM
According to a 2008 Ill Dept. of Ed study, the average ACT score of Chicago teachers when they were hired was 19 out of a possible 36. To put that into perspective, all high school graduates in IL have to take that test whether they are going to college or not and that average score is 21. This means that the board of ed is IL is picking their teachers from a below average pool of candidates and paying them well above average. Meanwhile, 46% of the public school teachers in Chicago send their kids to private school. This will begin to explain why they need a 36% raise. The average Chicagoan with a college bachelor's degree makes $48,600. The average teacher on strike makes $71,000 or $76,000 after the average cost of benefits. So why the strike? Teacher evaluations. CBE has never really worked towards teacher evaluations. For the first time ever, they are talking tough and looking to link underperforming students with underperforming teachers. Now you know the rest of the story and not the absolute fiction that is perpetrated above.
T.J. Clemente September 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM
True WONDER GIRL, but most of the time fair agreements were made amicably, yet now it seems the feeling is, "we aint making money so you have to be paid less, and give us givebacks." And still your home taxes go up and perhaps your home value is not. The whole situation is a stinker.
T.J. Clemente September 13, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Paul Harvey, one can disagree with your logic. Ms Lewis of the Chicago Teachers Union is shaking the City of Chicago Down plain and simple. Something needs to change in the Chicago School system, as you pointed out it is failing Lewis is fighting for her teachers, yet the statistics say they should not be rewarded and change is needed. Let's see who caves in.
Steve Haslet September 13, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Exactly. Shared sacrifice is all well and good until it hits the socialists.
T.J. Clemente September 13, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Steve Haslet-Socialists? What do you mean can you expand on that. I mean I am sure you care about others, but you just don't like hypocrisy and perhaps that's what you meant
Preliator September 13, 2012 at 04:00 PM
The Chicago Teachers Union are little more than terrorists who have taken the children of the city hostage and will not release them until the ransom is paid.
Thomas M Jones September 13, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Stinker... Gotta Right.... It's over for business as usual. The changing climate of value vs entitlements is what this is about. We can't afford a public work force that rapes our tax base. It's no longer about wages it's about survival of a public work force. If they are not careful it will all be contracted out to a third party which will handle the distribution of services! Far fetched, think not. Public work force is driving this nation to bankruptcy with entitlements that we can not meet long term.Ask private sector workers what their pension values are. But, tax payers get stuck paying for something that's not even a service long after a public sector employee has retired even though that employee did not contribute a penny! Do the math! Can't work..
Rick Hoyt September 14, 2012 at 01:21 AM
I Am Against Tax Payer Funded - Public Unions. Private Unions - That's Their Own Business,Private Unions Have to Be More Careful, If Not, The Consequence Are There will Be Higher Costs For Services And Goods From Them.The Consumer, Will Gravitate To Lower Cost Services And Goods From a Non-Union Company, The Private Union's Business Will Suffer Due To This.The Public Service Unions Don't Have To Compete in a Business Environment, There is Low Quality Control, Lack Of Accountability, Certification, Recertifications, Non Union Businesses must Constantly Innovate, Certify And Be Efficient, In Order To Thrive .For Public Unions,Tenure, Step Increases, Crazy Retirement Packages after Only 20 Years,Damn Near Impossible To Fire The Bad Ones, It Goes On And On.California Is Destitute From All Of This.
T.J. Clemente September 14, 2012 at 05:14 PM
But what about the east end, the schools, the budgets, the teachers, the contracts, are they over funded or under funded?
T.J. Clemente September 14, 2012 at 05:35 PM
So Mr. Paul "good day" Harvey you don't ever see a day when cutting the public sector will ever end? Public employee's and their benefits must be cut every year until when? They quit. Coy, no sir, I ask, do you want the schools and services town goverment provides to cease to exist? Do you ever see a day when thet may need to be expanded?
Paul Harvey September 14, 2012 at 09:28 PM
You sound like my daughter when I tell her she can't watch a tv show and has to go to bed. "It'll never be on ever again, I'll never be able to watch it, my life is over''. Sounds like you ought to vote Republican if you don't like the ''new normal''. When someone in the private sector gets fired because the company isn't making enough money, its forever. Nobody gets anything back, once its gone its gone for good. Shared sacrifice was created by the public sector and the ruling class to apply only to those that pay the bills, i.e. those that produce, i.e. the private sector. Now, shared sacrifice has come knockin' on the door of the public sector and you all want to know "for infinity", "how much", "we need details". Yes, for infinity. Its not looking good for the public sector and not a moment too soon. Better start assembling sticks with red bandannas on the end so the masses of new hobos have something to carry their belongings in as they stroll the tracks of the LIRR.

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