Just days before classes are due to start, teachers for Ohio’s largest school district, Columbus City Schools, voted to go on strike.
They should just stay out there. Permanently.
What this country needs is a good old-fashioned mass firing of unionized teachers.
Call it a Ronald Reagan Redux, with a twist.
In August of 1981, NPR reported: “The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Association, PATCO, was protesting what they considered to be unfair wages and long work hours. They walked off the job. And two days later, on this day 40 years ago, Reagan fired more than 11,000 of those who hadn’t crossed the picket line.”
It was 11,359, to be exact.
Meanwhile, a federal judge found PATCO President Robert Poll in contempt and ordered him to pay $1,000 in fines each day the strike continued.
And the final smackdown to the union?
Reagan didn’t just fire these 11,359 workers. He declared a lifetime ban on their rehiring by Federal Aviation Administration authorities.
“On August 17,” just a few days after the PATCO strike, History wrote, “the FAA began accepting applications for new air-traffic controllers, and on October 22 the Federal Labor Relations Authority decertified PATCO.”
That’s how it’s done.
That’s how you do it.
The Columbus Education Association is no friend of education — or of students. Its members — the teachers and librarians and nurses and counselors and supposed educators — will be picketing outside 20 different schools in the district, and forcing children to stay home from class, and forcing parents to find alternate education or child care options, and forcing taxpayers to suffer in silence — until their demands are met. And what exactly are their demands?
Pay. More pay. And more benefits and pay for teachers.
That the teachers deny that is bull.
“This strike is about our students who deserve a commitment to modern schools with heating and air conditioning, smaller class sizes and a well-rounded curriculum that includes art, music and [physical education],” said CEA spokesperson Regina Fuentes, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
Sure thing — except this: The Columbus City school board announced a couple of days before the strike a deal to fix the air conditioning systems in almost all of its 109 buildings by September; supply chain issues prevented immediate updates to three buildings. The board also agreed to keep class sizes in elementary levels below the 28-student mark; agreed to a paid leave system for the union’s new parents; agreed to give teachers more paid time for classroom planning purposes; and agreed to provide more specialized assistance for students with extra needs.
That wasn’t good enough.
“[T]he biggest issue board president Jennifer Adair cited was wages,” The Columbus Dispatch wrote. “The district’s final, final offer was 3% per year for three years. The teachers union asked for 8% per year in their initial offer and never changed that position.”
There it is — mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money for teachers. Mo’ money, or no class time for kids.
Roughly 47,000 students attend schools in the Columbus district. Roughly 4,500 members make up the Columbus Education Association. Salary.com estimates the median public school teacher salary in Columbus is $54,399, with the low at $37,272 and high at $77,184. The Columbus Dispatch reports the salary range for teachers in the district for 2021-22 starts at $49,339 and caps at $107,679 — meaning, a 3% raise would bring those numbers to $50,819 to $117,664, and an 8% raise, to $53,286 to $116,293.
And just to throw in another source: According to Indeed.com, the average annual teacher salary in Columbus City Schools is $48,708.
Context is key.
That $48,708 annual Columbus teacher pay is 21% higher than the national average paid teachers, according to Indeed.com.
Meanwhile, the median household income in Columbus between 2016 and 2020 was $54,902, according to U.S. Census figures.
Meanwhile, too, the cost of living for Columbus, reported BestPlaces.net, is far below that of the U.S. average. On a scale of 100 — where the United States average is listed at 100 — all of Ohio scores an 82.6 for cost-of-living comparisons; Columbus by itself scores 85.5.
It’s cheaper to live in Columbus than in many other places in America. And, more significantly to the strike, teachers in Columbus are already paid pretty well for the area in which they live.
They’re paid almost exactly what the median wage is for household incomes in Columbus.
So why are they whining?
What are they crying about again?
They’re crying and whining for more money because they can.
The public schools in America have been infiltrated by socialists — specifically, by Democratic Socialists of America members who have actively recruited like-minded whiners and cry-babies to go into teaching because a) teachers are protected by unions and difficult to fire and b) teachers can easily exploit the children to advance the DSA mission the socialist vision.
The World Socialist Web Site, WSWS.org, has taken notice and put out a call for teachers to join the stronghold.
“Are you a Columbus teacher, parent or student? … Fill out the form at the bottom of this article to tell us what you’re fighting for. All comments will be kept anonymous,” WSWS.org wrote.
“Educators: Make your voice heard and tell us what you think the most important issues are in your struggle,” WSWS.org wrote. “We will protect your anonymity.”
Yes. Evil flourishes in darkness.
And when it comes to the state of public schools in America, it’s clear: They have become breeding grounds for evil, socialist rot.
Fire these striking Ohio teachers. They’re not teaching, anyway. There may only be 600 or so substitutes available to hire as replacement for the thousands who are striking — but tough love. It’s time to put the kids first.
“There is no number for how long we will strike,” Fuentes said, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
Without a firm, Reagan-esque response, this strike could go on forever. Fire the teachers — break the union — support the children and parents. After all, isn’t public school supposed to be about teaching kids? To coin a favorite Democrat phrase: It’s for the children.
It’s time to put the children first.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter and podcast by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Lockdown: The Socialist Plan To Take Away Your Freedom,” is available by clicking HERE or clicking HERE or CLICKING HERE.