There Are Other Considerations Than The Bottom Line
Today the Herald editorializes on the 'giveback' option in what has to be one of the most ludicrous pieces we’ve read on the subject. The writer(s) even manage to get in “it’s for the children”, but of course teachers are not state employees – not yet anyway.
As they say read the whole thing, but here a few graphs to get you started. Warning: Take beverage precautions while reading this.
The frustrations of New Jersey's intense budgeting process boiled over late last week when high-ranking Democrats clashed over a controversial push that would force a scale back of unionized state employees' benefits and perks.
Givebacks, they say, are in order because many state workers enjoy a wide range of privileges that just aren't available to ordinary workers in the private sector. These include a 35-hour workweek, 17 paid holidays and retirement eligibility beginning at age 55.
Certainly, these so-called perks can easily invite a certain resentment from middle-class New Jerseyans who struggle to make ends meet, battle among the highest property taxes in the nation, and struggle mightily to pay their health and insurance bills.
Yet it's important to remember that state government in New Jersey is not a business, but a living breathing part of democracy. There are, and there should be, other considerations than "the bottom line."
As for the 35-hour work week, few are the public school teachers of this state who do all the work required of them in the allotted hours for which they are officially paid. They toil day after day in classrooms where the rewards of making a difference in a child's life cannot truly be measured in dollars and cents.