Our View: Community has made sacrifices; D-304 teachers should do same
Teachers in Geneva have scored high marks for their job performance, and they certainly are among the most respected in their field in the Tri-Cities area. So it is difficult to believe that those negotiating on behalf of such a group could be so out of touch when it comes to the rhetoric surrounding the labor dispute in District 304.
Many in the community have struggled to make ends meet, with the economy causing many to take pay cuts or reductions in hours. Some have lost their jobs outright. But school budgets continue to go up, with the greatest expense – by far – being teacher salaries. And while many area residents are making significantly less than they did five years ago, those representing the Geneva teachers in the current negotiations are balking at the majority of teachers taking a “hard freeze” for a year, saying that such a move would cost them for years to come.
They say that as if the rest of us don’t know that. That’s been the reality for so many in the area already. Sacrifices have been made. And many in the community have responded with outrage that the teachers union representatives don’t seem to care. What irks many is this – not only have their salaries been reduced severely, but their property taxes continue to go up, in part, to help pay teachers who have continued to get their salary increases each year.
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