Again, the Daily Gazette editorial board comes down on the side of the rich and powerful and against the interests of working people in its July 19 editorial attacking school teachers.
The average Schenectady school teacher salary is $56,199. It has been well documented by The Gazette that the district isn’t getting the funding and resources it needs and deserves from the state, which has led to cuts in programs and services, negatively impacting education. We’re living in a time of the worst inequality since the early 1900s, loss of union jobs, pensions and increasing poverty. Editorials such as this help enable the policies that have led to inequality of personal income. Recently, the Supreme Court passed a measure weakening public employee unions’ ability to collect fees for union representation of non-members, a direct attack on teachers’ unions. So why would the editorial board devote front and editorial page coverage to teacher sick leave benefits? Why is the board attacking the rights of teachers to maintain their negotiating power under state law? It’s clear that the board has taking up the mantra of scapegoating teachers and joining in the chorus of divide and conquer. The board should support living wages, strengthening the right to union organizing and payment of decent benefits.
But achieving these standards means the rich and powerful and their editorial mouthpieces must alter course and decide that rather than cutting wages and benefits, they’ll share the wealth with workers, including the teachers who educate our kids.