LETTER: Walker sidelines living standardsTo the Telegram: After many months on the sideline, I feel compelled to weigh in on an issue that I feel strongly about. Both of my brothers are teachers.
To the Telegram:
After many months on the sideline, I feel compelled to weigh in on an issue that I feel strongly about. Both of my brothers are teachers.
Recent legislation targeting public employee union members has created more anger, animosity and division in this state than I remember.
Both sides are passionate. But, only one side has been tangibly affected.
I used to believe, like many do today, that teachers were under worked and overpaid. With “free” benefits and summers off, they had it made. Those misconceptions are gone. I was ignorant, and I was wrong.
Remember who these people are. They’re our friends, our neighbors, our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. They’re hard working middle class Americans like us. They pay taxes. They’re in debt. They worry about bills and the future. They live paycheck to paycheck and have little or no savings. They’re like us because they are us.
There is, however, one significant difference. Unlike us, they have one of the most important and challenging jobs in the country; they educate our children. Their responsibilities are monumental, their job thankless. They’re viewed with contempt, anger and resentment. It’s so bad that some won’t admit they’re teachers in public while others are so disheartened by the callous attitude of family, friends and neighbors they contemplate leaving the jobs they love.
I know many Walker supporters. It’s always the same. They’ve been slighted because teachers make more money and have better benefits. No one speaks of trying to improve things for themselves. They’re content gaining nothing as long as others are losing something.
The simple truth is the so-called budget repair bill harms many and benefits few. A lot of Americans deserve more. Teachers don’t deserve less.
Sean M. Brayton,