Hawkins should compromise or step down

Rochester teachers union president Kit Hawkins, in her Feb. 2 commentary, continues to use the same tired arguments.

She won't acknowledge the economic realities of unaffordable spending.The day of teachers unions controlling contracts and budgets are not realistic. The union fought Race To The Top and free federal money that came with it. The union was against alternative licensure, although now it might consider it if it can add its own rules. The union wants to control all staff development money.

This is taxpayer money that allows teachers to pursue higher degrees and then pay them more when they achieve it. Hawkins claims teachers accepted 0 percent cost of living raise this last contract. Who gets those anymore? They are still getting step and lane pay increases.

Everyone is paying more for health care.The only people who are leaving teaching are those with the least seniority. Hawkins would rather protect one group and harm another. Wouldn't it be fairer to judge on ability and qualifications?

If Hawkins can't cooperate and compromise, she should move on. The taxpayers voted in new board members who understand the economic realities of these times. They will need to remove all mandates that make contracts so difficult to negotiate.They also will need to move from a defined to a 401(k) type retirement pension fund.


These members come with real life experience in the private sector.They understand the dire economic situation and need for immediate reform.

Tom Koelsch


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