DORI MONSON

WA Policy Center expert: Teachers union strikes are illegal

Aug 20, 2018, 7:00 PM
(AP)...
(AP)
(AP)

Liv Finne, director of the Washington Policy Center’s Center for Education, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that the strikes threatened in school districts throughout the Puget Sound by the teachers union are in clear violation of state law.

“The law is very clear — public sector employees do not have the right to go on strike and close the schools,” she said.

Finne called the teachers union’s actions a “classic bait-and-switch,” noting that after asking for money to reduce class sizes for the past few years and then receiving that money through the Legislature’s McCleary decision compromise, the teachers union now wants those very dollars to go toward teacher salaries instead.

“School and union officials demand hundreds of millions of dollars more from our taxes to reduce class sizes; that’s all we talk about for years and years,” she explained. “The McCleary money that has been appropriated includes $500 that is intended by the Legislature to provide smaller class sizes … and that money is now being targeted by the union for double-digit pay increases.”

RELATED: Teacher strikes are a criminal conspiracy to rip off taxpayers

What’s more, because 2019 will bring a Legislature-mandated cap on local levy funding, school districts in the state could be facing a “potential fiscal crisis,” Finne said. If pay increases for teachers are approved, the funds that provide those raises could soon run dry.

“You can’t keep promising pay increases that you can’t afford,” she stated.

This is not to say that Finne is against pay raises for teachers. On the contrary, she said, there are many talented teachers out there who are greatly underpaid — but at the same time, there are many low-achieving teachers who are being overpaid.

“Teachers deserve to be paid a lot more than they are receiving, if they are excellent teachers,” she said.

She called the system of pay for teachers “unfair,” noting that it is based on seniority rather than merit.

“We have older gym teachers who never grade a paper during the year who are making over $90,000 a year, and then an English teacher teaching high school English who is young and starting out and getting $45,000 a year, and she has 150 papers to grade every week,” she said. “So it’s just completely unfair.

If businesses throughout the state thrive by keeping and rewarding their best employees, and letting their incompetent or lower-performing workers go, then why should it not be the same for the school system, Finne said.

“That is perfectly within the ability of schools to do — private schools do it every day, charter schools do it every day,” she said. “So for the traditional school system to say, ‘We can’t do that,’ is completely bogus.”

She also pointed out that the districts are hiring one non-teacher for every teacher — meaning that half of the money being asked for will not even go into the pockets of educators. Private schools, on the other hand, spend 90 percent of classroom instruction money on the pay of teachers.

“The fact that they’re using money that is intended to help students by reducing class sizes … to give pay increases, that seems to me to be something that the public would be quite upset about,” Finne said. “That the money they’re providing that they were told is going to be used to reduce class sizes is now being diverted to these pay increases. There are other programs that students deserve to get.”

Dori Monson on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

Dori Monson stage show...
MyNorthwest Staff

Watch: Dori Monson’s ‘What are the Odds?’ stage show

In 2019, Dori Monson hosted a stage show - 'What are the Odds?' - which introduced you to the people who helped shape his improbable career.
1 month ago
Dori Monson welcomes the Moose back to KIRO. Follow @http://twitter.com/Mynorthwest...
MyNorthwest Staff

A collection of the all-time best Dori Monson stories

With the passing of Dori Monson, a collection of some of his top stories to remember all the hard work Dori brought to Seattle.
1 month ago
Alaska, fishing...
KIRO Newsradio staff

Listen: Friends, colleagues offer tribute to KIRO Newsradio’s Dori Monson

All day Monday, KIRO Newsradio's John Curley talked to friends, news makers, and more in tribute to Dori Monson.
1 month ago
Dori Monson Shorecrest...
Dori Monson Show

How to support charities reflecting Dori Monson’s values, passions

In tribute to Dori Monson, learn more about how you can support these three charities which best reflect his values, passions, and advocacy.
1 month ago
Dori Monson Nicole Thompson...
MyNorthwest Staff

Broadcasters, politicians, coworkers and friends remember Dori Monson

Dori Monson, a longtime KIRO Newsradio host, passed away Saturday. He is remembered by public figures, broadcasters, coworkers, and listeners.
1 month ago
Dori Monson...
MyNorthwest Staff

Longtime KIRO Newsradio host Dori Monson dies at age 61

We are deeply saddened to announce Dori Monson's sudden passing on Saturday, December 31, 2022, at a Seattle hospital.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
WA Policy Center expert: Teachers union strikes are illegal