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Michael Medved


Rantz: Selfish, angry teachers should learn from cops

Teachers walk the picket line on Thursday. (Washington Education Association)

Teachers protesting for more pay — and less work — are selfish and criminal. They can learn a lot from police officers who work under conditions way worse.

Because we offer no meaningful consequences, teachers are empowered to hold your kids hostage whenever they decide they’re not paid as much as they think they should be. We don’t allow market forces to dictate teacher pay. Instead, we let the teacher’s union decide and, unsurprisingly, they always want more.

But we all always want more. The different here is they can refuse to work, cancel classes, and hold considerable, unfair leverage over taxpayer dollars that they feel entitled to. And they know they’ll win because they can; it’s why these protests happen so often.

Related: Seattle police officer quit over mistreatment by council, Kshama Sawant

Classes were cancelled Monday in Tacoma, Tumwater, and Centralia because teachers want higher salaries (in Tacoma, they’re already facing a $25 million deficit, but, hey, let’s add to that) and less work via smaller classes. None of these teachers will be fired for not showing up to work. And that sounds like a good deal: simply walk out, knowing you won’t be replaced, in order to demand more money.

Who wouldn’t act like that? Oh: cops.

Perhaps, rather than acting so callously, putting parents in a tough spot dealing with what to do with their kids, these teachers could look towards cops.

After working for nearly four years without a contract, Seattle Police officers got a contract that is likely to be approved by membership. Bellevue officers don’t have a contract either, and it’s unclear how close they are to getting one.

Officers didn’t hold us all hostage by refusing to work until they got a new contract. They still worked, putting their lives on the line. Teachers? They walk off a job that is considerably less stressful and safer. And they know they’ll face little criticism from activists.

Activist stand strongly behind the teacher’s union, but not behind police unions. They lionize teachers, while demonizing cops. Cops are in a much easier position to stop working so they can get paid higher wages and better perks. Cops are hated by activists and by some city council members (especially in Seattle), yet they don’t strike. They choose not to because they have a level of service they feel compelled to offer their communities. If only teachers felt the same way.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday mornings from 6-9am on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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