Thursday, February 02, 2006

Higher salaries, not better education is WEA motive

I came across this statement on WEA’s website. For a group who consistently touts the mantra, “it’s for the children,” it is ironic that pay is the WEA’s most important political goal. Here’s what is straight from the WEA website:

Compensation remains WEA members' top priority
· Voters passed Initiative 732 by nearly 63 percent in 2000. WEA was the major force behind the initiative. It provided all public school employees with an annual state-funded cost-of-living salary adjustment. But when the Legislature and Gov. Gary Locke suspended I-732 in 2003, many WEA members lost thousands of dollars in salary and retirement benefits.

· Restoring funding for our COLAs in the 2005-2006 school year will be a top priority in the 2005 legislative session. Support for I-732 was a major issue in WEA PAC recommendations during last fall's elections.

Keep in mind that you will always here the WEA cry wolf about good education and student needs. But to them, teacher strikes for top pay are apparently in the children’s best interest. Oh, and this means they will always protect current jobs. They are not for the creation of new jobs.


On that note, I also reference you to a
formal opinion released by Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office this week. The opinion states that “state and local public employees do not have a legally protected right to strike. No such right existed at common law, and none has been granted by statute.”

This marks contrast between McKenna and his predecessor, now-Gov. Gregoire—who was often caught in bed with Washington’s education unions.

Evergreen Freedom Foundation has spearheaded this issue and published a HB 2808 would allow courts to impose up to $10,000 a day for violators.

This should send a message to public employee unions that their days as free-range policy manipulators are drawing to a close.

Legislators have until Friday’s (Feb. 3) “cut off” date to pass the bill out of House Commerce and Labor committee.

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