South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Change of leadership needed on Mehlville school board, reader says

To the editor:

This is not a rant against teacher pay; this is putting taxpayers on notice that our present school board is failing us.

At the expense of taxpayers, school-board members are unwisely raising salaries and benefits to achieve parity with other metro school districts while forgetting that their current compensation already exceeds most private-sector workers — who pay their salaries and benefits with their taxes.

Due to the unwelcome influence of unions and the go-along-to-get-along school board, Mehlville teachers and administrators — like their firefighter counterparts — are enjoying total compensation that exceeds most private-sector workers.

Take the example of the recently published — June 4 issue of the Call — annual salary of $73,000 for advanced-degree teachers, degrees taxpayers help pay for.

That is only salary. Now add taxpayer-subsidized pension, health care, unreal number of holidays and sick days — and here’s the kicker — they only have to work roughly 180 contract days each year to get all of that and they can retire after 30 years. Most retire before age 55.

Try getting a deal like that in the private sector.

Remember last year when the national media disclosed United Auto Workers wages and benefits and the UAW tried to defend the indefensible $60 to $70 per hour total package of its workers?

Remember when a local daily newspaper disclosed the over-the-top salary and benefits of area unionized firefighters? Most agreed that these men and women were hard working.

Few agreed that they deserved such a high level of compensation. Such is the case for Mehlville teachers and administrators.

For the 180 eight-hour days teachers work, they are compensated — salary plus benefits — at more than $25 per hour for starting pay and nearly $50 per hour when they finish after 30 years.

Administrators are paid between $50 and $70 per hour.

If you are tempted to accuse me of not knowing what I am talking about, I encourage you to deal with the facts and not the emotion of the argument. Do the math.

Weren’t unions formed as a protection against management abuses? How is it that public servants need union representation?

Who is the “management” supposedly abusing these servants? It’s you and me — the taxpayer.

These unions enter into collective bargaining with the Mehlville school board elected officials and these officials are supposed to represent us, the taxpayer, in the bargaining.

It is not happening. When is the last time you recall a teachers’ union losing at the bargaining table?

The losers are the taxpayers.

It’s time we see a change of leadership on the Mehlville school board, like the one that brought fiscal responsibility back to the Mehlville Fire Protection District.

Let’s restore bargaining power to the people.

Brad East


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