The following is an excerpt from Shawn Beightol of the Miami Professional Educators Association (MPEA) to its members regarding the school board's suggestion that due to the sluggish economy, contributions from the county to teacher health care will need to be cut back with teachers expected to fill the gap which is estimated to be around $1,200.00 annually:
"If this happens, this negates any financial gain of this so called 'historic' contract that I am proud to say I and many of you voted "no" on. I hate to say it, but this is what the 'radical,' 'angry,' 'unpredictable' teachers who stood with me were prognosticating...this isn't new this year. This is business as usual. This is balancing a bloated bureaucracy's budget on yours, mine, and the ed support peoples' backs yet ONE MORE YEAR.
And every year we let them.
Every year they count on us forgetting the sacrifices, the concessions of the year before.
Except now, with unparalleled inflation in housing costs, their tyranny is exposed. Your homes are 2nd mortgaged, your credit cards are maxed, your meals are tuna helper (even though you have a masters degree).
It's not supposed to be like this. At least not while THEIR health care is being paid. While their parking fees, cell phone bills, conference travel are being paid. If we were all suffering the same, we could justify the mother Theresa 'suffer for the kingdom' BS.
But it's not equal.
We are supporting a bureaucracy that exists solely to provide rich paychecks for those accustomed to being paid well from the masses. Baby-doc and Papa-doc in Haiti knew how to live richly off pennies from each member of their nation...how is this ANY different?"
The next MPEA meeting will address this question and others Tuesday, November 27th at 730 PM at the Education Faculty's library of the College of Education's Ziff Ed Building (ZEB), room 330 (NOT FIU's library).
MVB wishes the fledgling MPEA the best of luck in finding enough members to make the school board take notice. Again, it appears that the board is changing its teachers into thousands of angry, frustrated Howard Beales, people who are "mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore." In our opinion, if the school board makes teachers pick up the difference in health care costs, they should strike. Unfortunately, this in unlikely to happen because most teachers live from paycheck to paycheck and the prevailing union now in charge doesn't have the gumption or resources to pursue that course of action.
And so it goes.