Paying for lies
April 27, 2011
April 27, 2011
The Racine Unified School District is sticking taxpayers for almost half a million dollars for one make-up day resulting from a union-organized protest, a protest that closed schools when hundreds of teachers lied about being too sick to show up for work.
District officials implied the real problem was snow days that used up extra time built into the union contract—blaming the district’s appropriate actions instead of inappropriate, dishonest actions by unionized employees.
The Racine Journal-Times reported February 17 that teachers and others said their union urged its members to skip school and join the Madison protest against Governor Walker’s budget proposals. Roughly 400 complied.
Superintendent Jim Shaw said teachers must be paid for the make-up day because it goes beyond contract provisions. Of course that would be the same contract the teachers breached. And this past weekend, the Journal-Times reported other districts found cheaper ways to make up the time, which may sound good until you realize this typically means finding ways to help the unions get away with it.
While its solution may be the biggest embarrassment of all, Racine is far from the only school district that’s completely in the tank for the unions—and thus actively working against taxpayers. The battle being fought in the state Legislature in reality is the identical one that must also be won—or lost—at every level of government.
In that respect we might even thank Mr. Shaw for showing how bad things are when he told the Journal-Times: “From a legal perspective the best way to proceed [on the make-up day] was to honor the terms of the contract.” If only he could visualize himself holding the union to that same standard.