By Ashleigh Costello

PINGREE GROVE, Ill. – A northern Illinois resident is sounding off on the hypocrisy of teachers unions.

In a letter to the Daily Herald, Larry Schultz asks teachers unions to please stop trying to extort money from taxpayers with threats of strikes, especially when their cloak their greed with statements about acting on behalf of “the children.”

Schultz succinctly writes:

“When I first read that the upcoming teachers strike in District 300 is all about lower class sizes, my first thought was ‘this is gonna cost us.’ Now that the final offers have been posted, my suspicions are confirmed. The impasse is about pay raises.

“The economy is in shambles and in Illinois we are exceptionally broke. We are paying among the highest taxes in the country already. Teacher salaries and benefits are funded by local property taxes.  The only way for them to increase their pay is to raise our taxes, since there is no magic money fairy dumping extra millions into the pot.

“Taxpayers are well aware of this. Working people in the private sector have been making sacrifices for many years, yet somehow manage to get by. We are well aware that there is only so much money to go around. The teachers union remains oblivious to this annoying piece of reality.

“Teachers are generally wonderful people and provide a very important service. So are sanitation workers. Everyone who works provides some contribution to society. What the union fails to understand is that everyone needs to deal within the bounds of reality. Why don’t they come out and admit their demands are about more pay, not smaller class sizes? Why do they use the mantra ‘for the children’ when the bottom line is always ‘for the raises?’

“The reason is that it would appear they are just greedy, and they wouldn’t want us thinking that, now would they?

“Bite the bullet, teachers. Share the sacrifice like everyone else. You may be special, but isn’t everyone? The economy will recover any day now. When that happens we’ll all be millionaires and can afford to pay you whatever you want. Until that time, please stop trying to extort the taxpayers.”

We wholeheartedly agree with Schultz and hope more taxpayers start to see things this clearly.

Until citizens put up a united front, teachers unions will continue to use whatever tools are at their disposal to get what they want, regardless of whether school districts and taxpayers can afford to meet their demands.

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