Chariho School Parents’ Forum

October 4, 2007

Marx and the NEA

Filed under: contract negotiations,Unions — Editor @ 10:58 am

Ocean State Policy Research Institute has an interesting take on the recent Westerly Sun LTE (of course, everything posted on OSPRI must get my approval, so I’m admittedly biased).



  1. Mr. Felkner I don’t know if it is my computer or your website, but the print portion of OSPRI’s articles bleed into the dark blue margins making it difficult to read. Is the problem on my end?

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 4, 2007 @ 12:45 pm | Reply

  2. Umm hello!!!!!! it also says in that letter that 90% of the support staff live in the district witch make them tax payers to! just give it up. Ricci is a good guys sometimes but the whole damn school district is corrupt

    Comment by The child — October 4, 2007 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

  3. Not sure, I will ask. Whenver I try to fix stuff, bad things happen.

    You could always cut and paste to a word doc for the time being. thx

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 4, 2007 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

  4. let me correct myself, no matter what your job is, you can be a very hard worker working as many hours as possible to earn your dime. then you have someone in front of you who is kinda a slacker, ya know they have an alright job they kinda like but dont really do much, and they get paid more then you. then you have the people infront of them that sit on there big rumps all day long thinkin they are hot stuff because they can make 1000 a week just by sitting there doing nothing. does that make sense? all the schools hide the real deal from the public. has any of you seen the movie stick it? well if you havnt, the coach tells all the parents” your child is so good at what they do! they are going to the olympics.” thats what the school does to everyone. they tell you they have things planned they are going to do this, there going to do that, but they really dont do a damn thing. if you ask me i think school is a joke no matter what. you have the teachers trying to teach you from what a computer says and then the admin. that will tell you your in the wrong when you know your not, all it is is a big go around with everyone they cant tell the truth if there life depended on it. i think mrs barr and her letter to the paper was awesome i think she is right and i think the school needs to take a look at what its doing to itself. is it really fair if you have to work 8 hours a day break a sweat or hurt yourself to earn your measly little pay check? when you know there is someone sitting in ac not doing ANYTHING and earning twice as much as you??? the school district makes me think of the US… all they want is to take your money away and give it to the people that dont deserve it. i have many opnions on the school district, not only on the contracts but with everything else. ill be glad to share them with you so you can take into consideration a students point of view

    Comment by The child — October 4, 2007 @ 1:12 pm | Reply

  5. to curious, it did it to me when i looked at it as well

    Comment by The child — October 4, 2007 @ 1:15 pm | Reply

  6. The Child is a good name because your view of the work world is childish.

    Assuming it is not too late for you, you should not aspire to be an employee whose income is dependent on the generosity of others. If you do, then don’t be suprised when your income is dependent on the generosity of others.

    Go to school and work hard. Go home and work hard. As you discover things you enjoy, think about what you can do with your enjoyment that would bring value to other people. If you figure it out, other people become consumers and you enjoy your career.

    For all the faults of Chariho’s administration and teachers, they hold those positions because of decisions they made earlier in life…when they were “the child”. Being educated doesn’t give them an excuse for being lazy and wasting other people’s money, but they weren’t simply handed these positions, they made some good choices along the way.

    The problem with government and union jobs is that unlike the private sector, your job’s worth isn’t based on your free market value, but your worth is artifically set by politics and the pressure put on the public through fear-mongering and/or the ability of your union to buy off politicians.

    The rest of us live in the real world where our security is only a pink slip away…where what you know and do determines your worth.

    In the real world, we are rewarded based on what we deliver. While this may sound scary to anyone living under the protection of the government or a union, it can also be a great source of personal satisfaction. It’s a nice feeling knowing that you give as good as you get.

    Any union employee upset about the possibility of losing benefits or not getting paid enough, you should come join us out here. Don’t be afraid. Try it, you may like it.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 4, 2007 @ 2:37 pm | Reply

  7. my view of the work world is childish??? i have a job i have had many jobs and i have never argued what i was being paid. i understand the people who are there longer get paid more and the new people dont get as much. i dont want to be a millionaire i dont want to drive a BMW or corvette or any of that. i just dont get how someone who works their ass off all day long dosent get anything. not even a thank you. but then someone can sit on their ass doing nothing all day and be praised for being awesome in there job. he isnt awesome. the school isnt awesome. as for the teachers, have you met any of them? half of them dont deserve the title of a teacher. a teacher should help you give you advice and make it so you dont hate school. but all they do is make you hate school. they make you not want to be there. the pick and choose who they like. they dont give you a fair chance at anything. there are very few teachers that will help you in that school and when i say few i mean few. most of them shouldnt have there job. go ahead and call me childish. call me what you please but i dont like bullshitters and im not going to agree with them. i see things different then you i see whats really going on. open your eyes, maybe you will too.

    Comment by The child — October 4, 2007 @ 5:23 pm | Reply

  8. You reinforce my position when you comment about people being employed longer being paid more. This isn’t necessarily true. In a properly functioning work place, the employees who bring the most value would be paid the most. Among professionals, this is usually how things work.

    When teachers negotiate contracts, they will often try to portray themselves as professionals to justify their high salaries. They are not professionals. Professionals do not form unions. Professionals are paid based on merit, aka value. Professionals negotiate individually and sometimes the new person has more to offer or is a better negotiator and earns more money. Teachers could be professional, but most choose to be union members.

    The work world you’ve experienced is for people in occupations where there isn’t much value difference between the individual employees. While these jobs are a fact of life and they have place in our economy, I would never advise anyone to aspire to the mundane and dead end employment of these types of positions.

    If you see someone sitting on their butt and they are being well paid, you might want to ask them what they are doing, because if they are in the private sector, you can be sure they are bringing much value to their endeavor. If they weren’t, they’d be gone.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 4, 2007 @ 5:45 pm | Reply

  9. Tell me people has an one been doing their home work? Check out some of the other School Dist, they seem to know how important it is to keep the good help.You need to compensate-give some good insentives to keep the people that do the work.I have heard it over and over again(reward them for a good job done)WELL DO IT !I happen to know that Westerly starts out at more than $15.00 an hour for new hires ,they want to get them in and keep them there. Westerly was one of the schools that tried to privitize,ask them what the outcome was.It was aweful-I was there!I also happen to know that Coventry is offering at least $15.00 to new hires with full benifits.The highest payed custodian at Chariho after 18 years of service is making a little over $15.00 an hour.(AFTER 18 YEARS,THATS PRETTY SAD).,maybe those little insentives is whats keeping them there .What do these other Districts know that we don’t seem to.Maybe insentives do work!

    Comment by concerned parent — October 7, 2007 @ 10:50 am | Reply

  10. THe contact is located here –

    Custodians are hired at $12 per ($3 more than private sector positions advertised in the journal) and exceed $15 in 5 years (not 18 yrs). Plus this hourly salary does not include longevity. With the Internet and the ability to share information – misinformation like the above comment is no longer effective.

    Furthermore, speaking more to teachers than support – if higher pay were the key to success (not tied to performance), then how would you explain that private and charter schools (who take students on lotteries not selective process) have higher achievement scores than do public schools yet pay their employees less?

    You are right, incentives do work – but incentives need performance goals – not just an incentive to gain seniority – anyone avoid termination in a union. And didn’t Westerly scores go down just like Chariho?

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 7, 2007 @ 11:39 am | Reply

  11. Mr. Felkner is right of course, but beyond that, I’m tired of state unions leveraging their ability to gouge one town against another town. They do this with teacher contracts too.

    The town with the most affluence, and/or the worst school committee, agrees to ridiculous contract terms, and then the union uses that contract as the standard for the next contract. I admire this tactic as it works time and again, but our negotiators must stop using other public union contracts as the standard and instead start using private employment standards. After all, it is we in the private sector who fund those in the public sector.

    We should not be givng them better salaries and benefits then we get ourselves. If $9.00 per hour is the average starting wage for custodial employees in the private sector, then that should be good enough for the government employees too. AS for benefits, the government employess don’t even want to go there.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 7, 2007 @ 3:53 pm | Reply

  12. Yes and no. We have to acknoledge that there is a higher turnover in the private sector – which is more of a burden for a school as background checks should be done (I assume they are).

    That being said, if we could reward good employees and motivate or remove bad ones, less turnover would result. Just because we pay more doesn’t mean turnover has been removed. At any given time, about half our support personnel are within their first 5 years.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 7, 2007 @ 7:15 pm | Reply

  13. I’m not surprised or disappointed by high turnover in support staff. Not all, but some of these jobs are low skilll and comparatively low wage. I hope every person who left went on to bigger and better things.

    Yes, I agree we want to minimize turnover, but perhaps when there’s little chance of being fired, it might be better for productivity if we get new employees who may not yet know how to play the system?

    One problem with union employment is little incentive to do the job well when you there is no reward for a job well done. This applies to teachers as well as support staff. If they are not self motivated, are children suffer the consequences.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 7, 2007 @ 8:23 pm | Reply

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