With many Delaware teachers now working Bell to Bell as the DSEA attempts to make a point about the inequity of across-the-board State employee pay cuts, the blog and public reactions are mixed:
Dana stands with the teachers at Delaware Watch.
The mostly anonymous commenters at Fix Red Clay mostly think the teachers have pretty good jobs and are acting like spoiled brats.
There is no party line at Delawareliberal: some for, some against, some confused.
It is interesting to see many supposedly pro-union folks (with Dana as a notable exception) suddenly willing to throw the DSEA under the school bus, and who mouth the narrative so easily: Things are tough all over, you ingrates. Other people have had to take pay cuts. Man up, you wimps. [I'm sort of channeling my inner jason here.]
What is truly intriguing about this situation is the absence of any real consideration of the morality of the situation.
For example, the operative moral impulse here is, Treating employees like shit in the private sector justifies treating employees like shit in the public sector.
There's also, If my health insurance either got cut or is too expensive in the private sector, then it is OK to jack up the price of yours by 50%.
Or there's It is perfectly OK to demand the same amount of work (including extra hours and extra effort worked) for 10-12% less money, even though you had a contract, because things are tough all over.
Notice the position that the government puts you into: the Governor has told the citizens of Delaware that they can balance the budget by accepting a few minor tax increases and an across-the-board salary/benefits cut for State employees.
No pain, right?
On the other hand, here's the DSEA position: We got out the vote for you, which should have given us insurance against any significant pay cuts. What gives?
What's also interesting is the wounded virgin played by the Governor and General Assembly: We had absolutely no idea it was going to get this bad. We're just trying to survive a horrible situation with State services [and gambling] intact.
Amazing, isn't it? These are the people who either supervised Delaware's finances, wrote the tax laws, and expanded government personnel dramatically over the past eight years, and suddenly, suddenly .... they're surprised!
But could we think about different ways of doing things? Could we examine the idea that maybe, just maybe the closed doors of the Big Head Committee, the spending habits of the government and the school districts could use a little ... transparency?