Teachers pay freezes: bad idea

Bernardo Vigil, A&E Editor

If Republican legislatures stand up for states’ rights on the national level, logic would dictate that our state level Republicans would stand up for the autonomy of things like counties and school districts. It’s all about deregulation right? Well, while deregulation may be a bad idea when it comes to things like banks and the oil industry, education is definitely something I support leaving to the local authorities. So, it seems I have finally found some common ground with my Republican friends. Well, not really. Despite being the party of government non-intervention, Republican state senator, Dave Thompson, has pushed a bill that not only would freeze all public school teachers’ pay for two years, but would block the teacher’s union from striking over the legislation.

We certainly have a deficit problem not only nationwide, but in the state, and I agree, it needs to be addressed; but, we are already having massive budget cuts in all the non-essentials (like health, education, and childcare subsidies) but do we really need to tell the individual school districts what exactly they need to cut? Due to how each school gets its funding (based largely on property taxes) there is already a disparity between how much money each school gets; therefore, each school has different issues and different programs that could be scaled back. Freezing teachers’ salaries is a catch-all solution to an individual problem.

Not only is this whole issue of the state meddling in what is traditionally a school district issue a problem, but the legislature also specifically limits the union’s power to do what unions do: strike. The whole point of any labor union is to give workers the ability to ban together and fight things (like laws and unfair working conditions) that are a detriment to the workers they represent. This attempted blocking of Education Minnesota, however, is not as much of a surprise as the rest of the bill given the GOP’s stance on labor unions––you know, because they actually help people.