Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Teacher Unions Protect Some Child Molesters

The following piece appeared on Big Journalism.com.
Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Teachers Unions: The Child Molester’s Best Friend
Posted by James Hudnall Feb 9th 2010

Imagine if you could get full salary and benefits for a decent paying job and you didn’t have to work to get it. All you had to do was be accused of a crime.

What crime, you ask? How about molesting school kids? That’s what the teachers‘ unions in states like California and New York State are doing: coddling accused criminals — at your expense. And it’s probably going on elsewhere as well.

Believe it or not, New York is a lot tougher on them than California. From the New York Post:

"At the beginning of his 32-year career as a math teacher in Queens, Francisco Olivares allegedly im pregnated and married a 16-year-old girl he had met when she was a 13-year-old student at his Corona junior high, IS 61, the Post learned.

He sexually molested two 12-year-old pupils a decade later and another student four years after that, the city Department of Education charged. But none of it kept Olivares, 60, from collecting his $94,154 salary.

He hasn’t set foot in a classroom in seven years since beating criminal and disciplinary charges. Chancellor Joel Klein keeps Olivares in a “rubber room,” a district office where teachers accused of misconduct sit all day with nothing to do."

That would be $94K a year for sitting around drinking coffee and reading the paper. Sounds like a DMV job, without the actual “work.” The reason he wasn’t fired is “state laws” and “union rules.” The unholy alliance of unions and government is one of the things that has led us to the mess we’re in now. When you can’t fire government workers, you’re stuck with the dregs sucking away tax dollars in the form of their bloated salaries and benefits. And in many cases, they will get well-funded retirement packages for years of incompetence, thievery or worse. All in the name of “public service.”

But Olivares’s fate in New York is hard time compared to the Golden State. In California, accused teachers are paid to stay at home. In just the Los Angeles Unified School District alone, the cost of these teachers sitting on their hands is helping drive the state into bankruptcy.

"About 160 teachers and other staff sit idly in buildings scattered around the sprawling district, waiting for allegations of misconduct to be resolved.

The housed are accused, among other things, of sexual contact with students, harassment, theft or drug possession. Nearly all are being paid. All told, they collect about $10 million in salaries per year — even as the district is contemplating widespread layoffs of teachers because of a financial shortfall."

Now you may say that these teachers were only accused, they well may be innocent. Yes, some of them may be. And hopefully the innocent will be cleared. But in many incidents, such as the Olivares case, there is no doubt because there’s a provable history, including a list of victims. And yet the state continues to pay his salary.

This is becoming a common practice in many states where teachers’ unions hold sway. When they can’t fire them, in some cases schools have had to offer instructors cash payouts to quit. That’s right, cash bribes to quit after committing some kind of crime.

Unions and public sector jobs are the most unholy alliance of our times. These beasts should never have mated, because they’ve issued forth monstrous offspring in the form of dire consequences that no one probably saw coming. And many victims have been left in their destructive wake.

You have two bureaucracies with the dual intent of protecting their power at all cost and increasing in size every year. These goals lead to a sickening metastasis that rots both entities over time until they become bloated, cancerous threats to the health of the body politic. Public service jobs now pay more, offer more generous guaranteed benefits and are far more difficult to lose (in fact, almost impossible) than those in the private sector. The unions have made sure of that, and the result is that every private sector job is now viewed by an increasingly ravenous and rapacious government-union-lawyer complex the way a vampire eyes a tasty carotid artery.

While many pubic sector jobs have some intrinsic value, such as police, firemen, public works, and yes, teachers, the unions have created a system in which those who should be terminated can’t be. Not with increasingly absurd legal hoops to be jumped through that the unions keep demanding and effecting. This leads to the worst kind of corruption and waste at a time when the nation’s states and federal government are drowning in unsustainable debts and a coming tidal wave of unfunded mandates.

When the government protects and pays criminals with our tax dollars, it’s time for some real change.

Be sure to visit the Big Journalism website to see the links associated with the story below.

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