Gladstone: Proponents of Education SOMR are mouth pieces for the unions

Letter to the Editor – by Laura Gladstone, RTM District 2

I agree with Dean C. Goss’s letter to the editor (Dean C Goss: The Entitlement of Our Teachers, June 6, 2020) regarding the upcoming Education SOMR that in this heavy labor state, the teachers could do their part and just not take a pay raise like everyone else in the country – no one is asking them to be fired or even take a pay cut.

The fact that the other side has not even approached this issue and is sending around misinformation and continuing on with their character denigration just shows that they are mouth pieces for the unions.

None of this $3 MM is going to the students. None. Not one penny. Many teachers are willing to take a one year pay freeze to save their colleagues jobs, but you never hear the other side say that. In fact the BOE has kept most teachers in the dark during this whole process. They threaten to cut programs and teachers jobs instead.

We have the highest unemployment since WW II. People will likely not be getting bonuses this year and will be seeing continued 20/30% pay cuts for the foreseeable future if they are lucky enough to keep their jobs at all. Not to mention the burden of increased taxes for people struggling right now (not everyone is rich in Greenwich, remember we are “diverse”). Voting for this SOMR would be unconscionable right now in this economic climate – and definitely the antithesis of Greenwich values. And if you are worried about your real estate values, remember that people do not move to a place for mediocre schools (7th in the state!) and high taxes.

Remember the people that are struggling the most are the ones that will be most affected by this SOMR to give teachers a pay raise. Let me give you an example: My friend’s husband is a truck driver. He has lost all of his routes because he delivers food mainly to restaurants and schools. He has lost his healthcare for his entire family. His children go to the Greenwich public schools. So if you vote for this SOMR you are saying that the teachers pay raise is more important than he is and that a tax increase on his already struggling family is okay because the teachers want their raise. There are many people like that in Greenwich, because we are diverse. My elderly neighbor lives on a fixed income and can’t even afford a trash collector not to mention a tax increase on our already very high taxes. So I am asking the RTM to please think about those people when you vote on Monday. If the money were going to the kids, it would be different, but as usual in a heavy union state it’s not.

Thank you, Laura Gladstone – RTM D2