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Opinion

Although the latest vote did not specifically address the teacher's contract, it can be interpreted as giving the BOE a general direction from the voters. It reflected support for the BOE in their contract negotiations with the PWTA. The fact that the two parties have not yet reached a settlement can be interpreted as indicating that the BOE is doing its job in representing the voters.

The recent settlement between NYC and UFT may provide a model for settlement in that it traded pay increases for increased hours and productivity.

Although I agree that an annual salary of $100,000 is not much in this region, recent letters suggesting that teachers should be paid salaries comparable to those of stockbrokers are ridiculous. In my life, I made a lot of choices regarding my education and career that determined my current income level. Many of those choices traded higher income for other non-monetary rewards. In that way, my career path has been very similar to that of a teacher.

The overwhelming majority of highly educated people don't make as much money as the traders on Wall Street. That's life. If you want to make as much as a trader, be a trader. Perhaps medical residents could present a legitimate case for higher salaries based on the 70- to 80-hour workweeks and levels of stress, risk and responsibility that are comparable to Wall Street. Teachers can't. Making such comparisons only damages the credibility of teachers and alienates voters.

Robert T. Schill


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