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NY Teachers' Union Should Heed JFK's Advice When Demanding Higher Taxes


The predictable reaction from New York State United Teachers regarding proposed legislation to cap property taxes illustrates that the union has no interest in lightening the burden on taxpayers and struggling school districts.

Each year, NYSUT negotiates teachers contracts in school districts throughout the Empire State that include expensive perks that have nothing to do with education: union release time for teachers, unused sick day buyouts, automatic annual raises, free top-notch health insurance, retirement bonuses, attendance incentives and countless others.


The result is an annual increase in labor expenses that are funded by taxpayers who have no voice in the negotiation process. In other words, New York taxpayers are getting the shaft and there isn’t much they can do about it.

Lawmakers in the state Assembly want to draw a line in the sand to give taxpayers some financial relief. The caps would also force schools to confront the runaway labor costs that are bleeding their budgets dry.

The New York State Assembly understands the message that Education Action Group has trumpeted for years: it’s not public school funding that’s the problem, it’s how the money is spent.

Instead of bellyaching about how a property tax cap could impact school finances, NUSUT should take a hard look in the mirror, and consider how expensive labor demands are devastating schools. Contrary to what the union would like the public to believe, a tax cap would make the state’s schools more efficient, providing a better value to taxpayers who have funded the union’s goodies for decades.

NYSUT, ask not what your state can do for you, but what you can do for your state.


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