“Teachers and other San Diego school employees could take pay cuts next year of up to 8 percent to help offset a projected $93 million deficit, under a proposal presented to labor groups this week.”
Let’s look at this proposal. First of all, I’d like to know if the district has already made fiscal changes to their Cadillac benefit package (See my previous post about this- http://sdrostra.com/?p=2570. Also take a look at-http://sdrostra.com/?p=753). The district has one of the best benefit packages around; this includes 2 bonus checks during the year (If you can, please name some other government agency that has such a sweet plan). This kind of benefit package is unrealistic, but don’t blame the unions for it-blame the bureaucrats and board of education that approved it (I’m not aware of anyone holding a gun to their heads to force them to sign).
I feel the pain of the teachers and support staff (I worked for the District for 28 years). This kind of pay cut is going to hurt. But the big cut should occur to the overpaid bureaucrats that allowed the district to expand and expand and also the approval of the aforementioned contractual benefits.
It can be said that if we don’t pay the bureaucrats well, that they will go elsewhere. Well, let’s look at this mess the district is in. Maybe it would be to everyone’s advantage to let these bureaucrats go and to hire “new blood”. Maybe that kind of change would jump start some real change (Take a look at my previous comment about this-http://sdrostra.com/?p=655).
So what am I suggesting? First of all, we cut the salaries of the high level bureaucrats and the members of the board of education. We also reduce their perks. I mean, if they are making “good” money, why do we pay them a car allowance, for example? These leadership positions need to set the example FIRST. If they want to leave, let them and then hire “new blood”. Next, go to the unions and put the benefit and salary package on the table. And to ensure future adjustments, base salaries on the level of funds obtained from Sacramento (And this won’t make the District look like the “bad” guy so much). What do I mean? If Sacramento cuts funding, then salaries are adjust down. If increases in funding occurs, then salaries are adjusted upwards.
And finally, we need to seek real budget reform in Sacramento. We need realistic budgets that are REALLY balanced without the normal “smoke and mirrors” approach. Of course this means fiscal responsible and conservative leadership. Passing the buck to future generations is not leadership. Balancing a budget without smoke and mirrors and putting money away for a rainy day is leadership and that is what I was taught growing up. You know, my parents were pretty smart.