I Stand With The Teachers

In a perfect world, everyone makes a fair amount of money and everyone is happy with their pay. For all of the arguments I see in Newton (Aren’t Newton parents supposed to be very busy like their kids who get hours of homework nightly?), we have it pretty good. That’s also why, i’m going to keep this blog short… Plus the weather outside is good and I have more important things to do. But, I made a commitment to post, so here you go:

Who do you stand with? The Teachers or the Custodians?

As someone who is working maintenance over the summer (and a part time Bar/Bat Mitzvah D.J.) for minimum wage, I expect to be treated fairly, given a fair amount of responsibility and I surly hope the people I clean for to treat me with respect.

But, I don’t expect to make $15,000 for six weeks of work. I would be lucky to make $3,000.

Yet, for some reason, many of the custodial staff (who I have much respect for) in Newton, make upwards of 90, 100, and even close to $125,000 dollars a year.

Source

Yes, it’s true that many of the custodians in the NPS make more than teachers, aids, and even some department heads.

As I said earlier, in a perfect world everyone would make their fair share. But, if I had to choose between outsourced teachers or outsourced custodians, the choice is clear. Maybe, you are like the NDCC (“Newton Custodians make reasonable wages…”) and say no to outsourcing. But, with a annual budget that has doubled in 10 years, I think that we should stand with the teachers first.

P.S. Happy summer vacation to all

P.P.S. Why did the recent survey evaluate how much sleep students need between 8, 8.25 and 8.5 hours of sleep? 8.5 has to be the minimum. It should be in the 9+ hour range. And why not talk about reducing the amount of homework yet? Maybe, i’ll write about this next month.

 

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Bob Jampol

As a former teacher, I reject the choice between outsourcing teachers and outsourcing custodians. In truth, I oppose outsourcing altogether. Most custodians, I suspect, don’t make exorbitant salaries, and if the system of payment is flawed, then let’s rein in the excesses.

This trend towards turning workers into contractors working for private companies will create a swath of employees who earn little and get few if any benefits. As I wrote in the Tab, who wants an America that, like much of the world, has a tiny elite living comfortably and a vast majority struggling to survive from paycheck to paycheck? Newton’s taxes are modest compared with those of similar suburbs both in Massachusetts and across the northeast. We have little cause to plead poverty around here. Furthermore, the influx of millionaires buying up our growing stock of MacMansions is not sinking under the burden of our real estate taxes.

If overtime or other features of city contracts are leading to unreasonable incomes, let’s maintain our public employees but refine the terms of employment through negotiation.