The Washington Post is reporting that Montgomery County will ask the teachers union to go back to the bargaining table and negotiate to eliminate pay raises for teachers next year. In fact, the county will likely be looking to eliminate pay raises for all county employees. At the risk of angering my kindergarten-teaching wife, I say it's about time the county stands up to the labor unions in Montgomery!
The county is facing a 250 million dollar shortfall, and that is AFTER a county tax hike that increases homeowners' property tax bills by an average of 13 percent. If we, as the "employers", have to take a hit, then our employees must swallow hard and take a hit as well. As I have written previously, it is simply rediculous for public sector workers to expect eight percent pay raises when the private sector employees whose taxes support those public jobs are going without raises, or in some cases, (such as mine), are losing their own jobs altogether.
The only caveat I would have to cutting teacher pay raises is that if they have to make the sacrifice, then so should all county workers. Forgoing pay raises for the year will, by itself, wipe the county's deficit in half. It sucks, but it simply MUST be done.