Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chicago Teachers' Strike

The government subsidized baby-sitting/meal program known as the Chicago Public School system has been suspended by its employees, who refuse to accept a significant increase in compensation and more responsibility for their production.

The main issue here, never discussed in conversations about public employee wages and benefits, isn't whether or not the teachers deserve a certain level of compensation.  It's the fact that applicants for public employee positions aren't required to annually  bid for their jobs, the low bidder being awarded the opening. Provision of teaching services to the school district isn't any different than provision of paper clips, ball points or bus service, all of which are provided by the low bidder.  Such should be the case with instructors as well.

When a private company, even one with an organized work force, attempts to do significant business with a government agency, it's required to submit a competitive bid that's compared with other firms.  The cost of its labor force, and its productivity, is the most important factor in getting that bid.  Why should it be any different with government employees themselves?

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