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OEA Squeezes Ohio Teachers a Little Harder

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) has a good thing going: the union takes dues from teachers – whose plight is the OEA’s reason for existing – to elect their bosses and pay their own salaries. Their own salaries tend to be… generous.

Based on the tepid liberal responses I’ve seen to this bold hypocrisy, OEA pay indicates one of two things:

  1. Tireless teachers’ advocates paid market rate.
  2. Nothing. There’s nothing to see here at all.

Leaving aside the hilarity of union advocates suddenly concerned about anything’s “market rate,” I’ve yet to come across a decent excuse for the OEA paying the average union employee $40,000 more than the average teacher. The OEA’s entire sales pitch is underfunded children and impoverished educators, for Pete’s sake! It’s like paying a chauffeur $96,000 a year to complain about your car loan.

Other adorable public union facts: if you suggest that teachers paid $75,000 could take a 10% pay cut to avoid firings and program reductions, the left will attack you. Mention union reform in a room of Democrats, Socialists, and Communists, and you’d hear the same miserable arguments from all quarters. Essentially, any reduction in the speed of the taxpayer gravy-train brings such a flood of liberal tears, they can scarcely identify rich people to tax. Mathematics be damned, liberals care!

In light of all this, Saturday’s OEA decision is no shock:

The Ohio Education Association will assess active members $54 apiece and support-staff members $25 to generate $5 million as fuel for a referendum to repeal the state’s new collective-bargaining law.

The decision was made yesterday by about 1,000 delegates attending the teachers union’s Spring Representative Assembly at Veterans Memorial.

Read that again: the most union-friendly teachers got together and agreed all teachers should pay the union more. Because teachers are underpaid. Also unsurprising is this endorsement from America’s most liberal senator:

Speaking at the OEA meeting yesterday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown urged teachers to rally for the referendum campaign and “make this personal.”

“You can talk all the statistics you want, but tell your personal story. Tell people why you’re a teacher,” the Ohio Democrat said.

The union has to make this personal, because if numbers are treated like numbers the OEA is sunk. So, to tell the story about how difficult it is to be a teacher, the union is going to take another $54 from every teacher. Maybe if they shriek and flail wildly enough, people will ignore numbers like the ones in my chart above.

Senate Bill 5 is and has always been about restoring power to the taxpayers. Since that power currently resides with the unions, Ohio can look forward to another $54 per teacher being spent on the state’s most mathematically-challenged smear campaign this side of Brown for Senate 2012!

Follow me on Twitter: @jasonahart

Cross-posted at that hero.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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