Let’s All Work For Free!

Oregon’s Governor Kulongoski, in the stupidest statement I’ve heard yet, suggested that it is going to take sacrifice from everyone…and that he thinks teachers should have to work for free in order to help solve the budget crisis we are experiencing.  He says everyone must sacrifice, but then points out teachers.  Of course I am going by what my local paper had to say about it, which, granted, could be very skewed, distorted and inaccurate.  It usually is.

Even so, if Kulongoski made that statement or anything remotely close to it, then I think Kulongoski should lead the way by working those same days for free.  After all, I and many others that he would like to have “work for free”, already paid his house mortgage.

Is Kulongoski willing to go to my mortgage company and see if they will let me live in my home those days for free?  How about having Kulongoski talk to the utility companies so that I can receive my gas, electric, phone, water, garbage and cable for free for those days as well? 

Is Kulongoski also willing to talk to the gas companies so I can receive free  fuel for my car so I can work those days for free?  While we are at it, he will need to speak with my lender about my car loan so I can get my car for free for those days.  In addition, I will still need to eat and feed my children, even though I am not getting paid so I will need to get my groceries on those days free as well.

Further, why is it that the teachers are always the ones to have to pay the price for the failures of the rest of society?

Finally, why are we considering increasing food stamps to people on welfare so my taxes can go up to give people who already get more $ in food stamps in a month than I  am able to spend on groceries in three months on my family of 5?  Let’s start to balance the budget with inequities like those.  What about the financial expenditures that go to assist people who aren’t even U.S. citizens?  Why are we replacing furniture in offices in Salem, when we can’t even fund the education of our children?  And, again, why is it that the teachers have to be the only ones to  pay this price? 

Let’s make IDOT work for free.  Or how about all the educational administration who work more days during the summer anyway?  Let’s cut some of their days instead.  Oh, I know, let’s let the entire Oregon State Police force work for free.  Nope, seriously, I think everyone contributed to the problem, everyone should sacrifice to solve it.  We should all have to work for free.

Yeah,now, there’s a genius plan.

I mean, when is this state and the nation for that matter, going to wake up and realize that teachers don’t make the decisions.  Everyone does.  Teachers have long been the easily targeted scapegoat for all of society’s educational woes, but sadly, we only do what the voters and the legislators tell us to do and we often do it without the funding, without the time to plan and prepare for it and without the support.  We routinely work for free already, just like anyone else who is in a professional, salaried position.  Unlike other public employees, teachers do not work on a time clock, they work on a salary and are expected to operate as professionals which means taking work home, putting in extra hours, obtaining our own training at our own expense and on our own time.  Were I postal worker, I could simply clock out and go home. Not so as a teacher.  I’ve already worked my days for free this year, and all the other years I’ve taught. 

Kulongoski’s going to have to starting thinking about what he says, before he says it because that statement made him look more like he was airing his routine on Comedy Central rather than attempting to lead a state in financial crisis. 

This ought to be interesting.  Let’s all watch and see how he hopes to make that happen.

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