Ghost Teachers Cost Millions By Leo Knepper
The Fairness Center filed another lawsuit, Feb. 24, on behalf of taxpayers against ghost teachers. Officially known as “release time,” ghost teachers are being paid by taxpayers to conduct union business. The most recent lawsuit addresses the Allentown School District where the union president has collected more than $1.3 million in salary and benefits since the year 2000. When you add in the state portion of her pension, the cost goes up even further. According to a news report on the lawsuit, teachers’ union presidents haven’t had to step foot in a classroom since 1990.
The cost to the Allentown School District, while substantial, pales in comparison to the $1.7 million ghost teachers collected from the Philadelphia School District in 2014. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers also enjoys a rent-free office provided by the school district. An article published by Watchdog.org details some of the political work undertaken by union bosses at taxpayer expense:
“Hillary Linardopoulos, who has not taught in a classroom since 2009, ‘coordinates much of our political activism and legislative involvement,’ according to an op-ed penned by union members that endorses its current leadership team going into an upcoming internal election. Since leaving the classroom, her taxpayer-funded salary has almost doubled to $91,156.”
Legislation to eliminate ghost teachers was introduced last August. The General Assembly should shift the cost of union operatives from taxpayers to the unions. Furthermore, given the blatantly political nature of the work, there is no excuse for forcing taxpayers to subsidize the activity.
Leo Knepper is executive director Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania.
Ghost Teachers Cost Millions
Linda Misja is suing the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) one of the most powerful and cynical political organizations in the state.
Ms. Misja is a highly regarded French teacher at Bellefonte Area High School who has opted out of the school’s bargaining unit but is still required by state law to pay a “fair share” fee which is automatically deducted from her paycheck. The union is only allowed to use this money for collective bargaining and representational activities of the union. They are not allowed to use fair share fees for non-union matters.
Ms. Misja, however, points out that the PSEA has taken stands on matters unrelated to collective bargaining and representation — especially with regard to its support for unrestricted abortion. SShe doesn’t want to contribute anything to it because of that.
State law allows for religious objectors to donate money equivalent to the fair share fee to a non-religious charity.
Ms. Misja tried that. She sought to use her fee — about $2,000 — to help fund a charity that cares for teenage mothers in a pro-life environment. No can do, says the union. That would be “too religious.” She could only give to a group that provides the option for abortion.
So Ms. Misja offered to give the money to a non-profit group that teaches gun safety, which certainly put the PSEA on the spot. Oppose it, and it reveals to the world that they are naked hypocrites and that its agenda has nothing to do with fairness but everything to do with advancing leftism.
They opposed it. They said it was too political as the group had a connection to the National Rifle Association.
So Ms. Misja is taking them to court and we hope and pray that she wins big.
And we hope and pray that people wake up an realize how wrong automatic deductions of all workers dues are as they are invariable used to increase the wealth of leaders and support political agendas not in the workers’ best interest.
Teacher sues PSEA hat tip Matt Brouillette of Commonwealth Foundation.
Teacher Sues PSEA
NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin Says Farewell — This video is courtesy of Lisa Esler
We have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year.
— Bob Chanin
For the record, Bob, a whole lot of those dues are collected unwillingly. You end the practice of requiring the school district employing them to forcibly deduct dues from their paychecks you’ll find that most of those people stop chipping in. I guess they think you really don’t represent them all that well and don’t feel obliged to pay for your one-percenter lifestyles and support for extremist social policy.
NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin Says Farewell