I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Friday, April 29, 2011

Worldwide Assault on Teacher Pensions

No, I'm not kidding. Start with India:
HUBLI: K K Theke Datta of All-India Federation of University and College Teachers' Organizations (AIFUCTO) has threatened to stage protests if teachers' pensions are not revised as per the recommendations of the VI Pay Commission.
Speaking at an interaction programme on the problems being faced by retired teachers, here on Sunday, he said the government is doing injustice to teachers by showing indifference in implementing the recommendations as per the revised UGC pay scale. He said the apathy in fixing the pension is not accepted and hence the governments should immediately implement the recommendations.
AIFUCTO office-bearer B Parthasarathy said the government, which had "allegedly" delayed the implementation of the VI Pay Commission by more than 18 months, is still to pay the arrears.
Post-coup regime in Honduras carrying out unprecedented assault on the most organized sector of the resistance, the teachers.
Dear lord: Lobo is looking at New Orleans - charter school nirvana - as a model for reform. Corporate reform knows no international boundaries, I guess.


Headteachers are planning to vote this weekend on whether to ballot for their first ever national strike over changes to their pensions – a move that could close thousands of schools this summer.
A strike ballot of the 28,000 members of the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) is expected to be sought at the association's conference in Brighton on Sunday.
A national strike would be the first in the association's 100-year-plus history, and would affect millions of children in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
It comes after two of the main teaching unions voted to ballot members for a national strike over pensions earlier this month, and lecturers staged a walkout over the same issue last month.A government-commissioned report last month by the former Labour minister Lord Hutton called for final salary pension schemes to be scrapped and replaced by career averages.

Teachers Service Commission could lose its headquarters and assets, including computers and databanks to auctioneers in 15 days if it does not pay up a Sh765 million debt.
Auctioneers visited TSC head offices in Upperhill, Nairobi, which houses records of Kenya’s 265,000 teachers on Wednesday morning and thousands of others who have retired. The auctioneers were acting on behalf of 31,082 teachers who retired between 1997 and 2003 and their lawyers and were out to enforce a court order against TSC to pay up Sh765 million in form of legal fees.
This is the cost of a combined legal bill of a group of retired teachers in Nakuru who filed a suit challenging TSC over failure to pay them full pension from the 1997 salary deal.
It's really unbelievable. Every nation on the face of the Earth knows that an educated populace is essential for success, yet time and time again the powerful rig the political system to screw teachers out of a just compensation.

The reason countries compensate their teachers using pensions is that it's a good deal. If you can get employees to defer their compensation, you can use the market to help meet the costs. But when a government breaks the deal, there's no going back: no one with other options will consider becoming a educator if the compensation promises made to teachers are so casually thrown away.

"But we just don't have the money!" As I've documented many times on this blog, this is the biggest lie told in America today. It's probably just as big a lie, if not bigger, in Kenya and Honduras and India and England.

Certainly, part of the reason for this attitude is the greed of the rich, who want more for themselves and less for you. But part of this assault is that teachers are the true guardians of democracy. Good teachers produce citizens capable of critical thought who will challenge the status quo and question policies that harm the middle class and working poor at the expense of the rich.

It doesn't matter what language you speak: if you're wealthy and powerful, you probably want to stay that way. Anything that threatens the status quo threatens you. So teachers are not your allies.

There's a reason the Khmer Rouge went after teachers. The Gang of Four vilified teachers during the Cultural Revolution. They wanted indoctrinators: people who would push propaganda on to students, rather than foster creative, thinking humans.

"Whoa, Jazzman - isn't that a little harsh? This is the USA - we're completely different! We don't have to worry about the powerful taking control of the media, the government, the entire economy, and the schools just to consolidate their rule!"

Oh, gosh, what was I thinking? How could I even consider such a thing...

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