Peace Hugs

Kate Anne, communikating on multi-levels -- personal and political, as well as for peace, justice and nonviolence

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

On Wisconsin, Go Ohio -- Saluting Labor

Labor / the working class is under attack in Wisconsin, in Ohio, in Indiana, and in a growing number of states with Republican governors. I am eagerly following the spirit and swell of support in Wisconsin but cannot forget my friends and family in Ohio. Today my ex-husband a lifelong teacher posted the following on Facebook -- it deserves more to read it than just his FB friends. How many teachers have worked a full day at school and done lesson plans and graded papers in the evenings and weekends to earn a decent living and a secure retirement? How dare Republicans give tax breaks to the wealthy and expect then to balance the budget on the backs of the working class! In Michael's words:

Yes I'm paid fairly well, today, by some middle class standards. But WTF, it took almost 40 years for me to get here and with two professional degrees and licensing. And above all else, I am not a parasite on my community or society. Lets have those who caused the problem be responsible for fixing. Now I know how Iraq felt when we invaded. "HUH? What did I do?"
8 hours ago ·  · 

    • Michael Dylan Brennan 

      I seem to recall when you started, when you were a relatively new teacher with one small child and one on the way, that you juggled working as a short order cook just to make ends meet. My recollection may be foggy, I was very young at the time.

      I recall my own sister, who taught in NC -- a state without collective bargaining for educators -- having to work waitressing jobs while teaching in order to make ends meet -- before she threw it all in and walked away from teaching for more lucrative prospects.

      I was an adjunct instructor in a paralegal program -- hardly the same thing -- but I believe I know better than most non-teachers what work it is to teach. People compare the salaries of teachers to the wages of unskilled labor, and then cry that it isn't fair to pay so much to professionals holding professional degrees performing an extremely important function to our society and economy. What nonsense. What callousness. What shortsightedness. I want to ask, what color is the sky in their world? And today, if this bill passes, it would appear to be ... blue.

      There was a time, even just a few weeks ago, when I would have mouthed the words, "the unions were fine in their time, but..." And yet it is obvious now that the time has returned, if it had ever left at all. It is also obvious that, when given the opportunity, the Republican party is fine re-waging the battles of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, whether the issue be labor, abortion rights, civil rights, or any other societal or social improvement that tends to level the playing field. This is no longer conservatism -- it is a reactionary power grab.

      8 hours ago ·  ·  5 people

    • Michael J. Brennan As usual your recollection is excellent. I worked as a short order cook at Manners Big Boy in the Ashtabula Plaza. Then Ed Millsapw took a leave of absence to earn his Master's Degree. I took over for him as department chairman and never gave it up (Ed didn't want it back) Which added the barely necessary supplement to our income. Then came Shandy Hall.
      7 hours ago · 

Why are promises to workers able to be so easily broken? I agree with Michael -- or perhaps he agrees with me -- the current system is wrong. They talk about shared sacrifice but the sacrifice is not labor's to make. We the middle class working folk continue to suffer from the Reagan legacy. Restore the Reagan tax cuts. The wealthy who benefitted from the outrageous policies which have wrecked our economy should pay to fix it. Not us. We've already given.

On Wisconsin, good luck Ohio, God bless us the workers of the United States of America.

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne

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