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Why should suspended public employees get paid for bad behavior?

To The Daily Sun,

The news article about the Shaker School District paying four teachers while having been suspended for drinking on school grounds makes me see red.

As a parent who disciplined my children, I remember taking driving privileges away from a high school son who let his homework go. I remember arguing with the principal that he would not suspend and let my son have a week's vacation for swearing at school, and yet our school officials — I imagine the superintendent and school board — allow four teachers to collect wages at taxpayers expense?

Taxpayers must speak up and say we don't discipline our children by rewarding them, so why should a public employee who gets suspended get paid for bad behavior.

It's time our hard-earned money is spent wisely by those we elect and hire, or make them accountable.

Harriet E. Cady

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Stay strong City Council; there is no need to override the tax cap

To The Daily Sun,

While living on Long Island, in New York for many years, and now being here in Laconia for 20 years, I continue to be interested in the issues of the Laconia School Board.

In New York, I served on the school board for several years, as president, and then took the position in administration as the business official. I was involved in negotiating all of the district's union contracts. The most difficult and contentious was always the teachers' contract. Their position never changed ... always that other districts paid more, and we were going to lose so many good teachers if we didn't honor their requests. The children would be hurt because the teachers weren't appreciated. No matter what we offered, it was never enough.

We, too, had budget limitations. We, too, had taxpayers that would be stressed to pay those increases. Trying to be fair to all was a challenge, but in not giving in to all the drama, we still never lost any teachers, and the children were fine.

Teachers have some of the best benefits in any workforce. They also have a countrywide, strong union that manages to keep tenure in all the contracts, most without any performance clauses. Most school districts still have "steps" in their contracts, which give rewards for staying on the job. Medical and retirement benefits, even if a contribution is made by the staff, are more generous than most companies can afford. And, they work 180 a year.

Stay strong, City Council. There is no need to override the tax cap. Keep the contracts within the budget. Even if you get money from the state, it is a dangerous trade-off, as salary raises will continue to be demanded, and the state will never keep up.

Marge Linn

  • Category: Letters
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