The Evidence of Affordability
WillP left a curious comment to my “Just a Quick Shake of the Head” post:
On what basis do you assume that this is an “unaffordable contract?” Do you have access to details of the current contract negotiations or budget data that the rest of us residents and parents don’t have? Again, you are assuming one side is telling the truth and the other isn’t, which is my dilemma. Based on my experience with this school committee and Superintendent over the last four years, reliablity and integrity aren’t high on the list of their positive traits. So finding myself in a quandary, if you have info I don’t have, please share.
Sure thing: The General Assembly flat funded schools. At the time of the strike (at least), the union was asking for larger raises than they’d gotten in the previous contract. I simply cannot afford for the cost of living in Tiverton to go up any more. Unaffordable.
From the perspective that WillP takes, affordability is apparently an actual dollar amount that the school committee and administration can conceivably produce to increase teachers’ remuneration. Certain caveats may or may not be involved: affordable if money is taken from other segments of the school’s budget; affordable if the town allocates a greater percentage of revenue to the schools; affordable if the town finds some way to draw more money from citizens’ pockets.
Of course, if one stands among a group that prioritizes the drawing of every possible penny out of a public body — and the willingness to strike as a negotiating tactic suggests that as a priority — anything is affordable. If one stands among families that can barely afford to keep their houses, nothing is.